Gwynnie Bee Review - Plus Size Netflix for Clothes

I don't know about you, but I get bored with my clothes. At the same time, I have a very limited budget for clothing shopping. I found myself all summer just wearing the same plain things. I can spice things up with my jewelry and my nails, but fashion-wise I have been in a rut. The irony of plus size fashion is now there are so many nice brands out there now, but some of the brands are just point blank out of my price range. So there are a lot of plus size brands out there that I have been wanting to try but are only sold online. I didn't want to take the risk of ordering things and having them not fit, dealing with returns, etc.

Enter Gwynnie Bee! Over the past month, I've been trying out Gwynnie Bee, a clothing borrowing/renting service for plus size fashion. I tried it on a free trial they offer for all regular customers. I am a Gwynnie Bee affiliate, but anything you see in this post was paid for either by me or by referral credits, i.e. this post is not sponsored by GB, and it's my honest Gwynnie Bee review. It's also super long, so I added some headers to help you scan the page for the info you are most curious about.

Note: All the jewelry in my photos is Chloe + Isabel, which I sell here.

Spruce & Sage Lush Botanical Blouson Top - worn without the included sash
I'm so in love with this top, I closeted it again.
So, how does Gwynnie Bee work?

How It Works

You pay a monthly fee that depends on how many items you get at a time; current pricing on GB's site. For my free trial, I chose 3-at-a-time, which is the most you can get on a special, and normally costs $79 a month. Now that I am paying for it, I downgraded to 1-at-a-time, but I do have some extra items because of referral credits. I know another girl who does the 5-at-a-time plan and because she works in a professional office, she's a Chloe + Isabel merchandiser as well. She wants to look sharp all the time, and the $99 a month is worth it to her. 

Kiyonna Striped Promenade top
I thought I would like this more than I did, but it was very comfortable.

The Gwynnie Bee Closet

Once you sign up, you go through the site and choose things to put in your "closet." The closet on Gwynnie Bee is like the queue on Netflix- that's the pool of items that you will be receiving things from. There is one major difference from Netflix, though. As of this writing, you are not able to prioritize one item over another. They do say that you can email in and ask for items to be placed at the top of the list, but it's still based on availability. When I tried it, it didn't work out for me at all. I've received several items since putting in my priority list, and haven't received any of them. Maybe they are popular items, but the process is not very transparent. I really wish there was a prioritization queue like Netflix; that is the one negative I have to report about Gwynnie Bee.

They do have a "On Hold" section where you can put things from your closet that you don't want to get right now, but don't want to totally delete. I have been using that a lot. For example, It seems tops are more in demand than dresses.  When I have dresses in my closet, I just get dresses. I can wear dresses to work, but I don't wear them every day. So if I already have a couple of dresses checked out, I will put all the other dresses in my closet on hold and just have tops in there, so the next shipment just has tops. I also edit my closet when I try a new brand and figure out if I like it or not. They seem to have new arrivals at least a couple of times a week too, so there is always fresh closet fodder. I subscribed to Facebook notifications for Gwynnie Bee so I know when their new arrivals come out.

The last key thing to know about the closet is - the more, the merrier. I have had about 50 items in my closet at any given time, and have had no problems getting things shipped to me quickly. I have seen ladies on social media complaining about slower shipments, and it turned out they had very few things in their closet. So until or unless GB comes up with some prioritization scheme, it seems the choices are between closeting as many things catch your eye, and just enjoy the surprise, or being super picky about what you closet and having to wait. I fall into the first camp and have been happily wearing my surprises.

Shipping Items Back

When you get your shipment, you also get bags with pre-paid shipping labels to send your items back. You can send them back whenever you like. Some pieces I tried on, and was like "not for me" and sent it right back. Other pieces, I wore once or twice and sent back. When you send things back, you go on the site and let them know, and they start preparing your next shipment pretty fast. I seem to get a shipping email within a day or two of letting them know.

Kiyonna Crisscross top in Olive- Very Boobalicious
Couldn't figure out where to wear this. Sent it back but might get it in the summertime.

Customer Reviews

One of the most helpful features of Gwynnie Bee's site are the customer reviews. Ladies are not holding back when it comes to their feelings about the items. Definitely read the customer reviews to find out about sizing, quality of fabric, and the differences between the model pics and the real life items. 

Trying New Styles

I have actually picked out things from the site that I think will be perfect on me, and didn't work at all. And other things I would never pay retail for, because it's a complete experiment, and I loved wearing, like this Cherry Velvet dress. This brand retails at well over $100, and that's special occasion pricing for me. Even the GB price was in the high $80's. But I loved the chance to try out this brand and this super cute print, which I wore to a brunch with a bunch of girls, and then happily put it right back in the blue bag to ship back to GB. After doing that, though, I went back on the site and closeted a few more Cherry Velvet items.

Melody Dress in Tea Room Print by Cherry Velvet
Loved wearing it once. Would never purchase since it doesn't fit my lifestyle. Perfect GB item.

Purchasing Items

You also have the option of buying items, and you get a really good discount off of the retail price. The price to buy the item changes a little from day to day based on availability. Once you purchase the item, you have a new slot open and the system automatically ships you something else from your closet. The items you purchase are final sale, so be careful not to hit that Buy It button before you know for sure you want to keep it forever.

So far, I have purchased two items from GB, a Yours Clothing dress and an IGIGI top, and got close to half off of the retail price for them. I guess this is because the clothing is technically used, but everything I have received has been in clean and pristine condition. I'm not afraid to buy used clothing anyway, and if I can get a good discount off of a super good quality brand, I am down.

There's also a separate shopping site where you can purchase items that are about to be retired at a steeper discount. I haven't tried that out yet because the items are final sale and I haven't been using GB long enough for items I have tried to be in that shop.

Discovering New Brands

GB has brands like Kiyonna, IGIGI, and Karen Kane that I have been wanting to try and wear for a long time but didn't want to spring for not knowing how they would fit and wear. They also have several of their own house brands: Triste, Flutter, Postcards, Spruce and Sage, and Flor. I've noticed on the house brands, if you are on the cusp of a size, you should size up.

I think IGIGI is the top brand I have discovered through GB that I am completely in love with. And frankly, even with the discount, I can't afford to buy IGIGI things left and right, nor would I have time to wear all the things I love from them. But I have had my eye on the brand for a long time and after trying it through GB, I definitely will try and wear more in the future. I even joined their affiliate program in anticipation of writing a future post.

IGIGI Miley top in Peony Floral
I purchased this top. It looks almost as good on me as the model; trust me.
Overall, I have really enjoyed my Gwynnie Bee experience. I definitely intend to keep up a membership, and I might end up upgrading if all my referrals run out and I miss having so many options. It's been super fun to try all these different clothes, have the option to purchase them at a discount AFTER I have worn them all day to see how they wear, and going on the site and adding things to the closet kind of cures my shopping jones. I've been getting tons of compliments on my style and have expanded it to include things I didn't used to think I would wear. 

Whew... this has been a super long post! Thanks for sticking with me. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments or on social media!

3 comments:

  1. Love the teapot dress! And the photobomb by dragon is cute :) Also love your nail polish paring!

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  2. OMG that tea dress is too freaking cute! Great post!

    ReplyDelete