Last week,after seeing my 100th ad for Gwynnie Bee, I decided to finally try it out. If you are not familiar with Gwynnie Bee, it is a plus size clothing rental/subscription service for women size 10-32. I had some big incentive to check it out. The first month is free. I went to the website to see what was involved. The process is actually very simple. You decide how many garments you would like to have at a time. I chose 3. That is the maximum allowed to still be eligible for the the free trial. Then you give your information and credit card number, and off you go.
Once I signed up, I began "building my closet". Gwynnie Bee offers the following categories: dresses, tops, pants and skirts. I decided to search for dresses first. You have the option to search within several different styles: Trendy, Casual, Work Professional, Classic and Day & Night Party. I was a little disappointed to find that there was more than a little overlap of dresses within each style.
The dress on the left appears in searches for "Classic" "Casual" and "Trendy". I tried to ignore the somewhat arbitrary labels and find items to fill my closet.
Gwynnie Bee recommends selecting 29 garments for your closet. I suspect that this is so they have more leeway when preparing your items for shipment. Not all of the items are available in all sizes at any given moment.
There are some helpful features that make it easier to guess what will fit. Some pictures have a button labelled "size up" or "size down". You can also look up the measurement for each size within a garment and make your selection that way. It took some effort, but I was able to come up with 14 items that I thought might be suitable and flattering. Below is a screenshot of my current closet.
Next, all that was left was to sit back and wait for my three items to show up. Within three days, I received this box from Gwynnie Bee:
The presentation inside was quite nice. The items were wrapped in purple tissue paper, and there was an envelope inside containing pertinant information (and quite a few advertisements).
The items which arrived first were the Karen Kane spotted crew neck sweater, a Modamix grommet stretch crepe dress in black, and a Taylor dresses zipper dress in black. While nicely packaged, the dresses did arrive somewhat wrinkled, but I expected some wrinkling from garments shipped in a box. As I pulled them out and hung them, I thought I detected an ever so slight odor of perfume, but I can't be sure. Each garment comes tagged with washing instructions. You don't have to clean items before you send them back, but Gwynnie Bee includes the instructions in case you want to clean garments in between wearings.
Above is the Karen Kane sweater. The fit was okay. I did wear it on Friday. It was a little scratchy, but I do like the bold print. At the end of the day, it is just a crew neck sweater, and I got bored with it pretty quickly. It is going back. Below is a picture of the Taylor zipper dress. I had high hopes for this one. It fit very well in the bust and hips, but the shoulders were too big, and the facing on the neckine was rolling. I decided to return it without wearing it.
Below is an image of the black crepe Modamix dress. This was my favorite of the three. It fit very well in the bust hips and shoulders. Unfortunately, the bust darts were in the wrong place. They were about 3" too high. I have this problem more often than you would think, because I am very busty. I wore the dress anyway. I was wearing a sweater, and I thought it would be the perfect dress for my NYC day trip to look at art and walk around.
The return process is very easy. Gwynnie Bee recommends letting them know ahead of time which items you are returning, so they begin processing your next shipment and get it out to you faster. I logged onto my account, selected all three items for return, and browsed some more items to see if there was anything else I wanted to add to my closet. I did notice that the reduced price to purchase the Modamix dress was only $31.00. (MSRP $129.00) If only the bust darts had been in the right place.