Science and Tech


Le Tote: Find, Rent, Buy Clothing And Accessories

Le Tote is a clothing subscription service that lets you find, rent and buy clothes with each new tote.
Posted at 7:50 AM, Aug 04, 2015

If style isn’t your strong suit, or if you’re just hoping to revamp your look, Le Tote might be just what your wardrobe ordered.

Le Tote is a $49-per-month clothing and accessory subscription service with a few unique features.

It’s a combination rental service and clothing store, with curated clothing picked just for you. Which kind of reminds us of something.

On NBC's Parks and Recreation, Tom Haverford shouts, "Tom Haverford and Jean-Ralphio Saperstein ..."

"Creators of Entertainment 720," says Jean-Ralphio. 

"... proudly present Rent A Swag! ... I own it, you rent it, you wear it, you clean it, you return it," Tom explains.

OK, to be fair there are a few key differences. But before we get to those, we've got a bit more to explain.

When you first sign up, you’ll tell Le Tote a little bit about yourself: Sizes, personal style choices, and the like.

You'll then start to build out a list of things you'd want to receive in your tote— Le Tote calls this "My Closet."

Using what it’s learned about you and your unique style, Le Tote puts its algorithm to work to recommend clothing just for you. The company once relied heavily on human-curated recommendations, but soon realized an algorithm would do a much better job.

"What we realized was this process was fundamentally very flawed, because people have their own biases," Le Tote CEO Rakesh Tondon explained. "Our algorithm can look at the customer more objectively … with a machine or with an algorithm, you can look at a lot of those data points … and can then make the right recommendation for that customer."

Those data points — to name a few — include weather, location, and even how others in your area are using the service.

It’s important to note humans still play a small role in Le Tote’s recommendations. Stylists check in on the algorithm from time to time, making sure the recommendations line up with what’s fashionable.

"I would say 99 percent of totes that are styled are styled by our algorithm today," Tondon estimated. "What we don’t want to do is completely rely on the machine and assume they’re doing a good job … it’s more of a backstop to make sure we’re really doing a good job."

So once the company’s algorithm has you all figured out, Le Tote will send your first tote within one to two business days.

You'll get a box delivered to your doorstep with five items: three garments and two accessories. When you're done wearing your new clothes, use the included pre-paid return envelope to send 'em back to Le Tote. Once they receive the package, they'll get a new tote sent your way.

If a particular item catches your eye, you can choose to purchase the item by leaving it out of the return envelope. Le Tote will charge you for the member price of the item.

Now, remember how we said Le Tote differs from "Rent a Swag?" That's because you don't have to worry about washing the clothing you rent — Le Tote's professional cleaners will do that for you. And if you add on a $5 insurance fee to your tote, the company won't charge you for minor spills and nicks.

If a constant stream of new clothes and freedom from the worry of wine spills sounds like a deal to you, you can learn more about Le Tote on the company's website.

This video includes music from Brenticus / CC BY 3.0.