If you’re someone who likes to dress in style, but doesn’t have the time or the brainpower to be a personal stylist, then listen up! Subscription boxes have your name written all over them. These boxes are conveniently shipped to your door so that the only time you need to take is actually trying on the clothing items. No trips to the store!
Today we’ll be comparing two great subscription boxes to try if you need a wardrobe update: Stitch Fix vs Rent the Runway (RTR). The main difference between these two services is that Stitch Fix sends you items to purchase, and RTR sends you items to rent that you can swap out or purchase as wanted. Let’s get into the juicy details!
tl;dr: Our pick is Rent The Runway
Both of these services have a very user friendly website and smoothly guide you through the process of getting your first box.
The style quiz on stitchfix.com is very detailed! They start out by asking about your height and weight, and any problem areas you have with clothing. (Does anyone else have long arm problems too?) Then you go through different pre-curated outfits and mark which ones align with your personal style and taste. It’s honestly a lot of fun to do and gets you excited about getting your first box!
Once you have taken your style quiz, they’ll ask you how often you want new clothes to be sent your way. The super nice thing about Stitch Fix is that you can have a subscription, or you can just order a new box whenever you want to. That feels like freedom!
Before your box is shipped you’ll be sent a preview of what’s inside. In this preview you can accept or reject proposed pieces before they’re even sent. You’ll then receive a box of 5 items of clothing in the mail, and you’ll have 3 days to try everything on. If the 3 days seem a bit aggressive for your time, no problem! You can extend the try-on window. Whatever you don’t want to keep can be easily returned.
There are two options to begin with Rent the Runway. You can try their one time rental service for special occasions, or you can choose from one of their 3 different subscription plans. Each plan starts you out with a box of 4 items, but you can upgrade the plan to increase the frequency of packages and get extra clothing for a consistently fresh closet.
*Please note: you’ll only have access to the basic closet unless you upgrade your plan to more items per month which will give you access to the full closet.
Once you’ve selected the plan that works best for you, it’s time to start picking out your first rentals! You’ll have quite a few luxury items to choose from, so be sure to narrow it down by occasion. Once chosen, RTR will send you your dry cleaned rentals in a reusable bag for you to keep as long as you like. When you’re ready to switch it up, send back the item and choose another to replace it with. They call this a swap. If you really don’t want to let go of that dress or those shoes, no worries. You can purchase them!
- The style quiz is comprehensive and fun.
- You can set a monthly budget for the clothes you purchase.
- Stitch Fix doesn’t require a monthly subscription.
- They have lines for men, and kids as well as maternity.
- The quality of clothing can be inconsistent.
- Patience is key for the first couple of boxes until you and your stylist get into a groove.
Overall, I’d say the pros outweigh the cons for Stitch Fix. While yes, the quality of clothing can vary, that’s because they have a huge selection of affordable items and nicer pieces. It’s also really nice that you can set a budget range for what you’d like to spend on each item, and I’m not kidding when I say the style quiz is FUN!
- Free shipping and returns.
- Members get steep deals and discounts on designer items.
- RTR professionally cleans each item before you receive it, and they include rental coverage for minor tears and stains.
- You can keep the items as long as you want, no return dates.
- Wear designer clothing at a fraction of the cost it would be to purchase.
- If you lose or severely damage the clothing, you’ll be charged the retail price. That can be a hefty price tag.
- Rent the Runway doesn’t carry mens lines.
With a large range in price and quality, Stitch Fix is a great one-stop shop. Their prices range from $25 to $500, but you can set a budget depending on what you’re comfortable spending. The $20 stylist fee can also be deducted from the price of any of the items you decide to keep. If they hit it spot on, and you love all 5 items, you can save 25% on your whole box. What a deal!
As I mentioned before, you have a couple of options to get started with Rent The Runway. You could do a one-time rental for special occasions. The price will vary depending on the item, the dates you need it for, and how long you plan on keeping it. Prices for one-time rentals start at $30.
Or you can pick a subscription option! There are three rental tiers in RTR and they are as follows:
- 4 items per month (one box), but you’ll only have access to their Basic Closet. This is $94/month, but they have a promotion where the first month will only cost you $69.
- 8 items per month (2 boxes), and you have access to their Full Closet. You’ll get a box every other week, receiving 4 items at a time. The cost for this plan is $144/month, with the first two months being promotional at $99/month.
- 16 items per month (4 boxes) with full closet access. Get a new box of rentals every week to keep your wardrobe completely fresh! The cost for this option is $235/month, with the first two months being $149/month as a promotion.
Both of these services offer a wide range of brands, styles and sizes.
There’s no shortage of brand variety at Stitch Fix. They carry a selection from popular brands such as TOMS, Dolce Vita, Cole Haan, Sperry, etc. Your box will have a variety of items ranging from tops, to dresses, to slacks, to shoes.
Sizing at Stitch Fix is as follows:
- Women’s 0 – 24 W (they have a Stitch Fix plus option)
- Men’s XS – 3XL
- Children 2T – 14
They also have a Maternity line!
Rent the Runway also has no shortage in brand options. They carry high end brands such as Tory Burch, Madewell, and Tanya Taylor. You can find anything from accessories to dresses to activewear.
Sizing for RTR is standard and dependent on each individual item. They also include plus size items up to size 16. They don’t have a size guide on their website, but instead encourage you to read the reviews of others who have rented that specific piece of clothing for their individual sizing tips. For a one-time rental, RTR will send you two different sizes to make sure you have the perfect fit for your event. So cool!
Wow. That was a lot of information. Overall, if you’re just looking to update your wardrobe every once in a while and don’t want to spend an arm and a leg, Stitch Fix is your best bet. They have great everyday options to choose from, and you can order the box as consistently as you’d like.
If you’re wanting to get your hands on something designer, but don’t want to spend the money, Rent the Runway is your new bestie! Depending on the frequency of new shipments, it can be more pricey, and you need to be careful that something major doesn’t happen to your rental, or you’ll be footing the bill.