Y Closet is a Beijing-based rental platform that doles out women’s apparel and accessories for a monthly membership fee of 499rmb. Founded in 2015, this seems to be the future of clothes, with a handful of investors lunging into the virtual closet game. Dora’s Dream offers casual apparel and also got its start in 2015, Ms Paris found its niche in prom dress rentals springing up in 2016, and One More Closet which just had a soft launch in July, focuses on access to designer brands. And yeah, sorry fellas, these platforms are all geared towards women — for now.
How It Works
First become a member through their app, which you can download from Y Closet's website. Both are in Chinese, but still pretty simple to use even if you can’t read it (especially with a little help in the initial sign up). A monthly membership will set you back 499rmb but when you start your trial you get a 200rmb discount, buuuuut you have to put down a 300rmb deposit, so your total comes to 599rmb.
Once you put your deposit down, it’s time to shop till you drop, to browse till you’re roused. Click the mini hanger at the bottom of the screen and you'll be led to a page where your choices are divvied up: shirts, skirts, dresses, pants, jewelry. Click your size and what you’re looking for then scroll through a seemingly endless collage. Save what you like by clicking the heart on the upper right hand side.
You can order 3 things at a time, which with so many options can be difficult, a real Sylvia Plath fig tree situation. Once you make your choice, just add the items to your virtual bag, hit a button, and they’ll arrive to your chosen address in three days. My first order arrived in just two days, a wonderful Wednesday surprise.
Those Clothes Tho
In the end I was more excited about the garment bag than the clothes in it, which to the touch felt a bit cheap and synthetic. I ordered a Sugar Icing white romper, a black Jethro work dress with what I thought would be white stitching on the sides, and a nicer Topshop yellow gold cocktail dress.
I ended up not liking the way the Jethro and Topshop dresses looked on (the black dress had a pearl beading I didn’t quite see in the picture) which I suppose is the risk you take when ordering online. I did like the white romper — unfortunately you can’t send two items back and keep one, it’s a package deal, so I wore the white romper to a dinner party (felt cool) then sent all three back.
Freedom’s Just Another Word For No Laundry
When you’re ready to send the clothes back just place them into the garment bag — pit stains and all. They wash them all in Beijing in what’s apparently, according to their website, the biggest washing service in the city. On the app, you select a time for and Shunfeng will pick it up (they did so promptly at the time selected). As soon as you select a pick up time on the app you can place your next order.
Hot dog! My second order came in just one day, not even 12 hours after it was placed. The garment bag has a new message, it says ‘keep chic and carry on’, don’t mind if I do! The quick turn around means less pressure in ordering, which is good because this time I went for stripes — so many stripes… not sure if my expectations were just adjusted but I liked both Sugar Icing dress I got and Jethro pants (redemption!). But the My Petit Paris necklace I ordered was too tangled to wear, and seemed like it might break if I attempted a detangle. I left it in the box.
Y Closet: A Few Positives and Negatives
-Quick turn around
-Trial month is pretty reasonable at 299rmb (I typically spill on everything and still got the 300rmb deposit back)
-New clothes added frequently (about 1 new collection each week)
-Clothes didn't look as nice IRL (was catfished by a few)
-I wouldn't order jewelry, necklace was too tangled to wear
-You have to keep or send back all items can't send back individually
All Membership Options
If you're completely sold and want to move right past the first month trial, there's a seasonal membership (90 days) that costs 1,257rmb, a half a year membership 2,094rmb, and a year for 3,588rmb. You can only sign up for a membership through Y Closet's app which you get through their website.