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I Tried NUULY and I am in Love (about that one time I tried a clothes rental service)

Unboxing is all the rage and I’ve tried a few over the years. Rachel Zoe Box of Style, which was fun at first (and who doesn’t love their tagline “Hello Gorgeous“?), but there are only so many kimonos, clutches and giant belts a girl needs. 

I tried but never actually ordered Stitchfix. People swear by them, but every time I got “styled” it just wasn’t me. Clearly I’m not doing a good job describing my style or maybe I’m not a typical 51-year-old, whatever the reason I never liked anything they threw together and cancelled almost instantly. 

But today? Today I received my box from nuuly. And I am THRILLED.

So thrilled I took a bunch of photos on a day when I shouldn’t have. Full disclosure said photos are of me unshowered (for 2 days), unfiltered, unmake-up-ed, and uninterested in doing anything but lounge about in my pajamas and read. This happens to me every once in a while (please tell me it happens to you sometimes too).

I just started a new med for an autoimmune disorder and I think it has a lot to do with that. So, I was hunkering down until I started to feel a little more normal when I got a text. I was dreading reading it (that’s how antisocial I become when I’m not feeling well), but then I read this:

“NUULY NEWS | Your Nuuly has been delivered.”

Wait. What?

I just ordered it Wednesday.


And I thought ‘this is worth getting off the couch for.’

It SO was.

First let me say it arrived all neatly packaged in a reusable shipping container/bag made from post consumer recycled plastic. Even the shipping label is reusable (swoon), and

inside was this little “Pinch Provisions for nuuly” box and note “in case of linty, static-y, wrinkly clothing emergencies.”

It includes a lint brush, double sided tape, wrinkle remover, deodorant removing sponge and static remover. Double swoon.

They had me at hello.

Do you think I get to keep it?? I really hope so. Also I am e- mailing them right now to ask.

*update, YESSSSS, this girl is mine.

Okay, back to the beginning and then on to the clothes in the box.

I was at work Wednesday helping a client make changes to her investments. There were a lot of investments which meant a lot of phone calls and on line searches for the right forms and all the rules surrounding said forms. I got bored on one of the long phone calls and saw an ad for nully clothing rental (I was googling an investment company and somehow got nully). Clothes shopping is not actually what I’m paid to do, but in my defense I was trying to work.

Really cute.

So I took a quick look. They’re owned by URBN — as in the company behind Anthropologie, Free People and Urban Outfitters. And for $88 you can rent 6 items. I’ve been burned by a rental company before after I couldn’t get the sizing or styling right so I was skeptical. Turns out, nully lets you browse before you commit to anything. And when I browsed I saw lots of items already in my Anthro cart (where I put things I love in hopes they’ll hit the clearance sale). So I bit.

In under 5 minutes I went through and added some favorites to my closet (my nully virtual closet), then clicked the “show available” filter to see what I could rent right now (I thought this was going to be the catch, but there were LOTS of good choices available).  I added 6 things and got back to the beneficiary changing I was originally doing.

And then I forgot all about it until today (2 days later). 

When all of this arrived:

So here’s the round up of what I ordered and how I like them:

Item 1 — Maeve Parkside Knit dress that I tried on at Anthropologie and loved but opted not to buy because I have a terrible habit of buying dresses and never wearing them. Full retail price is $150 but if I never wear it, that’s a terrible decision. I was SO proud of myself for refraining (though I was hoping to see it in the 40% clearance sale — no such luck yet). But 6 items for $88 makes it less than $15 to wear for a month. Done. And it really is a great, easy dress to wear.

This is it w/ NO spanx or tights or anything else smoothing underneath (it's so much better with all of those underneath).

It’s a no brainer for work and easily dresses down w/ a denim jacket and booties or up with jewelry and heels.

Item 2 —Jolene Wool Cowl Neck Sweater (also Anthro) retail $98. Another no brainer. I love cowl necks, anything navy, and the fun funnel sleeves. It literally works with almost everything I own. Here it is with my own jeans, and it works with both the Pilcro pants and Free People denim skirt I added to my order.

Item 3 — Mary Knit Pullover (Anthro) retail $120. I loved this in the photo, but on me not so much. I chalk it up to being a broad shouldered gal, which means the keyhole opening shows more of a giant heart shaped chicken skin piece of real estate on me, and I just don’t like how it looks. That said, I can cover it up w/ a scarf, and might try it over a slim T or camisole, I like everything else about it, color, weight, sleeves, so I think I can make it work.

Item 4 — Ultra High-Rise Seamed Wide-Leg Jeans Pilcro (Anthro) retail $140. Here’s where I started to go a little sideways. I know what size I am in Pilcro and it is NOT the size I ordered. Admittedly in addition to the buying-dresses-I- never-wear habit I also tend to buy my clothes (especially pants) way too big. You know how they grow as you wear them and by the end of the day sometimes they’re too big? That usually happens to me by the time I’m getting coffee in the morning before I’ve left the house. With these, I got a size close to my size because my actual size wasn’t available. Word to the wise, don’t do that.

So they’re kind of giant in the waist and doing something funnyish near the zipper, but it’s not their fault. And I’m still going to wear them.

Again for less than $15, I’m okay with not having the perfect fit (especially when it’s entirely my fault).

Styled with 2 other things from my order — pretty good, right?

Also I threw them in thinking they would look good with an orange suede bell sleeved shirt one of my besties bought me at a cool consignment shop in OC NJ on an annual girls weekend (more on all of that later).

They don’t. But I’m still on a mission to find the right thing to go with my orange girl.

Item 5 — Colby Bomber Jacket (Anthro again) retail $150. This jacket rocks. It would rock even more if I’d bothered to read the reviews and realized nearly everyone said it runs small.

It does. So, it’s a little smaller than I would normally wear a jacket, but here it is thrown over the t-shirt I slept in and some semi-clean jeans, and I think it’s a win. I ran to Starbucks and the grocery store in this and felt great. It works even better over a slim dress or camisole and I’ll definitely get my $15 out of it.

Item 6 — Rhiannon Denim Maxi Skirt (Free People), retail $128. This was a risky choice (it shows a LOT of leg). I’d never tried it on, but I did see a Free People sales associate in it and thought she looked A-MAZING. She’s also about 22 and looks amazing in everything, but still.

I doubt I’m the demographic this was designed for, but I threw it in my order anyway. And while I don’t think I’ll wear it to work, it is SO fun, and goes with pretty much anything and everything I already own.  A great staple and ideal for the not quite fall weather we’ve been having in RVA until today. Add a leopard belt, white T, tank, jacket, or any of the three tops in this order and booties. Done.

So, that’s my round up. And for a box I threw together in no time at all, it’s a huge win. In hindsight I should have taken my time and made more careful decisions. But, if it went this well with minimal thought and effort, it can only get better.

You know how if you feel good and are having a good hair day then almost anything you try on looks good? Well, this is the opposite. I liked ALL these clothes on a day I sunk to a new low in personal hygiene and felt like absolute dog crap. That’s saying something. 

But now I’m looking at these pictures and cringing about ev-er-y-thing I’m showing…the green painted floors (a work in progress). I ripped up carpet upstairs and found GORGEOUS hard wood floors in one room and these God-awful Kermit the Frog painted green ones in the other. Sigh. Look at all the weird things that need to put away (actually don’t look, please don’t look, just look at the clothes) and let’s not get started on me. But THIS is how impressed I am with nuuly, and I couldn't wait to share. Also I am way too lazy to clean up, shower and retake any of these photos.

My take? — highly, highly recommend.

As in stop what you’re doing right now and go check them out. This is not about someone else styling you, this is about YOU styling you in clothes you love, in the size you want and getting to wear 6 new things (all of mine arrived in pristine condition) for one month. Here’s my advice on how to make it work well:

Pick something you KNOW you’ll love. A no-brainer. For me the dress I already tried on was it. And the navy cowl neck sweater. I will live in that sweater (I’m wearing it now).

Check the retail price and take advantage of a splurge item. I didn’t do this, but wish I had. There are TONS of Anthro things I’m priced out of  (even on the 40% clearance sale), this is a cool way to wear them at less than $15/each. Win.

Read. The. Reviews. All of them. Not just on the Nuuly site, but on the retail site too. They really do help. And leave reviews. PLEASE. With photos, I know, I know, but if I can post these here, you can post ‘em too.

Add a risk item. Something you wouldn’t normally buy. The denim skirt was my 'take a chance item', and I actually love it. And not everything has to work for work.

Take. Your. Time. I didn’t and managed to do well, but take the time to look through all their stuff and add what you love to your “closet”. Think about how they’ll work together and with what you already own (and maybe don’t try to build a wardrobe around an orange suede shirt). You don’t have to do it all at once, shop a little at a time until you have an order you love.

Have fun.

I just sent the photos to my girl — there’s nothing like the feedback of a 19-year-old, especially if it’s good  (stay tuned). *Update – the feedback is good!!

It will be awesome to share with her, especially during rush or vacations/special events. You can keep the items for longer than a month if you want, buy them, or put your subscription on hold at any time. What you can’t do is swap out an item if the size or style isn’t quite right (again, Read. The. Reviews.). Also you can try on LOTS of these items at the retail store. $88 for 6 items. How great is that?? 

So, what do you think??

Here is a discount code to save $10 if you want to try them (or PM me and I can e-mail it to you).

And now back to our normally scheduled SAT/College Prep blogging; not worrying about your wardrobe saves you time and money. You’re going to need that additional time and money (so much of both) to make your way through the college prep years. Acumen Test Prep can help with that.

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