Amsterdam fashion library LENA: € 3.762,55 saved in a year!

This is it. This month marks my full year as a member of the Amsterdam fashion library LENA. With this year behind me, I would like to share with you my findings, tips and thoughts on the whole clothes borrowing business.

The financial aspect

Firstly, the most burning question: “Was it worth it financially?”

Lets see: the value of the clothes I borrowed throughout the year was € 3.762,55… Insane, right? I spent  € 419,40 on the subscription (€ 34,95 per month), which leaves me with a potential savings of € 3.343,15.

Amsterdam fashion library LENA: € 3.762,55 saved in a year!

All the clothes I borrowed from the Amsterdam fashion library LENA (throughout the year).  

What is the most expensive item I borrowed from the LENA library? This Alexandra Frida skirt valued at € 700,00!

This Alexandra Frida skirt valued at € 700,00!

This skirt, to me, is THE reason you should sign up to a fashion library. It’s very expensive for a not-so-basic garment that can only be worn a few times before it becomes too noticeable.

Wearing the beautiful Alexandra Frida skirt to an event

Wearing the beautiful Alexandra Frida skirt to an event

My favorite LENA looks of the year:

My favorite LENA looks of the year:

Here are some of my favorite looks from the last year. It was actually hard to choose as there were so many!

My conclusions on using the fashion library:

  • I didn’t go to the fashion library as often as I thought I would (and that’s ok).The initial idea was to go to the LENA fashion library every week. And that’s how it was in the beginning. Even though the novelty of the concept and the newness of the clothes kept me immensely excited I did worry however how long this excitement would last. I worried that at some point I might get bored with the assortment of the clothes or with the concept. So the fact that my visits seem to have stabilized into a routine of about 2 visits per month makes me very happy. And that’s enough for me. I still get plenty of new clothes… almost more than I can wear.
  • I take more care of my clothes. Let me explain: the same way a car is inspected before you rent it, so are the clothes before you borrow them. Every stain or pulled thread is carefully documented. If you happen to damage the outfit you borrow – you’ll run the risk of paying a penalty. I take much more care now when I eat something or go out and when I come home I immediately change into my “home clothes”. This practice began with the borrowed clothes and has permeated into the rest of my wardrobe. This attitude is another wonderful sustainable side effect of using a fashion library: my clothes stay in mint condition longer, I take better care of them and treat them with the uttermost respect they deserve.
  • Was it worth it financially? To me, it was: I spent € 419,40 on the subscription (€ 34,95 per month) and got clothes worth € 3.762,55.  

Who is the Amsterdam fashion library LENA for?

  • You like to experiment with styles. The Lena library is one such place to try. It houses a reasonable array of styles and sizes, formal dresses, skinny jeans and more. My favorite part of using this fashion library is the ability to try out a style without having to commit to buying the clothes.
  • You usually go shopping at least twice per month. Any less than that makes the whole concept less attractive financially. Better if you normally browse the shops at least once per week. Then the value you’ll get out of the subscription will be amazing.
  • You like vintage clothes. Although LENA library has a lot of modern clothes and brands, still a substantial part of the space is taken up by vintage clothes. But hey, this makes experimenting with fashion so much more fun, because you can rest assured that there will be no one walking with the same dress on as you.

So, what’s the verdict? Will you give a fashion library a try?

1 Comment
  • January 16, 2018

    I had no idea Amsterdam had a fashion library, I must check it out. I think it’s a much more sustainable way to enjoy clothes, and having a vintage part-swoon!

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