Gwynnie Bee: Plus Size Fashion Subscription Service Review
Tempted by Gwynnie Bee’s 30-day free trial? I tried this plus size fashion delivery service, and here’s my verdict.
Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links. I will get a small commission on purchases made from them.
What is Gwynnie Bee?
Forbes (among other outlets) called Gwynnie Bee “The Netflix of Plus-Size Fashion,” which sounds like a joke that would be made ironically in Silicon Valley, but is nevertheless pretty accurate. The same review also described it as “pragmatically indulgent,” which is basically the guiding principle I live by. After about the thousandth ad for Gwynnie Bee I saw, I figured “What the hell?” and signed up for the free 30-day trial.
From Gwynnie Bee’s website: “Gwynnie Bee is a clothing rental subscription service for women sizes 10-32. Feel stylish and savvy everyday with endless fashion, free shipping, and free exchanges.”
First, the basics. Like Rent-the-Runway, you aren’t purchasing the clothing. You pay a monthly fee to receive a box of clothing, wear it, and send it back for another round of clothes. You can do that as many times as you want. As of today I’ve tried three boxes, for a total of six pieces of clothing. I’ve worn four, and bought one of the size.
Signing Up For The 30 Day Free Trial
For the free trial membership, you can choose from three plans: one, two, or three items out at a time. After your trial it’ll convert to a monthly subscription.
After the free trial, it’s $49 (one item at a time), $69 (two items at a time), or $95 (three items out at a time). If you’re super into it after 30 days, you can upgrade to a 5 item ($139), 7 item ($179), or 10 item ($199) plan.
I chose the 2 item plan.
So, how do you know what you get? You browse through Gwynnie Bee’s catalog and add things to your “closet.” You need to have a minimum number of items in your closet (mine is 6 – so it’s pretty low), and there’s no upper limit. The items you’re sent in each box are chosen from your closet.
You get to choose the size item by item. Gwynnie Bee also gives a size suggestion based on what you typically wear in different brands. I like that I can read reviews and see pictures from other users, too.
Getting Your Gwynnie Bee Boxes
Here’s a look at my experience with shipping so far:
Signed up: May 23
First box arrived: May 27
Second box arrived: June 3
Third box arrived: June 9
As you can see from the dates, the shipping is quite fast. If you sign on to the website and click a notification to let GB know you’re sending something back, they’ll pull new items and ship them before they receive the return items.
What You Get In Your Gwynnie Bee Box
Your items show up in a slim box, prettily wrapped in tissue paper. You’re also provided with a heavy duty, pre-labeled mailing envelope that you use to return your items.
Now, the clothes you get aren’t necessarily new. Some items will be, but typically you are wearing something that’s been worn before. It was easy to tell that the first two items I was mailed, while still in excellent quality, were not new. Mostly due to the insides of the garments, where you can tell the seams have softened up a bit from the wash. But, no fading/stains/pilling/etc., at all. Same with one of the dresses I got the second time around. The only indicator that the other three items weren’t brand new was the absence of tags.
Buying Items You Like from Gwynnie Bee
If you really like something you get, you’re given the option to purchase it at a discount. The first dress I tried retails for around $250, and I was given the option to purchase it for something like $80. The shirt from my third shipment retails for $60.00 and would cost me $31 to buy. The agate printed dress wasn’t the same high quality as the other two dresses I tried on, but it’s still pretty good and was priced at $12 and I couldn’t resist!
Once clothes begin to show wear, Gwynnie Bee removes the items from rotation and sells them in a members-only online shop for heavily discounted prices. The same area of the site also sells new accessories, swimwear, and formal wear at a discount.
So, Is Gwynnie Bee Worth It?
That depends. I’m still kind of unsure, myself. At first it seemed like a lot of money to rent clothes, but at the same time now that I’ve tried it I find the subscription plus-size clothing rental thing to have a lot going for it.
I’m not sure? So far I’ve had no problem finding things that I like and fit. I do think if I were still at a point in my recovery where I was feeling severe anxiety about my body Gwynnie Bee would not be a good idea. One of the top google hits is “Gwynnie Bee – scam or legit?” and I definitely don’t get why people would think it’s a scam. The bad reviews seem to fall into a few broad categories: unhappy because I forgot to cancel and got charged; unhappy I can’t pick what I want in each box; or unhappy because item wasn’t in top condition. As far as I’m concerned, so far, so good.
The pros, in my book:
The novelty factor. I love getting new stuff, which means I’m also getting rid of stuff pretty regularly. Is it better to buy something on clearance, wear it for a season, and move on, or to rent something that’s then passed on to the next person?
Quality without the upkeep. There are many beautiful pieces of clothing, especially workwear, out there that I’d shell out for, except…. I’d like to say I take great care of everything I own, but I don’t. I’ve had two blouses sitting at the bottom of my laundry basket that I’ve been meaning to take to the dry cleaner’s for like three months. And there’s a dry cleaner’s no more than a quarter of a mile down the street. My husband does at least 90% of our laundry, and he’s not super careful either (RIP, two silk shirts). So I guess what I’m saying is that 1. I’m kind of lazy in this area of my life, and 2. I like that, with Gwynnie Bee, I can wear nice things without having to clean them.
If you’re somewhere in the size 10-32 range and looking to expand your options and try out new brands/styles, go for it! 30 days with Gwynnie Bee is enough to get 3-4 shipments and see if you like it. If nothing else, you’ll try a few new things without having to buy them. I’m happy I gave it a shot, and I think I’ll probably continue my subscription for at least a little while. // 7×35