Retail for Rent

After admitting that I’d never used Rent the Runway before, my friends judged looked at me with blank stares. What really took them for a whirl was when I followed with the fact that I’d never even heard of the site. What kind of person am I for missing out on such a fashion phenomenon?

Founded by Jenn Hyman and Jenny Fleiss in 2009, Rent the Runway is a membership-based website that rents designer apparel and accessories to ladies like me who have a “closet full of clothes with nothing to wear.” Membership to this fashion community is free, and Rent the Runway even covers your return with with a pre-paid, pre-addressed package. The rental price, which varies by designer, also includes a dry cleaning fee, so there’s really nothing for us fashionistas to worry about other than returning the garment on time.

And so I quickly decided to sign up and try out the service for myself. After entering the date of a recent event, I checked out the available options that could be delivered the day before. Even with such short notice, there were still amazing looks to choose from by designers like Sachin + Babi, Temperley London, Prabal Gurung, and David Meister. Completing a fully fashionable look was made even easier with the site’s fabulous purse and accessory options, including chic items by Lulu Frost, Judith Leiber, and even Chanel. Considering all of the tempting eye candy it took a minute, but I finally decided on this gold Halston Heritage number.

I received my RTR package on time, arriving like a special surprise on my doorstep the day it was expected. My dress, which came with a free backup size, was neatly packaged in a complimentary RTR dress bag.

After unwrapping the signature packaging, it was nice to see that the dress lived up to my expectations from the site’s photo. There was nothing to be surprised about, which gave me a slight sense of relief since the event was the next night. A longtime fan of Halston Heritage designs, I know how the brand typically fits, but the complimentary extra size was still a great perk. Especially in the world of online shopping, it’s hard to know exactly how a garment will fit.

And so this story ends on a happy note. The dress came, I was seen, and it conquered. Not so much the last part, but I did receive some nice compliments. I paired the dress with a pair of amazing (and cheap!) vintage earrings from Annie Cream Cheese and a simple brown Kate Spade clutch. I’ll definitely be using RTR in the future, for times when there’s no room in my budget for a new designer dress. It’s really the perfect service for women who want to look great without investing in a new item every single time.

Have you ever used RTR? And if so, what did you think?


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