A very old and dear friend of mine got married last weekend in Charleston, SC (if you follow me on Twitter or Insta, you already know this), and I was incredibly pumped when he told me his wedding would be black tie. Who doesn't love an excuse here and there to go super fancy? I finally had an excuse to try Rent the Runway.
Rent the Runway is a website that allows you to rent high-price, designer dresses and accessories for 4 or 8 days. It's been around for a few years now, and it provides users with a) an opportunity to wear dresses they wouldn't otherwise be able to afford, and b) a variety of options for every event without the risk of wearing the same dress to multiple events (gasp!).
I'm all for reusing clothes, believe me — I have clothes in my closet that have been there for ten years — but when you're going fancy, and you want to stand out, Rent the Runway gives you the opportunity to be unique not just among the other partygoers but among all the other events you may go to.
This is not a dress you wear to more than one event. Am I right?
Let me tell you, when money and longevity are not an issue, choosing a dress is hard. For the first time in my life I didn't have to worry about how much wear I would get out of something and whether or not it was worth the money; this was a one-time-dress, period. And so the choice was difficult.
I finally settled on this Badgley Mischka Glitz Gown when I recognized that it would probably look better on someone with curves (like me!) than it looks on the stick model. I relied heavily on user reviews (and especially photos) to find out how it fits normal-sized people and to make my size and length choices. RTR recommended the long length for anyone 5'7" or taller (I'm 5'7"), so I ordered the long, and they will send you a second size for free! The idea I got from reviews was that the dress runs large, so I ordered my normal size and a size down. Once I'd added those to my cart, they recommended accessories — jewelry, clutches, wraps — so I picked a clutch to go with my dress for another $5. Yep, you read that right: $5 to rent a clutch. Done and done.
My event was out of town and we were leaving first thing on Friday morning. You can rent for 4 days or 8 days; since it was just a weekend, I chose 4 days. I needed the dress to arrive on Thursday so that I could keep it until Sunday, which left me exactly zero other options if it didn't fit. You could say I was taking a leap of faith!
When I got home on Thursday night I immediately ripped open the box to try on the dresses. They were carefully packaged in plastic inside a Rent the Runway dress bag, and there was also a UPS return bag for me to return the dresses on Sunday. I ended up needing my normal size, not the size down, and the dress fit like a glove. It was magical! I felt so amazing and... oh my god... so hot. I was sweating. I was SWEATING trying on a dress I was going to be wearing in Charleston, South Carolina in June. The dress was heavy and it made me so nervous, but what was I going to do? I went with it.
When the night actually came, all my fears about being too hot were totally squashed. Maybe I was just excited when I was trying on the dress the first time; I was totally comfortable all night at the wedding, and I got beaucoup de compliments.
The day after the wedding, I carefully folded up both dresses and put them & my clutch in the UPS return bag; there was a UPS drop box right outside the hotel, so it was perfection. Just like that, I was done wearing the second most glamorous dress of my life (my wedding dress will always be my number one), and I was only out $90 instead of the $650 it would have cost to buy it.
Rent the Runway was super easy, and its success (for me) was largely based on the free second size and the extensive user reviews & pictures. Those two things are the reason I felt confident leaving myself no other options or time to find other options. The dress was gorgeous, it fit wonderfully, it was easy to rent and easy to return, and the accessory options were a surprise bonus that I didn't know were available! Being able to rent a clutch was great because I didn't have one that would match the dress.
If you've considered trying Rent the Runway but haven't yet, consider this a two-thumbs-up review! I will absolutely use it again, no question. If you have used RTR, I would love to hear about your experience! Comment below, and don't forget pictures! :)
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