Pandemic Fashion on a Budget

Let’s be honest, ladies, times are different now. What started as a stay at home order has turned into work from home indefinitely for me. Prior to COVID-19, I was lucky enough to have had a flex schedule with three days in office and two remote. Usually my remote days included chores around the house, grocery shopping, and any other errands necessary. Full transparency, when I first found out I would be working from home full time for the interim, I struggled! I had no structure, binged way too many shows, became best friends with my pantry and went stir crazy with all stores being closed…shopping is my cardio! I hate to admit this, but I was that person who changed from her night pajamas to her day pajamas and if there was a virtual call, well a business casual top paired with pajama bottoms was my go-to. It took quite some time to fully transition into a work from home lifestyle and one day, I got my mojo back. 

I eventually surpassed my pajama phase and started to invest in some cute loungewear pieces. Don’t underestimate Target and Aerie for some great casual finds! I prepared for every week over the weekend and sometimes prepped at night for the following day. By doing this, I gained some sense of stability back, but also had enough time left in the day to complete house chores, grocery shop, play with the puppies, and even get a workout in. It’s amazing how time management can change your life. Getting up early in the morning, doing a quick five minute makeup routine, putting on biker shorts and my favorite animal print crew neck sweater, helps me feel ready to take on the day. You know what they say, “look good, feel good.” Of course, I still have my lazy days where I wake up late and stay in my pajamas until 1pm but hey, I’m only human. 

While we find ourselves spending ninety percent of our time home these days, we all still need a reminder of what it feels like to sparkle and shine. My version of sparkling almost always includes a new outfit. I used to hate online shopping, but now it seems we have no choice since almost all fitting rooms are closed in the stores. In time, I overcame my fear of online shopping and created my very own virtual mall experience. Seriously, it’s like Christmas morning every time I receive a new package. I think after the tenth day of my husband coming home to several packages, he had enough! I tried to use the old “but I’m saving gas money” or “there was a huge cyber sale,” but there’s only so many excuses I have in my back pocket. Soon after, I found myself wondering how I could satisfy my addiction while spending less money and then I hit the jackpot! I stumbled upon two subscription companies that not only aligned with my style, but also my budget. 

Rent the Runway is a rental service that provides designer clothing and accessories. They have three different plans that range from $89/month to $159/month. There is an endless list of brands included with this membership, but some of my favorites are Hemnant and Nandita, LoveShackFancy, Good American, AGOLDE and PAIGE (the list goes on and on). Rent the Runway gives you the opportunity to shop designer brands without having to pay designer price tags! I have the “two swap” plan, which means that for $135/month, I receive a total of 8 items. I get two swaps since I can only rent 4 items at a time, but you can always add more items/spots every month for an extra cost. Once you download the RTR app and sign up, you have access to over 15,000 styles and 650 designers. Upon sign up, you will be asked to choose your sizes and complete a style review. Once completed, you can begin renting pieces. If you’re unsure which size to get, make sure to read the reviews as mostly everything includes reviews from previous renters. RTR will also give you a size suggestion based on your size and previous reviews. Once you’re ready to swap out your items for new ones, you put the return label on the package and drop it off at your nearest UPS. The best part, if I love something, I can buy it with my Members-Only discount. Rent the Runway is an extremely easy service that caters to your fashion needs but is also affordable. Just think, the monthly membership is cheaper than one visit to Nordstrom! 

If you’re a Free People and Anthropolige lover like myself, then you’re going to love this next subscription. Nuuly is a rental service that is based in Philadelphia and owns Urban Outfitters. They are somewhat newer to the market, launching in 2019, but don’t let that steer you away from their services. For $88/month, you can rent 6 pieces, which is less than one item from Anthropologie. Keep in mind, there are a few differences between Nuuly and Rent the Runway. Once you submit your order, you have to keep those items for a full month until your next billing date. There is only one plan that can be chosen at this time and the subscription only offers clothing; accessories not included. Brands include Urban Outfitters, Reformation, Free People, SOCIALITE, J.O.A and so many more! The concept is the exact same as RTR, but catering to the Boho Chic style so many of us love! 

Between Rent the Runway and Nuuly, I am always ready for a spontaneous date night with my husband whether at home or at one of our favorite restaurants in Tampa. There’s an abundance of monthly subscriptions available to us as consumers and as we continue to navigate through this “new normal,” these services help keep the shopping “itch” satisfied. I hope to keep providing you all with the best cost effective subscriptions to keep your wallet and closet happy!

Until next time,