Tuesday, January 29, 2013

My Le Tote Review

Netflixs for clothes is how some bloggers describe Fashion startup Le Tote. I wouldn’t necessary go that far. Netflixs (streaming at least) is instant and you can choose what film you want to see. With Le Tote a stylist chooses clothes and accessories for you based on your style preferences (i.e., Blake Lively vs. Kate Middleton, Zara vs. Anthropologie). For about $49 a month ($54 if you want to add the extra $5 for insurance) you receive a personally styled box filled with three garments and two accessories. Return the used items in a prepaid envelope and in 4-6 days (this is my current timeline) you get your next box.

What I like about the service is when it works it works well. For example, I wore all of my clothes in my box #2. I woke up and didn’t have to think about what to wear because I wore what was in the box. I didn’t have to think about dry cleaning or searching through my closet. Since they sent me in between season items –sleeveless shirts, thin tops, and a sleeveless dress when it was 40 degrees outside I did have to put some thought and my own style into the process but I styled the outfit around their Le Tote garments. Le Tote also gives you the chance to wear clothes you would normally never pick out for yourself.

When Le Tote fails (aka all the clothes utterly disappoint) then it’s a flat out waste of money and a perfectly good cardboard box. I have to say (and display below) that 2/3 of the boxes were waste. I did change my style preference after my first disappointing box but at this point I’m not sure it really matters. In their defense I understand that when a start-up grows it’s difficult to meet the increasing volume especially if the staff and inventory might not be at the same growth rate. My husband is in a start-up and I live less than a mile from a thousand San Francisco start-ups so I completely get it but as a consumer paying $54 a month to wear 3 garments a month is no value at all.  It would be a better value to raid my friends’ closets, shopping at Forever 21 or wear the abundant supply clothes in my own closet (where is the fun in that right).

To my Le Tote stylist whoever you are I have some suggestions for you:

1.)     Allow the customer to choose between what type of garments they want. For example, I would prefer you send me clothes I could wear to work. Please stop sending me studded sleeveless shirts. I haven’t gone clubbing in months.

2.)   Consider buying more seasonal clothes. Thin flowing pink printed polyester dresses might be more durable but it’s freezing outside. You know this because we essentially live in the same city.

3.)   There should be a function where the customer can choose exactly what garments they would like to borrow (i.e. blazer, maroon dress, etc.). I know that’s a bit controlling but in the end it would ensure a more satisfied customer.

4.)    Is there a function where I can choose what colors I would like? Aka please stop sending me bright red and baby pink –not my colors. I could go on but I’ll stop right here. I will wait for my next   box and if that’s still unsuccessful than I will have to end my Le Tote membership and continuing shopping at MyHabit.com (ßgeez I love this site).

5.) My friend Susan also suggested that there should be a feature where you can upload a picture of yourself and maybe knowing what you look like can increase a better box for the customer (think: skin tone, individual style, body shape all matters in fashion and buying clothes). 

Here are my first three boxes below....

Box #1: I wore NONE of the clothing and the jewelry. I hated the pinks and the blue shirt looked like a potato sack on me. 

From Box #2 (p.s. the necklace is mine):

Pink Shirt

Basic Black Dress (worn with a heat-tech thermal)

Diamond Top (worn with another Heat-Tech thermal)

From Box #3

I didn't like anything so I sent the entire box back. Also, the sizes ranged from XS- Medium. 

Stay tuned for Le Tote mystery box #4...


  1. I can sympathize with your experience. Unfortunately, Le Tote was just not for me. Plus, I felt cheap wearing their clothes...

    Have you tried CoutureSqd.com? They are similar in that you have to subscribe, but it's only $35 and you can choose your own outfit.

    1. Couturesqd.com is only 1 box of 4 items per month for $35 so it's not really the same deal you get with letote.com. Unlimited boxes per month so with shipping and if you wear the items in the next few days after you get it, you can usually get 3-4 boxes per month making it way more worth the $49 than $35 for one box. Right now Le Tote is updating their stock with better quality brands and they've made a lot of improvements to their site since this was posted.

  2. I've experienced the same. Great concept- but it's clear they're still working on execution. Your suggestions are great, and good ideas. Hopefully they can implement them as they continue to grow.
    I found the clothing a challenge to wear through the winter- lots of sleeveless and lightweight fabrics. I've noticed also that the fabrics are not high quality, the jewelry is terribly cheap, so much so that I refused to wear some pieces for fear of damaging them just when dressing/undressing.
    I can only assume they choose specific fabrics that resist wrinkling, since they are crammed into boxes and flexible envelopes and shipped through the mail.

    Now, unfortunately, I'm having trouble cancelling my subscription. I've been a member for seven months, and they're usually very prompt at getting back to me. Alas, now that I'm attempting to cancel, I'm getting no response.

    Hopefully they can keep up with their current members needs, but I get the sense they are very busy with adding new members and forgetting the old.

  3. this is so helpful, thank you so much!

  4. I just received my first tote today! check out my review: http://sfashion903.blogspot.com/

  5. I just started my Le Tote subscription. I received my first tote bag recently. So far I'm very happy about it.
    See what's in my tote bag and how I styled them: http://sfashion903.blogspot.com/


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