Saturday, May 07, 2016

Le Tote: First Tote Review and Comparison to Gwynnie Bee

Note: This is an unsolicited, uncompensated review. I got a discount offer on Le Tote that went out to their mailing list but otherwise paid for my own subscription. I was also a paid subscriber to Gwynnie Bee. This is my honest comparison of both services.

I still miss my Gwynnie Bee subscription. I cancelled it when I was worried about my work contract ending, and to try to get our budget into line, I decided to wait to consider resubscribing until I have permanent employment (I'm still a contractor). I was paying $79 a month for three items out at a time, but now the new price is $95 for the same plan, and by canceling, I lost my price lock.

In the meantime, I missed the fun of having something new to wear all the time, so I decided to try Le Tote when I got an offer for a discounted first month. Their regular monthly price is $59 for three clothing items plus two accessories.

The two services are a lot different. So far, I think Gwynnie Bee is a better value if you're a size 10 or up. How could three items a month plus two accessories for $59 not be a better deal than three items for $95? The difference is in how the two services work.

With Gwynnie Bee, my box of clothing came with multiple return envelopes, so I could swap items one or two at a time. I was able to get something new almost once a week as a result. With Le Tote, all the items have to be returned at once. Everything that does not go back in the prepaid envelope would be charged to my account. I just returned my first tote, so I'll have to see what the turnaround time is, but I doubt that I will squeeze three totes into my discounted month.

I also didn't like any of the items in this first tote as much as the average Gwynnie Bee item. The printed jacket was fun, and seemed high-quality, but the orange shirt was just a thin cotton tee, and shorter than it looked in the photo. I wore the jacket and tee together to work on Friday, and wore the black and white top on Thursday, but I didn't get compliments on my clothes like I did when I wore GB. The earrings were beautiful but bigger than I thought they were, which made them too heavy for my ears. And the scarf, which was pretty, was a weird fabric that all stuck together, so I couldn't get it to look right.

Finally, I'm guessing Le Tote doesn't have a large selection of clothes in my size. I was able to customize my tote, but I didn't see a lot of things I loved in the choices. I suspect because I am at the top of the sizing range, there just wasn't that much that would work. GB is made for women size 10 and up, so almost everything came in my size. I also realized when browsing the clothing that the models in the GB photos also gave me a better idea of what clothes are going to look like on me. Plus the customer reviews helped me to know when something was going to look different than the photo made it seem.

I'll check in again after I complete my first month on Le Tote, but so far, I'm Team Gwynnie Bee.

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