Last Updated on November 25, 2023 by Eve Dawes
Express Style Trial pros and cons. Is it really worth it?
Express style trial is Express clothing’s online monthly clothing subscription box AKA subscription clothing rental service. I’ve used numerous online clothing rentals and clothing subscriptions before so figured I’d give this a try too. As an Express Style Editor I want to be able to try as many of their pieces as possible to be able to provide you personal insights and styling tips for each piece. So you can get as much wear as possible out of them. This monthly clothing subscription differs to most others in a couple of ways and there’s lots of pros and cons. More on that later in this Express Style Trial review. I’m covering how it works, selections, sizing, what the monthly fee includes, and Express style trial cost.
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Express Style Trial review
Here’s a comprehensive Express clothing subscription box AKA Express Style Trial review, first impressions and look at the 3 Express Style Trial clothing subscription boxes I got this month. 9 items of Express clothing in total.
I’ve tried lots of other clothing subscription boxes and rental services like Rent The Runway and Fashionpass so how does this compare? Which outfit is your favorite or least favorite?!
What is Express Style Trial
Express Style Trial is Express Clothing’s monthly clothing rental subscription service. However, their monthly style trial differs to most others in a couple of ways.
One in which is that you can only rent Express clothes from them. Most other services offer a variety of brands and accessories. So it is more limiting in that respect. However, if you know you like the brand and their aesthetic it’s a great option. The other is that you don’t have an exact say over what you get sent unless you pay more.
How does Express Style Trial clothing subscription box work
Basically once you’ve subscribed to get their clothing subscription boxes you get to rent 3 items at a time for an unlimited amount of times every month from their curated collection.
Once subscribed you have to start by adding pieces to your wishlist which they call ‘Stock your closet’. This basically means selecting items on the Express Style Trial site & adding them to your online closet.
They’ll then prepare your box and mail them out. Once your done wearing the 3 pieces you just send them back in the pre paid envelope they send you and then they’ll send you your next subscription box.
It’s basically a case of wear, return, repeat and making sure your online closet always has a least 20 pieces in it at all times. The reason being is that you can’t choose the exact 3 pieces that you’re sent unless you ‘dart’ them and pay more.
Once you add at least 8 items, your box will automatically start processing. We typically have a 2–3 day processing time prior to shipment. Delivery takes 1–4 business days in most cases.Express Style Trial
How much does Express Style Trial cost
Express Style Trial offers a 1 month free trial to start and then only offers 1 monthly rental subscription which costs $59 ($64.97 after tax in Nevada) per month. That includes shipping both way and all cleaning.
You can cancel any time but is this clothing subscription box worth it? It personally isn’t for me. As when I’m renting I want to be able to know what I’m getting, rent matching sets or for a specific occasion or editorial piece I’m curating. The choices were too limited for me and all of the pants were too long which meant I could only rent tops and dresses from them.
Pros and Cons of Express Style Trial
Here’s a quick run down of some of the pros and cons to help you decide whether it’s worth it or not for you personally:
- Free shipping
- Dry cleaning/laundry
- Unlimited exchanges or keep as long as you want.
- Buy and keep for up to 70% off.
- Good selection of everyday basics and workwear.
- A good way to try new styles and outfit ideas.
- Cheaper than buying that many new clothes.
- Some of the inventory is old and no longer available in store or online. Although that could also be a pro as you have access to pieces no longer available to purchase.
- Limited to just Express clothing.
- No accessories or bags available for rent.
- It says unlimited looks but there’s only as many as they have in stock in your size, for me that was really limited when it came to coats.
- You can prioritize which ones you want sent at no extra charge but to choose the exact 3 you have to pay more.
- It takes a while to receive your 1st box and about 5 days between returning and receiving your next box.
- The pants/trousers are too long for petites.
- Only ships to the US.
- You can’t rent for specific dates.
Express Style Trial review | The 9 pieces in my Express Style Trial clothing subscription boxes
These were the 9 pieces I received in my Express Style Trial clothing subscription box during my free month trial. I went into much more detail on each piece in the YouTube video review (coming soon). I’ve also linked all of the pieces still on the Express website below.
1. Cable knit sweater shrug in swan
This was part of a super cute and stylish matching 3 piece skirt, cami and shrug set. They didn’t have the skirt in stock in my size so I just got the 2 top pieces. Both pieces were very thick so definitely more of a Winter than Fall outfit. You could mix and match this shrug with other tops to get more wear out of it. You’d have to buy the one you rented as it’s no longer available on the Express website.
2. Express Cable knit cami sweater in swan
This knit cami was boxy and I found that it rolled up which made it less flattering than shown on the model. This is another piece where you’d have to buy the one you rented as it’s no longer available on the Express website. On the plus side, it means it’s a lot cheaper.
3. Super high waisted novelty button trouser pant in pitch black
I loved these and the waist fit like a glove. However, I couldn’t wear them as the length isn’t mentioned on their site and they were way too long even with my highest heels. Unfortunately they don’t come in petite but if you’re tall these are a stunning, great quality pair of pants.
4. Express white cotton Boyfriend Poplin Portofino Shirt Dress
This white shirt dress also comes in black. I found this ran large but wasn’t see through which is always a bonus. Swap out the belt to change up the look. You could also layer it over tights or leggings.
5. Poplin Striped Boyfriend Portofino Shirt
This runs large and very boxy so definitely consider sizing down. I didn’t like this boyfriend shirt style at all and tried various ways of tucking it to try to get it to work. I just don’t think it’s flattering on petites. It was also supposed to be black and white and was grey and white as it was so faded.
6. Denim Padded Shoulder Button Up Mini Dress on sale
I loved this denim mini dress and it fit like a glove. The padded shoulders gave it more structure and shape and the silver buttons elevated an otherwise casual basic. Snap it up while you can as it’s on sale.
7. Satin Scoop Neck Midi Downtown Cami Slip Dress
I actually loved the feel, fit and look of this Express cami dress. The shoulder straps are adjustable and you can always layer under and over it for the colder months.
8. Express red oversized boyfriend blazer
I’d added both this red blazer and the matching red skort to my wishlist but they only sent the blazer. Which is one of the major issues with Express Style Trial that I mentioned earlier. I got 3 pieces, but not one complete outfit.
It also came with the lining ripped and is way too big. So a hard miss for me but if you like oversized blazers, check it out.
9. Black Faux Leather Belted Trench Coat
Another hit! This black trench coat felt super soft and I found ran true to size. It’s a great layering piece and great value. It works just as well for petites as regular and tall fit so it’s a really good piece to try.
Will I keep using Express Style Trial
The breaking deciding factor for me is that I can’t rent exactly what I want for specific dates. For example you have the option on rent the runway to select a specific style for specific dates. On Express Style Trial you’ll get something random from your ‘stock your closet’ sent within a few days of ordering but there’s no way to choose specific dates.
When I’m renting I want to rent exactly what I want to rent. So that I have a complete outfit or something for a specific occasion. Not just box of randomness!
To try and offset that I’ve been trying to be strategic with what’s on my wishlist. Building it out from neutrals and prioritizing whole outfits in the hopes that they’re smart enough to know we’d rather rent a matching set than 3 random tops.
Honestly, that’s not good enough for me or enough for me to warrant keeping up with this service. I like to wear different colors and to be able to plan outfits.
However, if you don’t mind spending the extra to have specific pieces sent each time or don’t mind mixing and matching with what’s already in your closet it might be worth checking out. Especially if you’re looking for workwear. As then you could get sent 3 different button down shirts and be happy.
Shop the outfits
Not all of the pieces are available any longer but I’ve linked everything that is still available from Express. Both the pieces that I’ve ordered and reviewed, the ones in my online closet and favorite pieces from Express Style Trial.
For the most part I find their clothing runs true to size or slightly big. I definitely recommend considering sizing down in the boyfriend Portofino shirts and shirt dresses.
For more fashion, style, sale alerts and discount codes or just to say Hi.
More Express and clothing rental reviews
From Express clothing basics to other clothing rental subscriptions. I’ve tried them all so that you don’t have to.