As an adult, I’ve always been a fan of Banana Republic. It has always been there for me as a go-to store when looking for key pieces. My local mall lost J.Crew and Ann Taylor so Banana is one of the few reasons I still go there. During my DC days, a good deal of my favorite pieces came from Banana. A few weeks ago, I saw that they were launching a new clothes rental service. It’s basically a Banana Republic version of the popular Rent the Runway service. I’ve always wanted to try Rent the Runway but now that I’m back in South Carolina I don’t really have a need for Marchesa ballgowns.
The basic premise of BR Style Passport is a constant closet refresh for a monthly fee of $85. Facebook eventually offered me a free trial for 30 days which I immediately snapped up. The site was simple to navigate and the FAQ answered my questions.
How it works
Go on the website. Browse the selection. Stock your virtual closet with 8 to 20 items. Wait for your shipment to arrive. My first box came in about 4 business days. They send you any combination of three items in your closet but you can check your account to see what is going to be shipped to you. There is free shipping both ways which is a definite plus. The one hang-up is the lag time between each shipment but I realized I could go on the website and return notify to initiate the next shipment. I mistakenly thought I had to wait until I had worn and was sending the clothes back.
Another feature of the service is that you are able to pick your favorite so they know which items to prioritize. You also have the option to purchase the clothes for half price. In my experience, I’d get a better deal in the store clearance section but the issue is availability. If you receive it in your box then there isn’t an issue of missing a good deal. I’ve shopped at Banana Republic for years so I had a good idea of my size for the various items. I only received one item that I did not like. Everything else was great!
I loved the simplicity and the challenge of integrating the pieces into my daily wardrobe. I’ll probably do it again in the future for a month here and there like December when I have several events to attend. Overall, the service was seamless. Return shipping was a breeze. The only issue I had was ending my free trial because there didn’t seem to be a way to do it on the website without having to call during business hours. I worried that I might not be able to get in touch with a representative over the weekend and would be automatically billed for the next month. After I emailed customer service with my issue, they were quick to respond and ended my trial with no haggle and no billing issue. Good deal!
In the current version of my life, I’m not sure that I will spend $85 a month to get clothes sent to me. Those who work in offices, have several major events a month or just like to have new clothes without the issue of storing them may want to check this service out. I highly recommend it! If I still lived in DC and was single, this would be a no-brainer for me. After moving several times (SC to FL to HI to DC to SC) and having to switch wardrobes each time, I can appreciate the ability to incorporate trendy but classic pieces without having to take over another closet. Sorry, Chris!
Let me know if you try it!