So trying to determine how I feel about Gwynnie Bee (referral link) is complicated by the fact that I HATE plus size clothing brands, shopping and sizing. Trying to separate GB’s failings from the failings of the entire industry is really tough.
As a concept, GB is easy: Netflix for plus size (10-32) clothing. If you love it, you can buy it at a discount.
In practice? It has its flaws. My tl;dr is this: if you’re an hourglass shape between sizes 12-18, subscribe. If you’re incredibly adventurous with fashion, join up! If you have a slight shopping addiction and you’re looking to curb your impulse spending, this would probably be a nice tool.
For me? It’s all wrong. Maybe. I think.
My issues with GB:
- Can’t search by style/silhouette
- Reviews are essentially useless (I’d much rather they follow Old Navy‘s model)
- Shipping turnaround feels like it takes a liiiiittle too long, and this does NOT encourage me to step up my subscription size
- You MUST keep 15 pieces in your “Closet” at all times for a new shipment to go… and I had trouble doing that!
- You get ZERO preference as to what piece you will receive next, so if part of your closet is wrong for the weather, then OH WELL
- They’re not transparent enough about how much the piece will cost when you try it. That’s not great for budget shoppers (but who cares about those, cater to the people who spend without thinking, I get it.)
- Some brands don’t have size charts, or their size charts don’t match up to how pieces are actually sized (some brands tell you sizing by the numerical size 12-28, then you choose 1x-4x. UH.)
- I have a lot of personal style rules that I FEEL aren’t that crazy, but apparently, I’m a Unicorn Hunter. (Nothing sleeveless, nothing too tight around the waist/lower belly. Call me needy!)
- They JUST rolled out a “recommended size” option that lets you compare this brand’s sizing to a brand you know.
- They’re great at communicating when something has been shipped, when new pieces arrive, etc.
- They really do offer some great pieces from great brands at a great discount (usually… and yeah, shouldn’t pre-worn clothing be at a amazeballs discount but hey what do I know)
- They have like 400 tops! It’s crazy!
- They take feedback on the condition of the pieces, the feel of the pieces and whether you liked them directly, then seem to publish ALL reviews of clothing (and some are brutal, man.)
In one month, I tried just five pieces of clothing. That’s shipping them back as fast as possible (usually telling them I’d shipped it before I actually had…) I waited around a day or two on one top because doing so triggered a price change on a dress I tried. Turns out, didn’t happen. Grrr. I bought that shirt and it’s MARVELOUS, but c’mon. It coulda been cheaper.
This dress was really okay, but the fabric weight was all wrong for the time of year and I simply couldn’t tell that from the page. This dress was an all-around trainwreck, and I should’ve paid more attention to the reviews. I really liked this dress, but just didn’t have a use for it. I got to try this cardigan before there were any reviews of it and WELP LESSON LEARNED it sucked big ones.
So for one month, I tried and purchased one shirt. Right now, my GB Closet is full of cardigans and tops because I don’t know what the weather is going to be like going forward. And I just don’t love this service.