The Cute-Clothes Solution When You're Losing Weight

Okay, what size am I today?
When your size drops, it can be a reason to celebrate. But it also means that a whole lot of stuff in your closet just became unusable. What's a slimming-down style maven to do?

One of the challenges nobody really thinks about when they set out to lose weight is how the heck to dress yourself when your size is (hopefully) always getting smaller. It’s a good problem to have, but it’s still definitely a problem.

As your old clothes start to get too big, but you’re not quite where you want to be, how do you continue to look good without wasting money on clothes that might be useless after just a few wearings?

Luckily, the sharing economy has an answer. That’s right, the same trend that brought us AirBnb, ZipCar, and Task Rabbit also has a burgeoning industry in…renting clothes.

One of the earlier entrants into the space was Rent the Runway, a service the New York Times called “a Netflix Model for Haute Couture.”  Women who can’t afford a $1,000 dress for a single event can use the service to rent a high-end piece for a fraction of the cost.

Originally focused on special events, Rent the Runway has now branched out to include a subscription “Unlimited” service where you pay $139 per month and can rotate three items at a time in and out of your closet. You keep each item for as long as you like, then send it back when you’re ready to replace it with a new one.

A few lower-price point options are Le Tote (sizes 0-16) and Gwynnie Bee (sizes 10-32).

For $49 per month, Le Tote will send you a “tote” with three clothing items and two accessories. When you want to switch it up, simply send back your tote and they’ll send you out a new one. You get unlimited switches per month and Le Tote handles all the cleaning. Fall in love with something in your tote? You can buy it at a discounted price by just keeping it when you send everything else back. Le Tote also offers insurance for $5 to cover any damage that may happen while you’re wearing the clothes.

Gwynnie Bee has a range of subscription options, from one item per month ($35) to 10 items per month ($159). One nice feature with this service is that you can swap out any number of items at a time—you don’t have to wait until you’re ready to switch everything out at one time. Similarly to Le Tote, if you want to keep something from your box, simply pay a discounted price and hold on to it. Gwynnie Bee also has a standalone store where you can purchase items that have been retired from rotation at a steep discount.

A few things to consider when renting clothes:

  • These are clothes that are being rented to multiple people; they may show light wear and tear.
  • You won’t always be able to get exactly what you want when you want it, so (except for the original Rent the Runway service) this may not be your best bet for a special event or vacation.
  • When in doubt, take advantage of styling services to help you choose clothes that will work for you.

Renting clothes is a serious lifesaver when you’re on the weight loss wagon. But be careful! Once people start noticing your seemingly endless wardrobe, you may fall in love with this approach to managing your closet and never buy a dress again!

Make it WayBetter

Make a promise to yourself that you won't buy any of the clothes you rent until you reach your goal weight. Once you're there, purchasing the items you've rented will be a special treat--plus, it'll give you an incentive to stay at that size!