| Published on: January 2nd, 2024
TL;DR: I tried Nuuly to expand my closet and experiment with new styles. I acquired some great additions to my wardrobe, though it took a fair amount of time and effort to find suitable pieces. These are the key takeaways from my honest review of Nuuly:
- Nuuly is a great way to try new styles, update your closet, or get items for special occasions that you’re only going to wear once.
- Clothing rental services help combat fast fashion consumption.
- Nuuly rental pieces can be hit or miss in terms of quality and style.
Buying new and cute clothing is an addictive rush. Fast fashion preys on that addiction, but constantly adding to my wardrobe isn’t sustainable, and that puts me in a bind.
Enter Nuuly, a clothing rental service designed to solve the dilemma.
I like continuously trying new designers and brands, testing the limits of my style with statement pieces, and cutting down on that fast fashion guilt.
I tried Nuuly for seven months, on and off, from November 2022 to August 2023. During those seven months, I tried 44 items and bought eight of them: a mix of pants, sweaters, and dresses.
In this honest Nuuly review, I’ll give you an overview of what I thought about the clothing rental subscription experience and review each piece I ended up buying.
By the end of this review, you’ll know exactly what to expect if you try them, too!
- Nuuly is a sustainable way to refresh your wardrobe, particularly when you need to spruce up your wardrobe or want fun pieces for upcoming events.
- While it might turn some people off that items come pre-worn, there are advantages, too. The number of reviews for most products helped me determine if things would fit correctly for my body shape. I liked having access to overall thoughts from other renters.
- The renting-to-buying process is straightforward.
- You get a discount based on how used the piece of clothing is.
- You can get discontinued products or products that are never in stock (like the Ponte pants, which are never in stock on the Anthropologie website).
- It can be expensive to use Nuuly as a way to update your closet since you’re paying ~$100 just to rent six pieces of clothing for a month. The pieces themselves are generally anywhere from $70-$120 each to purchase after the discount.
- You can only see if an item has good reviews once you click on it. Unless you enjoy online shopping, it can feel like a time-suck to pick out your clothes every month.
- Nuuly clothing is quite trendy but more geared toward Gen Z.
- Nuuly never removed pieces, even with poor reviews. Also, because these are usually used pieces of clothing, some can feel worn out.
- The quality of a lot of items on Nuuly was hit or miss despite higher prices. Some brands just didn’t have good quality control or materials, even though they price their clothing high.
- You’re stuck with what you get for the month. There’s no way to replace an item in your bag until next month’s rental.
What is Nuuly?
Nuuly is a clothing rental subscription service. Like some other clothing rental platforms, it allows you to purchase the pieces after your rental period.
Nuuly’s popularity grew because its clothing collection primarily comes from trendy brands like Anthropologie, Free People, and Urban Outfitters.
These brands are on the mid to higher end of pricing, and people love to access those clothes at a discount.
How it Works
After paying the $98 per month Nuuly rental fee, you can shop on their site.
You can choose up to six items to rent each month. If you want bonus items, you can add them to your order at an extra cost.
The items arrive packed in a reusable Nuuly bag. From there, you have one month to wear the pieces you chose. This allows you to test Nuuly clothing in real time across multiple days.
At the end of your monthly rental, you pack the clothing up in the same bag and ship it back. Alternatively, if you’ve fallen in love with a piece, you can buy it at a discount and keep it permanently.
Assuming you continue the subscription, you start the whole process again the following month.
The subscription repeats each month on whichever day you first started it, so you’ll want to make sure you choose a date that works well each month for your schedule.
For example, I liked getting my clothes at the start of every month, so I made sure to begin my Nuuly subscription on the 1st, so it would always restart on the 1st of every month.
A Quick Look at Nuuly as a Company
Nuuly launched in 2019 to help women get creative with their existing style and discover new styles and trendy clothes.
Many of their clothing pieces come from those popular brands mentioned above, but they utilize more than 1,000 other third-party brands in their collection. Because of this, I’ve discovered a lot of new I like brands through using Nuuly.
Unfortunately, there’s no free trial with the Nuuly membership. To gain access, you must become a full member. Membership costs $98 a month and includes up to six pieces of clothing to rent.
Nuuly Review: My Experience With Nuuly Clothing
I started using Nuuly to spruce up my wardrobe with new styles and to get some fun pieces for a variety of things we did throughout the year.
Most notably, I had a few trips coming up and some weddings to attend. I’m a sucker for dresses, so Nuuly was a great way to get some cute new formal dresses that I could wear once without committing them to my closet forever.
I also wanted to expand my sweater collection and add a few fun sweaters to my closet.
In the end, I found some great pieces. I’d rate my overall experience with Nuuly somewhere between neutral and good.
Nuuly isn’t as high tier or expensive as services like Rent the Runway, which I tested for about six months as well. But I found it to be trendier than other clothing subscriptions like Stitch Fix.
The one thing I noticed with Nuuly is that the quality of pieces was hit or miss, regardless of the retail price. Having a Nuuly subscription was a good reminder that just because something has a high price doesn’t always mean materials or overall quality match that price tag.
Before launching into detail about the pieces I did keep, I’ll briefly discuss what I didn’t keep.
Fit was the primary deciding factor for what I kept vs what I didn’t, as well as how often I thought I would wear something. If I kept a piece of clothing, it had to fit me and my closet very well to justify the price.
For example, I tried a few Nuuly jumpsuits but found they were consistently too short for someone who is 5’10 like me. Comfort was important, too–I didn’t keep many of the sweaters because they felt too scratchy.
Despite a few misses, there were eight excellent pieces I decided to hold on to.
Harmon Jacquard Tee
I tried this Harmon Jacquard Tee in black, size small.
After wearing this sweater and loving the fun pattern and softness, I decided to give it as a gift to my sister-in-law who loves cats.
This goes to show that you can come across good gifts for your loved ones with a service like Nuuly, too!
Chunky Knit Sweater
I tried this Chunky Knit Sweater in ivory, size small.
This is the chunkiest sweater of the three I bought from Nuuly. I love having this staple in my closet, and I wear it a ton during winter–the white goes with everything.
I don’t have any negatives with this piece; it’s become my go-to choice for colder weather.
Jamie Open Back Midi Dress
I tried this Jamie Open Back Midi Dress in terra cotta, size medium.
This dress feels high quality, and I love the length.
Of the two Nuuly dresses I bought, I wear this one less. It’s not because of the quality, only because of the design.
Between the large slit in the leg and the open back, it’s a little harder to wear. I always need to wear a sticky bra with an open back, and the slit makes it too revealing for family functions, so occasions to wear it come up less.
But I love it! It’s great for spring, summer and fall. I’ve worn it for wine tasting, brunch, and weekend trips.
The Colette Ponte Pants
I tried these Colette Ponte Pants in black, size 28 (tall).
The Colette Ponte pants are my favorite item from Nuuly and I’ve even turned a couple of friends onto how amazing these pants are. I still wear them at least once a week (if not two or three)
They’re a substantial weight, so they’re not as great for travel, but they’re fantastic as everyday pants for work or drinks with friends.
The aspect I love most about them is their comfortable high-waisted and loose (but not too loose) fit–it feels like they were made specifically for my body.
One note about the Colette pants: I love these pants so much that I tried out a bunch of other Colette pant colors and patterns via Nuuly. Ultimately, the black pair remains my favorite. The other Colette pants on Nuuly weirdly come in different materials (like these, these, and these) and they just don’t measure up the same.
I tried this Alee Sweater in brown, size small.
This sweater is easy to wear since it’s on the lighter side but still warm. I love the animal print and the color!
When I was talking about adding more fun sweaters to my collection, this is what I imagined.
I often pair this sweater with the Ponte pants–I appreciate that such an easy, go-to, cute outfit has come together from this pair.
Leopard Wool Coat
I tried this Leopard Wool Coat in yellow multi, size medium.
I adore this coat. It makes me feel like a cougar from Desperate Housewives. It’s definitely a statement piece and one that I probably wouldn’t have bought for myself without trying it first through Nuuly.
I’ve received many compliments on this coat since I bought it. It’s super warm, and I’ve worn it all around the Bay Area, especially on chilly nights in San Francisco.
The only con to this coat is that it looks and feels slightly more worn than other pieces I’ve purchased from Nuuly.
That’s one thing to keep in mind with Nuuly–most of the pieces are used and might be worn many times before you rent them.
But that’s also why clothing is discounted for purchases and continues to get more discounted the more times it has been rented.
Cable Sleeve Turtleneck Sweater
I tried this Cable Sleeve Turtleneck Sweater in pink, size medium.
As you can see, this sweater is on the chunkier side. I love its chunkiness because it’s super warm, but still breathable with the chunky sleeve pattern that lets some air in.
I initially chose this while testing out turtlenecks to add to my collection. This one made the cut!
Trisha Maxi Dress
I tried this Trisha Maxi Dress in pink, size medium.
Like the Ponte pants, this dress has a good weight. Again, that makes it not the best for traveling, but an excellent item for special occasions.
I’ve worn this dress to brunches, baby showers, family events, and, most recently, Mother’s Day.
Of all the things I’ve tried from Nuuly, the Trisha Maxi Dress is one of the higher-quality pieces.
Nuuly Sizing Tips & Fit
Because the clothing comes from various brands, sizing and fit aren’t the same across the board.
My biggest suggestion is to read the reviews. I’m tall (5’10), so I’m always trying to better understand how clothing may fit someone my height–especially for items like jumpsuits.
I was grateful that so many people reviewed the items they rented and included pictures. It helped me get a sense of which pieces might work for me.
How is the Quality of Nuuly Clothing?
From my personal experience, the quality of Nuuly clothing was inconsistent. Not only is it dependent on the items’ quality, which depends on the brand, but also how many times it’s been worn, etc.
Because of these layered factors, it’s hard to comment on the quality of Nuuly as a whole, but I was often left somewhat disappointed by a decent chunk of items.
Best Things to Rent From Nuuly
The best things to rent from Nuuly are what you want to add to your closet. In my case, those were fun sweaters and dresses.
But regardless of whether you’re looking for specific styles or general items, always check the reviews. I found them somewhat helpful for avoiding dud pieces.
Other Nuuly Products
Beyond standard women’s clothing, there’s a Nuuly maternity section, which can be an excellent solution for expectant mothers who don’t want to buy an entirely new wardrobe they’ll only use for a few months.
Nuuly men’s clothing isn’t a thing quite yet. Currently, you can only find Nuuly for men on the thrifting side of their site.
Nuuly Thrift launched in the fall of 2021 as a way for individuals to sell used clothing and earn money.
Alternatively, you can select Nuuly cash as your payout. Nuuly cash is worth 10% more than the standard cash payout, but you can only use it on Nuuly.com or the Nuuly app.
Nuuly Discounts & Coupons
You’ll often receive a Nuuly coupon code or discount code if you sign up for their email list, but this promotion isn’t always running.
Alternatively, You can find my Nuuly promo code by clicking here.
Nuuly Return & Exchange Policy
A Nuuly subscription includes shipping costs. Processing time is up to two business days, and delivery time is up to three.
You must return your six items by your agreed-upon monthly date. Otherwise, you’ll be paying another month for the same clothes.
My experiences with Nuuly’s team were always positive. When that one dress arrived with a big rip, customer service quickly sent me a bonus item credit for next month.
Where to Rent Nuuly Clothing
You’ll find Nuuly’s clothing entirely online on the Nuuly website. However, you can also purchase items directly from the brands themselves that are found on Nuuly.
FAQs About Nuuly Clothing
Does Anthropologie own Nuuly?
Nuuly is part of the URBN brand. This umbrella company includes brands like Anthropologie, Free People, and Terrain.
Can you wash clothes from Nuuly?
You can, but it’s not a requirement. Nuuly promises an extensive cleaning process for each piece of clothing upon its return.
Does Nuuly ship internationally?
No, Nuuly only offers shipping within the United States.
Can you exchange sizes on Nuuly?
The answer to this question is a bummer–no, you can’t.
If you receive a piece that doesn’t fit, you can’t do anything until the next month when you get your next set of monthly rentals. I wish there was a way you could edit your Nuuly order during the month you rent it.
What does Nuuly use to ship?
The Nuuly bag your items arrive in is reusable. I love that this method doesn’t generate additional packaging materials.
The reusable bag has a built-in return label pocket, which makes the return process incredibly easy.
How often are new items added to Nuuly?
There’s no set time frame. During my seven months as a subscriber, I saw many of the same pieces come up during my searches.
Is buying second-hand clothes OK?
Yes! Buying second-hand items is a great way to keep clothing in use for longer and find high-end clothing at steep discounts.
How sustainable is renting your clothes?
At face value, renting your clothes seems like a wholly sustainable or eco-friendly way to acquire clothes.
But then I stop and think about the process overall. I mean, the clothes must be delivered and returned every month–does that mean I’m contributing to increased transport costs and gas usage?
Regardless, I am always in favor of extending the lifespan of clothing. Nuuly does just that.
What other companies rent clothes?
Rent the Runway is another incredibly popular clothing rental service. However, their pieces (and therefore price point) are on the higher end of the spectrum.
How long can you keep Nuuly items?
Nuuly runs on a monthly cycle following your billing date.
Can you keep an item for another month with Nuuly?
Yes! You’ll be charged automatically for another month if you don’t return your bag in time; you’ll just be keeping the same clothes instead of getting new ones.
How much is the Nuuly discount?
The specific number will vary from piece to piece. Nuuly states that you can find pieces up to 75% off their original retail price.
What percentage does Nuuly Thrift take?
The platform takes a 20% commission fee when your item sells.
What is Nuuly cash?
Nuuly cash is a form of payment for selling clothing to Nuuly Thrift.
Once the cash has been digitally deposited to your in-app wallet, you can use it for thrift purchases. You can also use it online and in Anthropologie, Free People, Urban Outfitters, BHLDN, and Terrain stores.
Conclusion: So, is Nuuly Worth it?
If you’re the right candidate for a clothing rental service, then yes! But who is the right candidate?
The right candidate is someone looking to try out new styles, update their closet, or have a lot of special events coming up that they don’t want to buy new clothes for.
It also helps if you like the style of clothing that Free People and Anthropologie offer.
If any of these sound like you, you’ll likely enjoy getting a Nuuly subscription.
Overall, I enjoyed my Nuuly subscription while I had it, and there’s a good chance I’ll start it again when I have some fun events coming up.
If you decide to give Nuuly a go, I’ll be eager to hear your first impressions and if you were able to make it work for you and what you’re looking for.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Founder & Editor-In-Chief
Mimi McFadden grew up in Santa Cruz, California, and founded The Atlas Heart in 2013. Mimi has always been into fashion to some extent, but really started paying attention to it more at the age of 28 when she no longer lived out of a backpack as a full-time traveler. Once she started owning her personal style (and had an actual closet), she focused on finding the perfect balance of comfort and versatility for her wardrobe. As one of the main clothing testers at The Atlas Heart, she is always on the lookout for fun new clothing brands to try out that can add style and comfort to her travels around California, especially those that focus on sustainability.
Monroe Dziersk is a twenty-something American who has lived in the USA, Italy, and Czechia. A self-proclaimed Europhile, she has a passion for international education, traveling, and becoming a global citizen, having visited more than twenty countries. You can often find her accompanied by a good book and her calico cat.
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