Monday, June 30, 2014

Rent the Runway is my new best friend!

If you have ever stood in front of a closet full of one-time worn cocktail dresses and fancy gowns, right before a wedding, and have actually thought, "I have NOTHING to wear!  What am I going to wear?!", then you'll know very well the feeling I had a few weeks back when I realized I had back-to-back weddings coming up.  While this certainly isn't the most tragic fashion problem to have (see-through dresses a la Rihanna would be more tragic) it is a stressful problem in terms of your wallet!

While my pre-children self would have thought buying a dress for each of the weddings I was attending was a prefect way to spend an entire weekend, my post-children self thinks it's an incredibly useless expense that could be better spent on maintaining my Starbucks habit or signing my kids up for swim lessons this summer. That is why when I saw one of those Facebook side ads for Rent the Runway (RTR) I decided to check it out. (Who knew?!  Apparently, those ads work because people like me click on them.)  That was the single, best ad click I've ever made!  I discovered the most brilliant site and one that would have been SO useful back in high school during prom and winter formal season: a place where you can rent designer gowns at the most insane prices!  BRILLIANT!!!

I quickly created a couple of "SHORTLISTS", which are basically lists that you create for each event you are attending, and I then placed dresses that I loved into those lists for those particular events.  For my brother in law's wedding I was looking for a cute, short length dress that would be perfect for a church wedding, but still appropriate for a garden reception.  I didn't want it too fancy, but I also didn't want to be underdressed.  Quickly I found dresses that fit my search criteria and saved them into my Shortlist titled "Marc's Wedding".  Once I had picked a few dresses, I went back and read the reviews of each dress, which then helped me eliminate dresses.  The review feature is the key to a successful rental because you get to see height, weight, size and bra size of other renters.  Based on this, you then decide whether this dress is right for you or not, by following the recommendations of other ladies who are your size.  Once I narrowed down my choices, I decided on the blue, Issa "Spray Paint" dress.  The retail value of this dress is $620, and I was able to rent it for four days at a cost of just $30.

My cousin's wedding was a little more formal, but the weather was predicted to be quite hot, so I wanted a short length dress that still gave me a more formal look.  After a few options selected, and then going in and reading the reviews to narrow down my choice, I chose the Karla dress by designer Nha Khanh.  This dress retails at $650, however I was able to rent it for four days at just $40.  I needed accessories with this dress so I also rented the Southern Plantation Earrings by Nicole Miller for just $5 and the matching bracelet, the Star Light Star Bright bracelet by Nicole Miller, at just $15.  I really could not be happier about my experience with RTR.

Hair & Makeup by Abril Perez (@abril_lizette)
And finally, another cousin got married and her wedding was more of a formal affair.  I rented the Badgley Mishka "Award Winner" gown, along with an Elizabeth Cole Crystal Navettee Bloom cocktail ring, as well as the same Nicole Miller Southern Plantation Earrings from the wedding above.  This dress was a show stopper!  I got compliments at this wedding from perfect strangers who kept telling me the dress was "stunning", "amazing" and "just gorgeous"! I can't say that I disagree and I am so glad I wore this one!  And at just $70 to rent, it just can't be beat!

Now, you might be thinking, "Wendy, this all sounds so great, but how do I know if the dress will fit?!"  Well, you don't know if the dress will fit. I have to trust the reviewers in this area. However, as a safety net I ordered a second dress (same dress) in a different size, both times.  Of course, a second dress comes at a cost. However, in order to save myself some money, and because I knew I'd be renting three times this year, I paid for the RTR Pro membership. This membership is a $29.95 fee which covers you for one year. It includes some very important features that allow you to maximize your experience with RTR. With the membership you receive free shipping on every rental, free insurance which covers you in case you ruin the dress in anyway, a free $50 dress rental on your birthday and a free second dress with every rental. Right there the membership pays for itself if you'll be renting more than once. For me, it was a no-brainer! AND, if you're renting for the first time they give you $25 off your rental! Buying a dress no longer makes sense.   You can understand why my husband thinks this is one of the best ideas I've ever had.  You're welcome, honey!

*This is a review of my experience with RTR. I was not paid or compensated in any way for this post.*


  1. This RTR site sounds awesome, and you look like a dream! ;)

    God bless,
    XO, Claire

  2. Firstly i want to say thanks for sharing your beautiful experience with us. Sometimes i have faced this issue; what to wear in a wedding. But your idea is totally unique.xoxo....


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