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Nuuly Clothing Rentals Review

I rented clothes with Nuuly—is it worth the membership?

Collage of a brown Lounge set, green midi sleeveless dress, and striped skirt with white tank. Credit: Reviewed / Nuuly

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My style is pretty straightforward: athletic, practical, and earth-toned. But every once in a while, I long for something different to wear—something flashy, or fancy, or just...new. However, I prefer to stock my wardrobe with clothes that aren't so much trendy as they are classic and long-lasting—both in terms of quality and style. This means that I'd often default back to the same black t-shirt I always wear. That is, until I discovered Nuuly. Nuuly is a clothing subscription service that lets you rent trend-driven clothes for a flat fee.

Unlike Rent the Runway, which specializes in designer clothes, Nuuly rents garments for those of us who want to look stylish without the added pressure of a designer label. Think more Urban Outfitters and less Oscar de la Renta. I tested out Nuuly to see if it was as good as it sounded.

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What is Nuuly?

Model wearing the Lou Cozy Knit Pant, a brown pair of sweatpants.
Credit: Reviewed / Nuuly

The Lou Cozy Knit Pant from Greylin is available to rent from Nuuly.

Nuuly is a subscription-based clothing rental service that lets you rent clothes from dozens of clothing brands, including favorites like Free People, AGolde, Lacausa, Known Supply, and Levi's. The $88 monthly subscription fee includes your choice of six items at a time, shipping included. You don't need to worry about laundering the clothing before you send it back as Nuuly will wash the clothes for you. If you fall in love with one of the pieces you've rented, you also have the option of purchasing it from Nuuly at a discount instead of sending it back.

The idea of wearing and returning clothes may seem familiar. Think of Nuuly as a friend with a huge and impeccable closet that you can borrow from each month. By doing so, you help reduce textile waste and maybe even curb your impulse shopping habit. You also have the opportunity to try clothing from brands that may be out of your typical price range, and because you can buy items that you rent, you can test out a garment before fully committing. Nuuly's service is great for evolving your style or shopping for special events like weddings, vacations, or job interviews.

How much is a Nuuly subscription?

Collage of the author and a model wearing the Tie-Dye Lace Dress from Anthropologie, which is a mini dress.
Credit: Reviewed / Liv Birdsall / Nuuly

The Tie-Dye Lace Dress from Anthropologie.

Nuuly has just one subscription package for $88 per month to rent six items of clothing. The flat rate includes shipping and a return package shipping label. You can order more clothing for an additional charge, which can be convenient if you want more clothing options or want to try several sizes.

When your month is up, you can keep the clothes that you adore instead of returning them by indicating on your account that you want to buy the item(s). As a Nuuly member, you get the clothing for a discount and you know you already like the fit!

How I tested Nuuly

Open package from Nuuly with five garments folded inside.
Credit: Reviewed / Liv Birdsall

Rentals from Nuuly arrive in a packing cube. Send the clothes back in the same packaging.

I signed up for a monthly subscription and shopped items on Nuuly's "Rent" section (opposed to its "Thrift" page where you can buy clothes instead of renting them). I searched brands I'd shopped before so I had an idea of what size I'd wear. I also browsed the New and Popular pages to try some items that I wouldn't typically shop for either because of the price or because the brands were ones I hadn't heard of.

I narrowed down a (very) full cart to six items to test: the Work It Tank from We the Free by Free people, the Aubrey Sarong Skirt from Free People, the Angelina Lace Top from We the Free by Free People, the Checked Midi Dress from Scotch & Soda, the Lou Cozy Knit Pant from Greylin, and the Tie-Dye Lace Dress from Anthropologie. The clothes arrived in a suitcase-like packing cube only two days after I placed my order. I unzipped the compartment and found my selections. Some items were new with tags and some looked a bit more worn. Though the knit pants had some pilling, and the sarong skirt was faded and wrinkly, neither were damaged. I got right to wearing the rentals to see how things fit and incorporated into my existing wardrobe.

What I liked about Nuuly

Collage of the author and a model wearing the Angelina Lace Top. The blouse is black with a floral print.
Credit: Reviewed / Liv Birdsall / Nuuly

The Angelina Lace Top from We the Free by Free People.

I liked so much of my Nuuly experience: trying new clothes, wearing brands I don't normally shop, and sending the items back once they started to lose their appeal. For instance, I wore the tank top at least six times! My typical day-to-day look is a solid color shirt and leggings or bike shorts, so Nuuly gave me the opportunity to wear patterns and silhouettes that I normally wouldn't. I enjoyed the rental experience because the pieces felt special—partly because they were new to me and partly because I knew I only had one month to wear them before sending them back. Having a set time period to style and wear the clothing made me reach for them more often than I would have had I bought them outright, and it felt good to step out of my comfort zone with styles that aren't my usual top and athletic bottoms combo.

Nuuly also champions sustainability in its own way. The clothing is shipped plastic-free, and the suitcase it arrives in is reusable. Renting clothes, as opposed to buying them and wearing them just once or twice, also helps reduce textile waste and overconsumption.

At the end of my subscription month, I packed the clothes in the same suitcase they shipped in, placed the included shipping label on the front, and dropped the bag off at a UPS location. It was quick and easy, and I got an email within hours stating that I could start shopping for my next month.

All in all, I enjoyed shopping with Nuuly and wearing the clothing I selected. If I were to do another month of the subscription I would shop slower and try brands that aren't as familiar to me.

What I didn't like about Nuuly

Collage of the author and a model wearing the Checked Midi Dress from Scotch & Soda.
Credit: Reviewed / Liv Birdsall / Nuuly

The Checked Midi Dress from Scotch & Soda brings in a pop of green.

While I liked the idea and overall experience of using Nuuly, I had one problem with the process: the clothes don't always fit right. Since the subscription is for just the six items you order, you aren't able to exchange garments for a better fit, though you can add additional sizes to your rental for an added cost. The wrap skirt and wide-leg pants were too small for me, so the $88 really only got me four items instead of six. Each item's page on the Nuuly website includes a sliding scale where users can rank how the garment fits, but this isn't always accurate with so many subjective ideas of how a garment should fit. Because of the sizing disparity, I'm hesitant to try brands that are new to me just in case the same issue may happen.

The only other issue I see with Nuuly is the month-to-month overlap. Once you've sent your package back and placed your next order, you'll still be a few days without your clothes as you wait for the next shipment. And though my items arrived quickly, the shipping time fluctuates so you'll want to order early if you are shopping for special event outfits.

Should you rent from Nuuly?

Collage of the author and a model wearing the Work It Tank, which is features a red and blue print.
Credit: Reviewed / Liv Birdsall / Nuuly

Make a statement with the Work It Tank from We the Free by Free People.

Yes! There are hundreds of items to choose from and the list is always growing. If there is a brand or style you've been thinking of sporting, Nuuly is a great way to test the waters. And at $88, you may find that you spend less over time on clothing, but have more options that you're excited to wear—at the end of the day, you can send it back if you get tired of it.

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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.