If you follow along over on Instagram, you have probably seen I have attended quite a few weddings in the past few months. We were so lucky to celebrate so many of our sweet friends who got married recently! When Pierce and I looked at our calendars back in March, we realized that we had a period of 16 weeks where we had an event or a wedding every single weekend.
I knew once I calculated it all out that buying a dress for each of these events was going to be astronomically expensive. A friend had started using Fashion Pass around this time and I decided to try it out given the ability to rent in return dresses. After looking at their website I found that they had a variety of styles that really fit the style needs that I was looking for. Think of Fashion Pass like a Revolve instead of a Rent the Runway with really high-end designers. It was like you were renting from Revolve.
The first month was only $30 and I was eager to sign up with the discount. The first weekend I did it was in Nashville and I was so happy with the few pieces that I chose. After using it for two full months I decided to cancel my membership. I have a few pros and a few cons for why I decided to make this decision that I realized early on which is why you haven’t seen me talk about them these past few months while I’ve been a paying customer. I also would never fully promote something I didn’t full heartedly believe in. While I had some personal issues I’ll explain later in this post. A lot of my feedback is positive and the negative has to due on them being a new company so there is lots of room to grow. I wish them all the best and this post is not to ever harp on another company. As a small business myself I know how hard it is so this post is my opinion and my opinion alone. Feel free to disagree!
First, I’ll start off with the positives because I do think there are a lot of positive things about this company.
Variety of Styles
I truly loved so many of the styles that Fashion Pass carries. Like I said earlier, it really does remind me of Revolve with brands like For Love and Lemons, MinkPink, ASTR, Saylor, and so many more. I really could always find a dress that I wanted to rent out.
Ability to Rent Unique Pieces
One of the things I loved about renting dresses for all of these events was that I was able to rent a super statement dress that I wouldn’t necessarily wear again. For example, the adorable Saylor dress I rented, it is so cute but it’s also so statement. If I wore it again everyone would be like, ‘there’s Zoe in that rainbow dress again.’
Ability to Rent Accessories
Each plan comes with the ability to rent an accessory with your items. The plans started at being able to rent two pieces at a time in addition to one accessory. I loved this about the plan because you could rent super fun sunglasses, a statement bag or any kind of fashion forward jewelry.
Ability to Purchase Items You Love
I really loved this feature about using Fashion Pass because you were able to purchase items at half the cost. It really made it easy to affordably buy something that might be a little more expensive. I bought two things in my time using Fashion Pass and am really happy I now own both of them!
I will say that anytime I needed to call or email they were SO unbelievably responsive and really worked to answer or solve all my problems. They have a great team working on the back end of things and you can always email or call to ask a question.
I very quickly realized that while there were some really great pros, I had a few things I struggled with being able to wrap my head around as a paying customer.
Lack of Inventory on Popular Styles
Every time I had an event I went into a slight panic because it was always a mad dash to rent out the styles you wanted. I’m not sure exactly what the back end inventory looks like and I’m sure it varies from style to style, but I frequently found that most weeks all my “saved/favorited” items were checked out in my size. It was like all the super cute and new things were always gone and you almost had to hoard multiple dresses for weeks at a time if you wanted to wear a specific dress to a particular event.
The Panic of Not Knowing…
It was super frustrating to not have a straight set plan on what I was going to wear to a wedding or an event in just a few days and then there’s always the panic that it doesn’t fit right. I know that this is just part of any fashion subscription service and this isn’t specific feedback to Fashion Pass, but I got really nervous every week when I rented something before an event. I am just usually more of a planner and the constant unknown really stressed me out so if that’s you, just beware of that.
Site Speed and Slowness
I know Fashion Pass is a newer company and I also know the week I canceled my subscription they had just redone their site so this might not be as much of an issue anymore. The site speed was painfully slow and really hard to navigate. I’ve walked around their new site a bit and seen some of the same organization problems that frustrated me when trying to locate a particular style of dress. The site slowness was a major problem for me and the page loading time was painful. I hope this improves because it seems like an easy fix but given the growth I can understand how they got here. As a paying customer though, you can understand the frustration that can cause week to week.
Lack of New Inventory Week to Week
They need more items coming in faster. After being a customer for only two months, I felt like I really wore everything I wanted to and was really relying on the new items to come in every week. I see this happening for them long term and again they are still growing so I don’t fault them for this but it is something that was super frustrating for me overtime.
Some Items Coming in New and Others Coming in Super Worn
I’ve had some items come to me with tags and others so worn and stretched out it looked like it needed to just be donated. It was so hit or miss and hard to determine what the quality was going to be like. Again, sometimes it was great. Other times, it looked way too worn and the quality of the item was damaged.
Requirement to Return ALL Items at Once
This might be my second biggest complaint with Fashion Pass. You have to return ALL items at once. I couldn’t keep one dress or one pair of sunglasses for weeks at a time and return my remaining items to check out new ones. All items had to be returned together which was super frustrating especially given the inventory on particular dresses you might need for an event. I know with Rent the Runway you are able to check in and out multiple items as long as you are keeping within that “number” in your contract. The requirement for Fashion Pass was super frustrating as a consumer and would be my suggestion for them moving forward.
Not Being Able to Check Out New Items Until Items are Received Back
This however is my biggest complaint. Once you return items, say a Sunday after a weekend. You are not able to check out and be shipped new items until Fashion Pass receives your items back which can sometimes take two days. So now it’s Wednesday or Tuesday afternoon and you have to pay additional money to get rush shipping if you want your items for the upcoming weekend. There is an ability to pay a small fee I think it’s around $9 to “early check in” and get your new items checked out right away. But either way, you are paying for fast shipping or the early check in if you want items week to week. Initially, this is how I envisioned myself using Fashion Pass checking out items weekly. However, after being a customer for two months I’ve realized that you really need to look at only being able to check out items once every two weeks.
I’m not here to harp on Fashion Pass, I think they do a lot of things right and I do think they are going to be around for awhile. I will say, having all these events it was extremely worth it given how many dresses I was going to need. I would honestly do it again for another wedding season like we had this past Spring. However, I don’t think it is worth it for the everyday girl who is just renting clothes because you can’t get them weekly. The price point is just too high to only be able to rent four items monthly because of the return policy and having to hold items for basically two weeks because it’s impossible to rent every single week without paying extra.