Review: Le Tote Dress for Success

Nearly 2 years ago (wow) I started subscribing to the clothing rental service, Le Tote. I wrote my initial review a few totes in and I was still iffy on the service. The results were mixed but I’d had some fun and even stepped out of my comfort zone to try a dress. Or maybe I should say I stepped into my comfort zone.

Prior to Fall 2017, the number of dresses I owned was 5 (pictured above). They were all used in very limited cases – weddings, graduations, holidays, and the like. They included the dress I wore to my college graduation that I keep swearing I’ll wear again. (Wanna guess how many years I’ve been making that claim?)

The First Hit

Enter Le Tote. In November 2017 I made the fateful decision to try a dress. Just one, just for kicks, what’s the harm? Little did I know…

Form-fitting full length cotton maxi dress with black pinstripes and 3/4 sleeves
The gateway drug.

I mentioned in my original review that I bought the green dress and had started putting one dress into every tote since. I’d started to play with my style a bit. By January, I’d tried out the color pink for the first time since childhood. Then in February, I went completely wild and got a tote that was entirely dresses. In March, I not only rented 2 dresses in the same tote, I bought them both! In April, I bought a sexy short sweater dress – something I’d logically argued against in the past. “Come on, if it’s cold enough to need a sweater, you need your legs covered too!” said old Julia. New Julia figured out that tall boots and tights worked just fine.

The Dry Spell

Then my work travel kicked up in a gnarly way and I wasn’t home reliably enough to receive my totes. I had to put my subscription on pause. I kept subscribing to the emails and made a major score on Black Friday when I scooped up 5(!!!) dresses and a top for a whopping $106. One dress I hadn’t even rented before, but I knew the brand well enough and Le Tote’s size recommendations had been on point. In one fell swoop, I nearly doubled my dress inventory. It only increased the urge for my next fix.

It took me over a year to reactivate my subscription. Work travel never let up long enough to make the monthly fee worthwhile. In that time, I’d made good use of what I had. The dresses I’d purchased were in heavy rotation, especially since they made traveling so much simpler. Picking out an outfit? Don’t have to think about a top and bottom if you wear a dress! One week, when the weather was expected to cooperate with my options, my entire work wardrobe was dresses.

Somewhere in all that time, two people used my referral link (thank you, mystery people!) and a couple of goofs on Le Tote’s part had netted $10 in purchase credits. The result being that I’ve purchased 3 dresses from my last 4 totes for a grand total of $6 out of pocket. Clearance and credits are a glorious thing.

The Struggle Continues

Now I’m facing a new dilemma. My growing addiction to dresses is at war with my efforts to live a life free of excess “stuff.” I don’t know how to measure a wardrobe in dresses. How many work-appropriate dresses do I need? What amount allows for a solid rotation? What constitutes a large amount, the number where some get stuck in that “I like it but I never wear it” category? I consulted briefly with Kaetlyn (dress wearing former coworker) who did a quick count and said she had 21 in her work rotation plus a handful of season-specific dresses. I’m currently at 12 Le Tote dresses & 2 of my own work-appropriate finds total. And what about all those dresses I bought for going out dancing 1-2 times a week? What’s the magic number there? TBD.

(For fun and because I’m a nerd, the Le Tote dress are organized in order of purchase date.)

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