We tried a clothing rental service for kids—here's what it's like
Everlasting Wardrobe makes high fashion affordable.
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If there's one thing we can all agree on when it comes to kids, it's that they grow out of their clothes way too fast. No matter how much I may think they have plenty of clothes in the correct sizes, it seems like I constantly need to purchase new items in bigger sizes for each of my kids.
The problem is that kids' clothing is expensive, especially if you tend to like smaller, boutique brands and unique styles (guilty as charged). Enter Everlasting Wardrobe, the new clothing rental service that's like Rent the Runway but just for kids.
What is Everlasting Wardrobe?
Everlasting Wardrobe is a clothing subscription service that sends new and like-new wardrobe pieces to your kids every month. Available in sizes 6 months to 14 years, each box contains four outfits—or eight pieces of clothing—with items that can be mixed and matched. Your kids have 30 days to wear the clothes as much as they want, and then you return all of the pieces via a prepaid shipping envelope. Once Everlasting Wardrobe gets confirmation that you've popped your return envelope in the mail, they ship out your next box.
If there are specific pieces of clothing that your children simply can't part with after the 30-day time period, you can purchase them at a discount and add them to your child's permanent wardrobe, where they can wear them forever and ever—or until they outgrow them.
How much does Everlasting Wardrobe cost?
Everlasting Wardrobe offers two different membership choices: the Premium Wardrobe and the Deluxe Wardrobe. The Premium Wardrobe costs $40 per month, and may contain previously worn items that have been professionally laundered and inspected. The Deluxe Wardrobe costs $80 per month, and contains only new pieces of clothing that your kids will be the first to wear.
How does Everlasting Wardrobe work?
When you first sign-up for Everlasting Wardrobe, you have the chance to share with them the type of styles your children prefer. Everlasting Wardrobe has a subtle music theme—the shipping boxes are printed to look like old school boomboxes—and the style genres reflect this. You can specify what styles of clothes your kids like by turning the "volume" up or down on each style section. Choices include:
- Jazz: For the bold and sophisticated tot.
- Techno: An exuberant clothing style with unique colors, patterns, and materials.
- Indie: Totally organic clothing lines and looks.
- Pop: Test new styles and modern looks.
- Lullaby: An all-pajama option that has yet to be launched.
- Jock Jams: For sporty kids or those who prefer athleisure.
- Hip Hop: For cool kids with bold style.
You're also asked to share what types of patterns and fabrics your kids like, including options such as "logos," "slogans," and "animals."
All of the style preferences are stored in your "studio" (see the music theme?) and you can adjust them if your child's tastes change. Once you've received your first Everlasting Wardrobe box, you'll discover that your studio also contains a record of all of the pieces of clothing that your child has rented over the course of their membership.
What is Everlasting Wardrobe like in real life?
Initially I found the website a little bit hard to navigate, and I didn't realize that I could toggle between my kids' accounts inside of our studio. As a result, I only put in style preferences for Rose, and Noah's was left with the default settings. Now that I've navigated the site quite a few times, it's very easy to use, but don't try to sign up while you're in a hurry or trying to focus on homeschooling your kids, because you'll likely miss something (ahem, like me).
Noah's Everlasting Wardrobe box
- What's in Your Shirt Obama T-shirt: $23.80
- Deux Par Deux graffiti T-shirt: $26
- Age to Come black pants: $50
- Anais & I red and white button down: $47.20
- Mainio sumo T-shirt: $42
- Deux Par Deux triangle print shorts: $48
- Toobydoo peace sign T-shirt: $32
- Eternal Creation palm print shorts: $32
Considering that Everlasting Wardrobe had no clue what my son's style preferences were, I thought that they did a decent job of choosing clothes for him. My biggest complaint is that they included four different T-shirts with graphics on them, and Noah is really not a fan of wearing graphic tees. Had I managed to fill out his style preferences, we would likely have avoided this problem, but since his absolute favorite T-shirt right now is the sumo wrestler one he received in his Everlasting Wardrobe box, it all worked out just fine.
I wasn't quite sure what the four outfits were supposed to be in this box, because it didn't seem like there was anything that really went with the palm print shorts, and there wasn't any literature included that had suggestions about which shirt to pair with which bottom. That being said, the clothing was all really good quality, and I loved that the box included brands that we hadn't purchased before, like Deux Par Deux.
Noah wasn't a huge fan of the pieces he received in his box—except for the sumo shirt—but again, that's totally my fault for failing to fill out his style preferences. Once I did manage to bribe him to try everything on he discovered that he liked things more than he thought he would. He loved the triangle shorts (and I loved how well they fight his slender torso) and the red and white button down was super soft and really comfortable. I never did succeed in getting him to try on the black pants or the palm print shorts, however, because they were both crafted from stiff fabric, which is Noah's biggest clothing no-no.
At the end of the 30 days, he begged me to buy him the sumo wrestler shirt because he loved it so much. While it's certainly more than I usually prefer to spend on a T-shirt, I'd far rather buy fewer pieces that I know my kids will like—and wear!—than end up with a closet full of clothes they complain about.
Rose's Everlasting Wardrobe Box
- Deux Par Deux chambray dress: $42
- Omamimini abstract print leggings: $42
- EFVVA Frida Kahlo shorts: $40
- Indi-Kids romper: $62
- Rachel Riley anchor print cover-up: $76.30
- Anais & I awning stripe shorts: $65.60
- Red Caribou rabbit & cactus T-shirt: $34
- Litil skirt: $25.20
Rose's box was a total win. She loved almost every single piece of clothing that was included, and she was so obsessed with the skirt and the rabbit and cactus T-shirt that she would beg me to wash them every single night. I can't say that I blame her; not only are they both incredibly soft, but they're great wardrobe pieces that she was easily able to mix with other items we already owned.
The romper and the denim dress also got worn a lot over the course of the 30 days. Rose initially didn't like the two pairs of shorts, but once I bribed her to try them on and she realized how cute and soft they were, they made it into the monthly wardrobe rotation as well. The leggings never got worn, primarily because it was just too hot in Los Angeles for long pants, and the swim cover-up only got worn once for a few minutes. I think if it had been a normal summer and we'd been able to take a vacation to the beach, the cover-up would've been a much more useful piece of clothing.
My biggest issue with Rose's Everlasting Wardrobe box was, again, that I wasn't quite sure what the four outfits were supposed to be. Some of them were obvious—the romper and the dress were standalone pieces, and the T-shirt could be paired with the skirt or the striped shorts—but there wasn't anything in the box to pair with the insanely cool Frida Kahlo shorts or the leggings.
Just as happened with Noah, at the end of the rental period I ended up purchasing the two pieces of clothing that Rose loved most, the rabbit and cactus T-shirt and the skirt. She still begs me to wear them almost every day, so I definitely feel like they were good investment pieces.
Why we love Everlasting Wardrobe
Honestly, pretty much everything about Everlasting Wardrobe is great, but I think the best thing is that it really does provide a way for you to keep your children's wardrobes fresh—and fitting properly—without having to buy a ton of clothing. Yes, technically you're still paying for clothes, but it's far less than one would spend to purchase these kinds of high-quality, fashionable pieces outright. Plus, Everlasting Wardrobe makes it easy to have seasonally-appropriate wardrobe items that only get worn a few times (like a bathing suit cover-up). I'm planning to request a box full of party clothes in time for the holidays so that my kids have plenty to wear for our family get togethers, but I don't have to spend hundreds of dollars on things they're only going to wear a few times.
Here's another thing to love about Everlasting Wardrobe: Once clothing is too worn to be rented, the company cleans, mends, and donates the items to kids in need through their Refurbished Wardrobes program. As their site states, "We want our clothing recipients to receive the self-esteem and confidence boost that comes with receiving and wearing nice clothing." Now that's a mission I can totally get behind.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.