Clothing rentals are typically done online, in isolation. But now, Seattleites can book a personal styling session at clothing-rental service Armoire’s new Pioneer Square headquarters, and employees from the local startup will curate racks of clothes in your size and style. Try them on, take home four or eight pieces at a time, then swap them for new styles whenever you’re ready.
The service is part of the company’s recent expansion from a 1,000-square-foot space on Capitol Hill to a 7,000-square-foot space that houses its entire operation, including more than 30,000 items of clothing and 35 employees.
The service also builds on company founder Ambika Singh’s mission to connect with the professional women of Seattle and support their busy lives. It lets company employees talk with members and hear their feedback, and provides a meeting or team-building space for women in the community.
“It feels like we’re part of a movement,” Singh says. “It feels like we’ve hit a moment of professional women servicing themselves and supporting each other’s businesses.”
Another moment that’s hitting: The rise of the sharing economy, with its emphasis on reducing waste and wanting better, not more.
It was an idea Singh connected with when she developed the company three years ago, growing it from a few hundred limited-size pieces mailed from an apartment to thousands of items in sizes 0–18 (with plans to be fully size-inclusive soon).
Clothing rentals are a hot concept, and Armoire is growing among the crowded field by specifically targeting professional women, many of whom have children. It’s a group that enjoys looking polished, but doesn’t have the time to shop and doesn’t covet a closet jammed with clothes. The site curates selections based on style and fit preferences, and the company’s styling algorithm better homes in on perfect pieces the more you rent.
The pieces are higher-end and span office, formal and casual wear. The company also carries local designers such as Oula, Sarah Alexandra, Zeraffa and A.Oei Studio.
Membership is $149 a month for four pieces at a time (Singh says most members get 10–15 pieces per month) or $199 for eight pieces at a time. An eight-piece capsule wardrobe that can be kept for one month is $149.
Armoire will hold an opening party that’s free to the public on Friday, June, 21, at 5 p.m., at the company’s new headquarters at 505 First Ave. South in Pioneer Square. New sign-ups will receive a Pride-themed Boss Lady Power t-shirt, as will current members who bring a friend who signs up.