I had three kids in just under four years. The amount of morphing my body has done is nothing short of astounding! Dressing to feel good in that ever-changing body has been…well, challenging. The emotional rollercoaster that is pregnancy, postpartum, and pregnancy again means that no matter how much confidence I have, when I can see the belly line through the clingy fabric of the dress, I do what any sensible woman would do: I eat a pint of ice cream, pack away the clothes that don’t make me feel great, then go for some retail therapy. A clothes-shopping bender. 

I would show you a picture of my closets, but it’s not pretty. I’d almost rather show you a picture of my postpartum body. Almost. Those closets are overflowing with boxes of clothes that I don’t like, that don’t fit where my body is right now, and I’m itching to go shopping for things that I like, but I can’t bear the thought of bringing one more thing in!

So when I heard of clothing subscription services last year, where you sign up for a certain number of items at a time and ship them back to receive new as you’re done with them, I was intrigued! There are several out there, but the one I kept coming back to was Gwynnie Bee (It’s for sizes 10-32). I even went so far as to make an account and start putting outfits in my virtual closet to see if there would be enough clothing in my size that I liked to make it worth it. 

When they ran a free trial last month, I jumped on it! I’m nearing the end of my first month and am loving the experience, so I’m sharing my pros and cons for those of you who are experiencing fluctuating sizes and needing a solution!  You can get your own free month of Gwynnie Bee by clicking here.

Gwynnie Bee Pros and Cons List

Pros

  • LOTS of options! Tons of styles. Trendy but not too edgy.
  • Size Advisor. Select a brand you know your size in and it will suggest the right size for the items you add to your closet. It’s pretty accurate! 
  • A chance to try new things. I wore patterns and styles that I probably wouldn’t normally buy because I wouldn’t want to commit to them long-term. It was fun!
  • You can buy what you like, often for a pretty steep discount. The purple patterned dress in the pictures above retailed for $108 and I snagged it for $18. It’s like consignment shopping, but you get to try it before you buy it!
  • NO LAUNDRY! That’s right, you send the stuff back in the provided mailing bag and they dry clean it all!!! There were instructions on each garment for washing, but I rather enjoyed letting someone else take care of it. 
  • Fast turnaround. You can let them know when you are shipping something back so they will have the next thing on your list ready to go. I had a 3-at-a-time subscription and ended up getting 12 items for the first month, despite hanging on to one of the dresses for a couple of weeks. I’ll probably upgrade it to 4-at-a-time so that I always have something at home (weekends interfered with the turnaround a bit, otherwise it was about 3 days). 
  • Awesome phone app. I’ve been able to do everything I need on my app, often late at night while feeding my baby. 

Cons

  • Polyester. Everything is polyester/stretchy. I imagine it is because it launders well and doesn’t fade or get pilly as it cycles through people. That might be a pro, depending on your preferences. I prefer cotton. 
  • Making outfits can be a challenge. I ordered almost all dresses, but I did get a skirt that I had a very difficult time matching to any of the tops in my closet. You can’t pair the items together to ship as outfits. Sometimes I took a chance on a color I wouldn’t normally wear and didn’t have the right accessories for a polished look. 
  • You can give items you really want priority and they’ll ship them if they are available, but you can’t pick exactly what item you will get. I had a wedding to go to and was hoping for a dress I would love, but ended up not getting a dress I really liked and no time to go shopping. 
  • Remember the test closet I made last winter to see if they’d have enough items to make it worth it for me? Well, I didn’t remove all of those items and I got a very wintery black skirt in one of my shipments. You’ll have to remove items and keep up on your closet if you don’t want to be out-of-season.

Have you tried a clothing subscription or styling service? Let us know your favorite one in the comments!

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About Kate Herzel

Kate Herzel is the co-owner of Heartland Doulas alongside Stacy Ash, and together with their combined 20 years of experience and 7 doulas, they help people have really amazing birth and postpartum experiences. In her spare time, Kate enjoys cooking with her kids, brewing beer with her husband, and entertaining for her friends.