Over the past few years I’ve been sharing a few outfits that come from my beloved Rent the Runway Unlimited subscription…and from newcomer to my wardrobe, Nuuly. Naturally, since rental is still an up-and-coming format for most of us, I’ve gotten a lot of questions.
Which is better, Rent the Runway or Nuuly? Which do you like more? What’s Nuuly? Which should I get?
The short answer is: they’re both amazing…but different. I plan to keep both plans because they provide value to my life and allow me to keep my wardrobe fresh but avoid contributing to the impact fast fashion has on the environment. Let me break it down for you.
What are Rent the Runway Memberships?
Rent the Runway Memberships are the subscription arm to the Rent the Runway you may know: renting a special dress or accessory for a particular date for a few days and then returning it. There are three Rent the Runway memberships (Rent the Runway Unlimited is no more, RIP): the 4 item out per month plan for $69 your first month, the 8 item out per month plan with 2 shipments a month starting at $99 for your first two months, and the 16 item out per month plan with 4 shipments starting at $149 for the first two months (this is the plan I have, that replaced Rent the Runway Unlimited). With these plans as soon as you’re ready to switch, you hit “return” in the app and you’re automatically allowed to replace the items that moment. So if you are returning 4 items, you can order four new items automatically.
Since I live in a major city, I’m able to switch out things using RTR’s return vehicle which changes locations in DC every day, or return items via FedEx pickup from my doorstep. I also send them back a big bag of their hangers and dry-cleaning bags so they can reuse them. Sustainability score!
There used to be a RTR store in Georgetown near me, but since the pandemic, that has closed. RTR has changed their subscriptions so that using FedEx is a simple process: I hit return on my items, pick out new ones, and they’re usually there the next day or the day after. As for returning, FedEx allows you to schedule a pickup (free!) and collects your items for you, or you can drop off at a FedEx store or participating FedEx drop off location (like your local Walgreens). Then value of this subscription is INVALUABLE for fashionistas who want to constantly switch up their wardrobe, or if your body is in flux (pregnancy, weight-loss/gain) and you need different sizes (yes they do have maternity items), or if you’re looking for really high quality items but can’t afford the price tag. With this subscription, you can pause or skip a month at any time. The Rent the Runway app reminds you of deliveries, allows you to see awesome “edits” of the RTR closet (it is VAST), and put your faves into lists like “Spring 2021” or “Pink Aesthetic.”
*Full disclosure, I am a RTR Ambassador, but was using the subscription for a full year before I was asked to participate!
- Cost: $199 per month for the 16 item /4 swap. Add more slots for $39 a month. The NEW 1 swap plan is $89 (swap one item out per month, price listed is before before discount), and the 2 swap is $135 a month (swap two items out per month, price listed is before the discount).
- Special discounts for first time users?: Yes! Use code RTRKELLYLYNNE for 40% off 2 months of RTR’s 8 and 16 item memberships.
- Delivery wait time: up to 2 business days if you’re getting a delivery to your house/a private address. If you’re in NYC, they still have a store and you can swap out any time there.
- Number of items at a time: Four slots that you can switch up with bags, accessories, clothing, workout gear, and even West Elm decor! You can add extra slots for $39 a per slot. Obviously, this is different for the new 1 swap and 2 swap plans.
- Accessibility: Delivery wherever via FedEx, store in NYC only at this time. Return items in store, or at a FedEx store or participating drop-off like the DC van or a FedEx drop off location.
- Pause/Skip?/Cancel: At any time through the app
- Tips: Going on a trip? Send your RTR bag to the address you’ll be at and skip having to pack those clothes in your bag.
- App?: Yes, it’s awesome!
- Favorite Rentals: Kate spade purses, Christian Siriano cocktail dresses, Tanya Taylor silk dresses and suits, Jonathan Simkai dress, Theory and Rebecca Taylor suits, Gucci sunglasses, Lululemon puffer, Caroline Constas and Hutch maxis, Farm Rio maxis and linen short suit. Nicholas dresses.
What is Nuuly?
Nuuly is a newer rental option that combines URBN companies and the brands that they sell. Don’t know what URBN is? It’s the brand that owns Free People, Urban Outfitters, and Anthropologie. Nuuly’s clothing is typically a cheaper price point than Rent the Runway, and typically is home to more indie designers, more trendy items, and more affordable options (which is great, because you have the option to buy your Nuuly items!). They also offer vintage, mostly t-shirts and denim. Nuuly sends out six items at a time (you can purchase more slots, up to eight slots) and you keep them for the whole month. No switching. Nuuly sends the items in a lined reusable zipper tote with no plastic packaging, which makes it more sustainable than other rental sites that rely on plastic packaging to keep clothing dry back and forth from delivery.
- Cost: $88 per month for 6 clothing items, add two more slots for $18/each
- Special discounts for first time users?: Yes, you can get $20 off your first month using this code by clicking this link!
- Delivery wait time: 1-2 business days (seriously, it’s sooo fast!) via UPS
- Number of items at a time: 6 (or add up to 8 slots for $18 each) per month. This includes only clothing. You keep them for the whole month, no swaps.
- Accessibility: Online only, no stores. Nuuly items are from Free People, Anthropologie, and Urban Outfitters, etc. Return via UPS store or UPS participating pickup (like some CVS locations).
- Pause/Skip?/Cancel: Pause / cancel at any time
- Tips: Definitely add those extra slots. This subscription has great items, and your first Nuuly comes with a little “emergency” kit that you can use to spruce up your clothes for the month. Make “lists” in a private Pinterest board so you can keep your favorites organized.
- App?: Yep! You can add things to your closet from the app, but sadly no lists (yet!)
- Favorite Rentals: Free people gauzy dress, Girl Meets Glam sequin cocktail dress and sundresses, Avec Les Filles gauze trench coat, Anthropologie polka dot off the shoulder dress, Rococo Sand maxis, Hutch x Maxey Greene collection, Sui by Anna Sui brocade set.
*This post contains affiliate links in the form of discounts to both subscriptions! Thank you for your support!