Gwynnie Bee Review: A Closer Look At The “Netflix Of Clothes”
Do you ever wish you could try out an outfit for a day and then decide if you want to buy it?
I mean, you’re allowed to test-drive a car for a while, so why can’t you test-drive an outfit?
You kind of get to do that with Gwynnie Bee.
You’ve probably heard of subscription personal styling services like Stitch Fix of Trunk Club where a stylist sends you a box of clothes according to your style profile.
Well, it’s kind of like that, but not really.
With Gwynnie Bee, the shopping is completely in your hands but you still get the benefit of a subscription service, and it’s been quite popular over the past couple of years.
In fact, it’s been called the “Netflix of clothes” because it works in a very similar way to the DVD rental side of the online streaming service.
But is it worth it?
Well, let’s find out together.
What Is Gwynnie Bee And How Does It Work?
Gwynnie Bee is kind of like raiding your sister’s or your best friend’s closet – if you sister or best friend had an entire online store’s worth of clothes.
The company was founded with the limitations of traditional clothes buying in mind. When you buy a new outfit, it’s always possible that it will eventually go out of style (especially if it’s a fast-fashion trend piece instead of a classic wardrobe staple), or that you might eventually change sizes only to find it no longer fits.
So, this fashion subscription service aims to break down these limitations.
The main concept behind this service is that you can consistently rotate garments in and out of your wardrobe as certain items go in and out of style, and as your body naturally fluctuates in size.
The service was originally geared towards plus-sized women with the intention of serving the majority of American women who wear a size 10 or above, but it now offers items from sizes 0-32. But, a brand or garment that is offered in sizes 0-8 will not be offered if it also isn’t offered in sizes 10-32.
In short, Gwynnie Bee has implemented a size-inclusivity model that has disrupted fashion norms, which no other brand has really done before.
So, How Does It Work?
The way it works isn’t all that different from typical online shopping. You start by exploring all of the thousands of styles offered on the website and add as many items as you like to your “closet.”
Once you fill your closet to the minimum level, the company will ship your box of clothes within 2-3 days. You will be notified and given tracking information once this does happen.
There are a required minimum number of items in your closet so that there’s a selection of items that Gwynnie Bee can choose from to send you. This way, there’s a greater chance that something you want to try it available. If you only put a couple of items “on your rack” and none are available, then it’s a waste of your subscription.
Then just wear your clothes to your heart’s content!
The service provides pre-paid shipping bags in which you can return whichever clothes you like, whenever you like. Basically, if you’re sick of wearing something, then you can send it back and get something new.
When you are ready to return an item, simply go to your “closet” and click the “Return Item” button below whichever article of clothing it is to notify the people at Gwynnie Bee that it’s heading their way.
But, if you get a piece of clothing that you absolutely need to keep forever, don’t worry. You have the option of buying it directly from the site.
Then, just keep on doing this as much as you like!
See, it’s exactly like raiding your sister’s closet – except no one will get mad at you for borrowing clothes.
So You’re Basically Sharing Clothes With Random Women?
Yes, and you are therefore probably wondering about the quality and cleanliness of all these clothes coming to and from various women in the United States.
Well when you return items, you don’t have to worry about sending them back crisp and clean. The service also provides free dry cleaning for all items with your subscription.
In fact, the company has very high cleaning standards. Because items are essentially going from one customer to another, Gwynnie Bee employs a very extensive cleaning and garment care process for the sake of not only maintaining the quality of a garment, but also to ensure hygiene. Each item goes through three round of inspection before it is sent back out.
You are more than welcome to clean items yourself, but the service asks that you pay very close attention to the care instructions on the label of your garment.
But, honestly, why would you want to clean them yourself? What’s better than getting to wear clothes and then not having to do the laundry?
Of course, eventually, items of clothing will no longer be in the rotation for borrowing from the site.
One of two things happens when an item is taken out of circulation: it is put into the ">GB Shop if it is in excellent condition, or it is donated to a local charity if it is showing signs of wear. Only paying subscribers have access to the GB Shop.
And if you do happen to damage the clothing in some way, you don’ need to worry. The company knows that accidents happen and they won’t hold you accountable for any snags or tears.
That’s more or less how the whole subscription service works. It’s a pretty ingenious concept (in our opinion).
But of course, it all comes at a price. And we bet you are wondering what that price is.
Gwynnie Bee’s Pricing & Plans
The monthly cost of Gwynnie Bee’s closet-sharing subscription service depends on how many items you wish to take out at a time.
You can choose take out one, two, three, five, seven or 10 items at a time. The monthly cost to take out one item at a time is $49, and $199 for ten items. So you can kind of get an idea of where the prices fall for everything in-between. If you want to see the breakdown, there’s a nice chart here.
Keep in mind that this means you can take out and send back as many items of clothing as you’d like per month as long as you don’t breach your maximum number. So if you have the one-item-at-a-time plan, you can take out and send back a single item 10 times in a given month.
The nice part is that shipping is included in your monthly fee. Shipping costs can pile up fast, as you are probably well aware. It wouldn’t be worth it to request and exchange items 10 times per month if you always had to pay shipping.
But since you don’t, it’s a pretty great deal.
If this subscription service looks good on paper to you, but you are unsure if it will actually fit into your lifestyle, you can try it out without committing.
There is an option to do a 30-day free trial on the 2-item plan for new members. Shipping and credit card information is required to sign up, but you won’t be charged until your trial period is over.
Unfortunately, the free trial gets a little tricky if you live with someone who is already a Gwynnie Bee member. The company considers a household ineligible for a free or discounted trial if your credit card account, physical address, or e-mail address are already linked to another active account.
But, if you don’t live with anyone else who is using the service, then there’s nothing to worry about!
The free trial is certainly beneficial. With services like these, it’s sometimes difficult to gauge whether or not you will personally benefit. And by the time you do have any idea of if you like the subscription, you’ve already paid a certain sum of money.
Not with Gwynnie Bee, though. You get 30 days to decide if you like it before you throw down any money.
Public Perception Of Gwynnie Bee
Over the past few years, Gwynnie Bee has captured the attention of not only customers, but also major publications and news outlets.
And this notoriety is definitely warranted.
The company has primarily gained so much public traction because of its revolutionary approach to size-inclusivity. Where most fashion brands cater to the tall and skinny, and show their clothes on Size-2 models, Gwynnie Bee has done the complete opposite.
Consequently, the subscription service has also lead to happy customers because so many women that ordinarily don’t feel included in or confident about participating in the fashion industry are suddenly feeling welcome.
Of course, there are cases of disgruntled customers, particularly because of logistical mishaps that are bound to arise with a service that has such a vast customer base.
Some of these complaints are about how you don’t always get the items you want most or have prioritized on your list because of a lack of availability.
You also have to call to cancel your membership or to cancel when your free trial is finished, and some customers have had issues with the customer service. For example they call to cancel, but then still keep getting charged and sent boxes.
But generally speaking, Gwynnie Bee has been successful in making women of all shapes and sizes feel confident in their clothes, and excited about the opportunity to constantly rejuvenate their wardrobe.
So, yes people like it.
That being said, even if women were pleased with the free trail, they recognized that it doesn’t really fit with their lifestyle.
It’s a good service, but for some women the whole subscription-clothing thing isn’t really their vibe. That’s why the free trial is key to the overall service.
Without the free trial, there would probably be more unhappy customers. But since you can try it for a month without paying, there’s no harm done.
But do a little Google search and you’ll find plenty of fashion bloggers that are Gwynnie Bee diehards –and most of them are regular, everyday, average-sized women.
What We Think
We’ve said it already and we’ll say it again: we think it’s really great that Gwynnie Bee offers a free trial.
This isn’t because we doubt the service. In fact, we think it’s a very conscientious, well-thought-out clothing subscription service. And, we especially love the company’s approach to size-inclusivity.
But we totally see how this service isn’t for everyone.
And that’s where the free trial comes in.
After those 30 days, you will probably get a good feel as to whether or not the service is worth your time and money.
Some women really love getting new items in and out of their closet each month, whereas others don’t get much of a kick out of it for the monthly fee.
We also can see how it may be disappointing to have an item you really want on your list, only to wait and wait for it because it’s not available. So, if you are a shopper consistently wants very specific items, this might not be the service for you.
But if you are open to trying new styles and aren’t too picky about what items come and go, then you probably will have a lot of fun with this service.
So again, take advantage of the free trial before you commit.
If you love it, then great! Your sister will be happy because you’ll never steal her clothes again.
And if you don’t, then feel free to keep raiding the closets of everyone you know.
(We won’t tell.)