All About Rent the Runway

Since I’m still sick, I sadly have nothing to report on the fitness front. But I mentioned a few posts back how much I love Rent the Runway and that it deserves a post of its own, so here it is!

Note: I’m not being paid to promote Rent the Runway or anything — I just really love the service — but some of the links in this post will earn me credit toward dress rentals if you use them to create an account and rent a dress.

I’m not a very fancy person, but I had several occasions to be fancy in 2014 because of my friend Sarah’s bridal celebrations and wedding, and my own bridal celebrations. I hate buying party dresses and only wearing them once, so I decided to give Rent the Runway a shot!

I created my Rent the Runway account and started looking for a dress to wear to Sarah’s bridal shower in June. I added several dresses to my shortlist, but really relied on other customers’ reviews when it came to making my decision.

The reviews are so, so helpful because you find out things like whether the dress runs large, small, or true to size; what kind of bra you can wear with it; whether it’s restrictive or loose enough to dance in; whether or not it’s flattering for a particular body type; and any little quirks, like if the straps are a little too long and tend to fall down.

Many reviews also include a photo of the woman who rented the dress wearing it. I love being able to see how the dress fits real people — not just a model, who will always looks amazing. I try to find a woman who has a body type similar to mine so I can get an idea of how the dress would look on me.

For the bridal shower, I chose the Springtime Air Dress because it was a beautiful color and had great reviews from other renters.

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It was so fun to wear! The dress was also really well-made; I had never before worn a dress that had boning to keep its shape and keep it from falling down. But I’d also never worn a designer dress that cost ~$400 off the rack before!

I also loved that two sizes of the dress are included with every rental. Dresses definitely fit differently depending on the style and designer, so it’s awesome to have the size you think you’ll be, plus a backup size just in case. Usually my typical size 6 fits, but I’ve worn a size 8 a few times, too.

Returns are easy, too. A pre-paid UPS envelope is included with your rental, so you just put the dresses in the envelope and drop it in a UPS drop box or at a UPS store. And no need to worry about cleaning — Rent the Runway dry-cleans every dress. If you accidentally damage a dress, a small insurance fee covers that.

Next, I ordered the Grapefruit Spritz Sheath for Sarah’s wedding in July.

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I felt like a classy lady! Loved the color as well. It was another beautifully made, but expensive dress that I’d never be able to wear if not for Rent the Runway.

By this time, I was fully addicted, and paid $29.95 to upgrade my account to PRO so I would get free shipping and insurance on every rental for a year. (Shipping and insurance adds up to at least $14.95 per order, so going PRO is worth it if you plan to rent more than two dresses in a year.)

My next rental was the Futuristic Sequin Dress for my bachelorette party in August.

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When else can you wear a fully sequined dress when (a) it’s not New Year’s Eve, or (b) you’re not in Vegas? Another fun one.

Next: the Lace Sierra Dress for another friend’s wedding at the end of August.

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Then, Rent the Runway really came through with dresses for my bridal shower and rehearsal dinner. The bride often wears white at these events, but I would never buy a nice white party dress because it’s a pretty impractical thing to own. You certainly can’t wear them as a guest to weddings!

The Ivory Scarlett Dress was perfect for a one-time wear at my bridal shower, though.

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And perhaps my favorite rental of all was the Madeline Sheath for our wedding rehearsal and dinner.

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It was business in the front/party in the back! (I swear my spray tan wasn’t that orange in real life. Or at least it wasn’t after I scrubbed the shit out of it in the shower.)

Anyway, it was a totally impractical dress for my everyday life, but perfect for that once-in-a-lifetime occasion.

And that’s it so far! I haven’t had the occasion to rent in a while, and I probably won’t for some time. It was worth it to wear special dresses for some very special events, but I definitely won’t make it a regular habit. I have a few nice dresses I can pull back into the rotation since my friends may not remember them now that I haven’t worn them in a year or so. 🙂

If I ever get the chance to attend a black-tie event or other formal occasion where a gown is required (oh please oh please, someone invite me to one!), I’ll definitely be hitting Rent the Runway again!

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