July 24, 2013

{STYLE} Is Gwynnie Bee the Answer to Wardrobe Fatigue?

Though, objectively, I know that I have way too much clothing for my own good - I often find myself looking into my packed-from-wall-to-wall closet and exasperating that there's "nothing to wear." It's a problem I run into more often than I'd like to admit, especially as the seasons change or I have a special event or meeting that calls for something outside of my uniform-du-semain. In these moments I often cave and do a little bit of impulse shopping, only to find that those pieces rarely get worn often enough to justify their purchase. Ah, enter the solution to many of my problems.... Gwynnie Bee, or as I and many friends have dubbed it, "Wardrobe Netflix." Continue...

Dress: ASOS Curve via Gwynnie Bee, Belt: ASOS Curve, Bag: Miu Miu, Shoes: c/o Schutz Shoes

I first learned of Gwynnie Bee from twitter, when some of my favorite plus-size bloggers started chatting about the service and their growing selection. They had favorites from designers like Carmakoma and Mynt 1792 and Simply Be, -- and, actually, the tally is now up to nearly 100 brands, all available for "rental" with pre-paid return envelopes. The list of brands is impressive and exhaustive - even including a selection from just-on-the-market Jaime, BB Dakota's new plus-size line, and even includes some highly coveted pieces from seasons past. The model is simple enough, you select a plan that is priced according to the number of garments you can borrow at a time (and then send back for more) - starting at $35 for 1-garment-at-a-time and ranging up to $159 for 10-garments-at-a-time (a plan that might promise you never have to actually buy clothes again). As for sizing, there are items ranging from size 10 through 32, capturing an enormous range of the curvy-and-full-figured fashion market. 

I was hesitant at first, but when I think about how often I look into my closet and feel like there's nothing to wear, Gwynnie Bee becomes the perfect supplement to any curvy girl's wardrobe. I think there are a handful of obvious benefits, especially for someone like me who likes to try out new styles and new designers on the regular. A short list, just for my own sake:

1.) I don't have to fall into a pattern of hyper consumption at the mercy of my impulses or wardrobe fatigue. Instead, when I'm craving something new or different, I can borrow it, get a few wears out of it, then send it back for something new. Rinse, lather, repeat!
2.) I don't have to buy clothing for occasions that I might not wear again. Maybe it's a blazer for an important meeting with a client, or a formal dress for a wedding, or maybe I just need something with that little extra "wow" factor for a special night out with my boo? Looking back, there are so many occasions that I wish something like Gwynnie Bee existed in my life! Oh, the pain and anguish it would have eased...
3.) Perhaps there's a new style that I'm just not sure about? I can try it on, risk free, and if it ends up not working out for me, back it goes -- without having to deal with my mistake staring back at me from the depths of my closet, (oh, come on, we all have those).
4.) Experimenting with new colors and patterns and yay! This is something I can definitely get behind.
5.) Access to an enormous range of designers - from trendy, a la mode pieces to super luxe, high end designers like Anna Scholz and Rani Zakhem) at one, accessible price point. That just might be the best part.

It doesn't solve the closet-full-of-clothes dilemma (I'm dealing with that, little-by-little) - but Gwynnie Bee seems like it will most certainly help me from acquiring more from here on out - and, of course, keeping my style fresh!

So -- after trying it, I'm on a 5-garments-at-a-time plan, and my "closet" (a running list of items you want to keep on hold for when you return currently checked-out pieces) is filled with dresses from Jaime and Carmakoma and Jessica Simpson Collection and honestly, I can't wait for my next shipment to arrive - it'll be just in time for my roadtrip to The South, where I'll surely need all the easy, breezy dresses I can get my hands on.

Want to try Gwynnie Bee for yourself? They're offering my readers a special bonus for signing up in the next two weeks -- add on one free garment for your first two months of membership. Not bad, eh? 

This post was created in partnership with Gwynnie Bee. I have been sponsored to try the service, but the commentary and opinions are 100% my own.

All photos by the inimitable Lydia Hudgens


  1. woah what I great concept!

  2. Love the dress. BTW, all of your photos load so slowly. Is there a way that you can in a digital format make them a smaller jpg or other format so they'll load faster. Takes for-ever.

  3. Aimee L'amourJuly 24, 2013 at 12:40 PM

    Love the sparkly shoes!!!

    Aimee x

  4. I just resized all the images on this post, and will go back and do the same for previous posts when I have time! Would love to know if you find a difference in the speed of the site :) Thanks so much for the feedback, I really appreciate it!!

  5. I really liked the idea of Gwynnie Bee, but found that they often didn't have my size in ANYTHING in my closet for weeks at a time. It's also hard to get a certain item for an event or occasion. I hope to go back to them after they've grown a bit more and have more stock in sizes.

  6. I'm always in dead envy of your shoes. If only my feet weren't that hair too wide to be comfortable in regular shoes! My woes!

  7. Do you know if GB ships to APO/FPO addresses?


  8. I love reading your blog for the word zingers that I may run across that will slightly stump me on the meaning and cause me to look it up. Usually... I have no problem, even if it is foreign but dearie I am unable to Google or find the meaning of uniform-du-semain; neither by taking a crash course in French or piecing together each individual pronunciation. I am at a lost and the the wild guess that I am taking is "uniform of the week?"

  9. I just read about Gwynnie Bee recently and signed up. I'm doing one garment at a time. I put 6 maxi dresses in my closet that I would want to wear to a picnic/baby shower on Saturday. One dress came yesterday, fits great, it's a bit long but I had read that in the comments and have an idea to help with that come Saturday.

  10. Great idea if it works. Probably easier on ones bank account either. What if you love a piece, After trying, y0u go and actually buy it? I may just know who you may have inherited your impulsive shopping habits from :) Looking good darling.

  11. Great idea if it actually works and hopefully less damaging to ones bank account. What if you try a piece and love it? Do you have the option to buy at a reduced price or what? I may just know who you have inherited your impulsive shopping habits from. Hahaha. Looking cute here darling. Can't wait to see you.

  12. I just quite gwynnie bee for a while after too many misses. I'm on the larger end of plus sizes, and at a 24/26, my choices felt limited. Some brands don't go up as high, and when I tried others, they didn't fit. With just one item at a time, this sometimes means I paid a monthly fee for nothing - as I'd often have a couple busts in a row. They have AWESOME customer service and a nice selection. For someone on the smaller end of the spectrum, I can see where it would pay off. I'll probably be back, but it would be nice to see some more of the higher end stuff and some more 24, 26, 28's where they can get them.

  13. From an actual French-Canadian Nicolette fan (me!), here's how the "uniform of the week" must be spelled: uniforme-de-la-semaine.
    ;-) There! It was almost right.
    @ Nicolette; Love that look on you! Ces belles jupes amples sont magiques sur ta silhouette.

  14. Caity @ Moi Contre La VieAugust 2, 2013 at 12:29 PM

    That sounds amazing - Thank you for the fabulous recommendation! <3

  15. hahaha, thank you! it was honestly just a for fun. i tend to make up little phrases... creative license, et al :) Always appreciate a language lesson, though!!


  16. I'm sorry I missed this! One thing I would do to instantly shorten it is to add a belt to the mix. Just that hint of cinching at the waist can translate into a couple of inches in length! Something to keep in mind next time :)

  17. I used a double sided fabric tape and just tucked the hemline up. It didn't look great but at an outside picnic no one was looking at the dress.
    This dress was just a little too long for the belt, it's something I do with a few of my other maxi dresses. It's a great tip!

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