Let’s start with the problem: I never have enough closet space. No matter how many times I’ve tried to Marie Kondo my wardrobe, I still end up with overflowing drawers and negative hanging space. Not to mention, as an apartment-dwelling millennial, my knack for constantly amassing stuff is a point of anxiety that imposes upon my dreams of minimalism. (Side note: I’ll never be a minimalist—I shop way too much—but a girl can dream, right?)
At the beginning of 2020, my best friends and I got together for our first girls’ trip of that year. As we dressed for post-Rumble brunch, one of my besties put on the most expensive-looking blouse. (It should be noted that said friend always succeeds at being bougie on a budget; she’s an icon.) We looked at the label and then back at her, astounded, because we knew she did not drop the $500 cost on a top. That’s when she told us her secret: rental services. She explained that they’re perfect for curating a closet that you don’t have to move from destination to destination and that they empower you to design your wardrobe around events and travel plans. Consider me sold.
I’ve always heard good things about closet rental services, but have never thought they were for me. Maybe it’s the older sibling in me talking, but I like to have ownership over my things and possess them until I’m ready to get rid of them. The idea of renting clothes that I could possibly fall in love with and then have to give back seemed torturous to me.
However, when I noticed many plus-size influencers talking about Eloquii’s new rental service, Eloquii Unlimited, I was intrigued. I’ve always admired how the company prioritizes and designs for plus-size women, rather than just extending their size offerings to a 1X. But, in the Instagram-sphere, there were many mixed emotions about trying the service, especially during these pandemic times.
The good news? I tried it so you don’t have to.
How it works
Step 1: Add as many items as you like to a shopping cart, called your “closet” on the site. You have to add at least 10 items (which is possibly the easiest thing I’ve ever been asked to do).
Step 2: Eloquii will send you four items from your online closet based on what’s available.
Step 3: Wear it. ‘Gram it. Return it.
Step 4: Repeat as many times as you like. There are unlimited returns for just one monthly fee of $79.
Here’s what I got:
Mini Turtleneck Sweater Dress
I tried this one on first because I knew, from the very first time that I laid eyes on this dress, that I would love it. In the wintertime, I am always looking for warm dresses that mean I don’t have to wear pants. First, I paired this with my Sheertex tights and some black booties for a classic sweater dress look. Then, I was inspired—I went for another look, wearing this piece like an oversized sweater with jeans and some statement heels. Loved it!
This sweater dress wasn’t too thick or too thin, so I could wear it just lounging around the house or layer it with a cute coat for outdoors. I fell in love with this piece (and so did a bunch of my Instagram friends), so I might just have to rent it for the rest of the season!
Wearing: size 18/20.
Wrap Top With Draped Sleeves
I added this item to my closet because I was feeling especially celebratory—it’s a new year, after all! When I first put it on, I have to admit, I was wary about it. You have to be a powerful lady to pull off shoulder pads, but that’s exactly what I felt like. Additionally, I was pleasantly surprised that this glittery top didn’t deposit glitter all over my face and body. Thank goodness!
I don’t know if the jeans I wore were the best fit for this look; however, I’ve had my eye on a pair of Spanx Patent Leather Leggings that I think would pair well with this, some eggshell booties, a red lip, and an up-do (to show off the shoulder pads).
Wearing: size 18.
When I tried these pants on, I almost teared up. “Why would you cry over clothes,” you ask? These are a prime example of the type of trendy pants that I’ve always wanted to buy from department stores, but they never have my size. I love Eloquii for prioritizing bodies like mine and giving us all the trendiest options. These pants felt just as high-quality as they looked when I picked them out. Thank you Eloquii for making quality, stylish options for us curvy girls. I think I’ll get the matching blazer in my next trade!
Wearing: size 18.
Zip-Front Corduroy Jumpsuit
I have to be honest: I’m not sure what propelled me to add this to my closet in the first place. It’s very much outside of my style comfort zone, but maybe that’s why this rental experience is so great. I don’t think I’d ever pick this up at the store, and I almost didn’t pick it out on the website. When I pulled it out of the box, I was still a bit doubtful. As a plus-size girl-turned-woman, I’ve always been told to stay away from oversized, baggy, unflattering outfits, and I think that “advice” occasionally rears its ugly head. However, when I put this on—even though I felt sort of like a character from Gumby—I felt fabulous, chic, and stylish.
It fit a bit larger than I’d hoped—which is rarely the case for me—due to the fact that I ordered a size larger than I would normally because I’ve been scorned by jumpsuits in the past. My advice (if you order something similar): order your actual size; the fit is pretty true to the description.
While I don’t know that this is something I’d wear often, I do know that I’d love to strut my stuff in it at least once. That is the beauty of being able to rent and return.
Wearing: size 20.
After trying my first rental box ever, where do I stand on rental services? Let me start by saying that I just texted my aforementioned friend to tell her how right she was. I’m so happy that I tried this out!
I’m always shopping for specific occasions and then never wearing those clothes again, and honestly, that’s a major bummer and cash-burner. I am definitely sold on renting and returning clothes. I can see myself using this service as the world begins to reopen, and I have more activities to dress for. I’ve already started adding pieces to my Eloquii Closet that I can see my future self wearing on vacation, to weddings, to brunch, and around the office. I’m definitely looking forward to trying out other rental services to see how they compare, but they have some big shoes to fill (no pun intended). Eloquii Unlimited has a seamless service, stylish and high-quality offerings, and, above all, such inclusive sizing!
I’m now a rental service convert, and I think this epiphany will save me money and closet space in the long-run.