I’ve had an account with Rent The Runway for a couple years now, but only recently decided to give it a go. My boyfriend is at the stage in his life where all of his friends are getting married & I’m not too far behind! After the fifth or sixth time of stressing over what to wear & how much to spend on a dress I probably won’t wear again anytime soon, RTR was looking pretty attractive… If I’m only going to wear a dress once or twice, I’d much rather rent for $40 than buy for $150+! I decided that I wanted knee-length or longer, one shoulder, form-fitting, and under $50. RTR has a really amazing sorting system that made it easy to narrow down my options to 4 dresses pretty quickly:
From left to right:
Preen “Plaza” – $40, retails for $1300
Nicole Miller “Midnight Fever” – $40, retails for $440
Lela Rose “Galaxy Tweed” – $40, retails for $1610
Herve Leger “Temptation Rising” – $35, retails for $1590
I’m absolutely in LOVE with RTR’s customer review system. Similar to Anthropologie, women have the option to upload photos of themselves wearing their rental, along with a review + general stats (bra size, dress size, body type, weight). This was literally ingenious and really helped me decide between dresses.
For example, I decided against the Herve dress because some women mentioned that the bust area was loose on smaller chested women – aka ME. I was iffy about the Preen dress too – lots of women said you’d need a small army to get zipped into it, but that it was super flattering once you were in. It was a hard decision between the Preen & Nicole Miller dresses, but it actually ended up out of my control – my size wasn’t available in the Nicole Miller dress for the date I needed it.
RTR was running a promotion for $25 off a rental of $75+ (minimum order requirement is annoying, but whatever), so I started with the Lela Rose in a size 4 as my main dress ($40), and added a size 6 as my backup (free). You have the option to add a second rental for $32.50, so I added in the Preen dress. Worst case, the reviews would be right & I’d just have to wear my first choice anyway. I was literally $2.50 away from the $75 min, and threw in a pair of Nicole Miller “Southern Plantation Earrings” for $5. THEN I added in their yearly membership for $30 – it gave me free shipping & free insurance, which actually brought my total to less than if I hadn’t gotten the membership. All told, I had a 4-day rental of 2 dresses + earrings for $82. Still less than what I’d pay buying a dress, so I set the delivery date for the day before the wedding & tried not to stress TOO much over whether they’d actually fit/look nice.
The day before the dresses were supposed to arrive, I checked the site & they hadn’t shipped. Shouldn’t have checked. Should have just trusted the RTR fairy godmother. I literally had a nightmare about not having the dresses in time, but fast forward to the next day and they arrived on schedule! The dresses were individually hung in plastic bags, and zipped into a garment bag that you can keep. It also came with some product samples from DryBar & a card for a free mini hairspray. I don’t know that I’ll use either, but thought that was a nice touch!
On to the fitting! I’m glad that I ordered the backup Lela dress in a size 6 – the 4 zipped up without (too much) sucking in, but had a weird ripple in the front from the tension. The 6 fit absolutely perfectly! I LOVE LOVE LOVED the fabric – photographs so beautifully! A couple minor issues I had – although I loved the fabric, it was a lightweight tweed lined with silk, and I thought it’d be wayyyy too hot for a muggy summer wedding. I also didn’t love the shape of the skirt – I wish it would have been a bit more fitted towards the bottom. It kinda just hangs straight & felt weird to me, but I guess it looks fine in photos etc.
Like I said before, I wasn’t sure if the Preen would fit or not, and RTR didn’t have a size medium available, only a S or XS. I think this dress has been on the site for awhile, and they’ve lost some inventory to damage/stains, etc. I called customer service to ask about larger sizes, and was told that what they have on the site is all they have available. So anyway, the reviewers weren’t lying! I was able to get into the dress on my own, but it took a firm grip, some anchoring the fabric between the wall & my hip, and lots of curse words. Once it’s on though… va va voom! I loved the bright color, neckline, fabric, and detailing! Only downside is that not much else (food/drinks) would fit in the dress with me (haha). Once my sister & boyfriend saw this one, they were sold – so Preen it was!
I kept accessories to a minimum – just the Nicole Miller earrings & a pair of cognac leather platform pumps from Zara.
For makeup, I was inspired by this look my little sister wore awhile back & had to recreate it! Don’t ask me how – it’s a literal miracle that I got those lashes on properly!
The wedding was an absolute blast! Good people, good music… and a photobooth! Probably my favorite part of the night =)
Your turn! Have you ever tried Rent the Runway before? Which dress did you rent, and how was your experience?