The latest idea in online shopping comes from a company known as Le Tote. The product and service are both in the name. Many women want the latest designer fashions but most are simply out of their price range. Then then are women who only need an outfit for that special occasion. Add to this list women who have gone on diets and lost a significant amount of weight, forcing them to buy entire new wardrobes of clothing.
Here is where Le Tote comes in. The idea is amazingly simple. You complete an online profile of yourself, and Le Tote’s professional fashion advisors assemble an ensemble of clothes that fit into your tote bag. Then you go through the list of recommendations, removing the styles that don’t fit your personal taste or lifestyle, leaving only a selection that is sent to you. Once they arrive at your home within 2 to 3 business days, you can choose what to wear and keep the tote as long as you need.
We did say this was a subscription service, so while you can keep what you need for as long as you want, you will be paying a monthly subscription fee. The monthly charge is currently $69 for their Classic option or $79 a month for their Maternity option. They did think of everything, especially as pregnant women have historically had to buy new clothes while they were pregnant, only to hang them in their closet until the next time around. A very popular feature is for women who want to keep their designer fashions, they can choose to pay only 50 percent of the listed price, and return the rest to Le Tote when they are done.
One question that is often asked is whether women are willing to wear what amounts to “second hand” clothing. After all, it has been worn by someone else. The clear exception is maternity wear since spending hundreds of dollars on clothing you are not likely to wear for years - and that also means you will still be able to fit in them. So how does Le Tote manage to convince the Classic subscribers to use their service?
They use a two-fold approach. The first hits women where it feels the best – in their pocketbook. The cost of buying designer clothes and accessories can be considerable, so with the 50 percent discount they save money immediately. The second point is a combination of pocketbook and environmental. Washing or dry cleaning clothes can be expensive, especially the fashions you love the most. Le Tote washes, sterilizes, then returns the returned fashions into circulation. So if you only want to wear an outfit once a year, you can send it back and know it will come back to you when you want it.
Le Tote offers insurance against damage to the fashions for $5 a month. Accidents happen, so this is a nice feature that lets you look your best and be worry-free in the process. One limitation is that you can only rent one tote at a time, and you must return all the items you received in the tote together. If there are missing pieces from the collection, you will be charged for them. It is best to think your choices through before ordering.
The subscription prices are the starting level, and there are a number of membership subscription plans you can choose from. Depending on how many pieces of clothing and accompanying accessories you want to try, your subscription price can be significantly higher. Each piece of clothing you get is inspected upon return, so you will not have to be concerned about getting something that looks worn or second-hand. Quality materials will last a long time, whether you pay full price, half price, or whether you wear them once or 25 times. Le Tote is using this basic idea of combining quality at an affordable price and making it available to most women. You are not obligated to commit to a yearly plan or even a few months. You can pay for a subscription this month, then wait three more months before going back for a new selection. For women who live in areas that have four really different seasons, this can be the perfect fit for your budget and style needs.
The bottom line is you can choose to order things from Amazon or another clothing website and do the order-try- return-repeat dance or you can use Le Tote where you have actual help in selecting the styles that are best suited for you and your lifestyle. Consider the time, money, and mishaps that you have had to deal with over the years, and Le Tote seems to be the answer for women who want fashion while saving money.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker