Thursday, January 24, 2013

Renting (and Wearing) the Runway.

In yesterday's post, I mentioned that I "Rented the Runway" for the Inaugural Ball.  For those of you not familiar, Rent the Runway is an online dress rental site, where you rent designer dresses and accessories for a fraction of the cost.  For me, this meant I rented for $125, which is far better than the $400 I had spent on a dress at Nordstrom that I wasn't in love with. (And knew I would never wear again.)

The process is pretty simple - browse through current season options from more than 95 designers, select your delivery date (usually 1-2 days before your event), rent your dress and a back up size (options are important!) and anxiously await the delivery.  After the event, you simply toss your dress in the postage paid envelope they provide via USPS.  It's very easy.

I had a very hard time deciding on what to rent.  I wasn't sure how formal I should be and I also wanted something that was fairly simple and not too glitzy.  Given that I decided to rent less than a week away from the Inaugural Ball, my choices were somewhat limited as well.

My original choice was this navy blue David Meister gown.  It retails for $575 and rents for $100.

David Meister Patriotic Wonder Gown
One of the unique options with Rent the Runway is that they let you rent a "back up dress"  for $25.  This was a no-brainer for me as I love options!  So, I added this Halston Heritage gown which usually retails for $645 and rents for $125 for $25 (!!) to my order.
Halston Heritage Manhattan Night Mist Gown
While I ended up loving the Halston Heritage gown much more, the fit wasn't quite right on me.  Plus, all the layers and draping meant I was constantly fussing with myself.  I knew I wasn't going to feel good about my choice if I was worried about how everything was laying.
I ended up wearing the David Meister and loving it.  It's not normally something I would pick - I'm not really in to the one shoulder look.  Or rhinestones.  But it was quite pretty, very comfortable and I loved the unique-ness of the beaded shoulder.
Overall, I definitely recommend Rent the Runway.  I had high anxiety (and one sleepless night) over my order - would it fit, would I like it, would it FIT - but if you are a calmer person than I am, you will have no problem! 
The "details" about each dress are extremely helpful.  They list how the dress fits, in general if your back up size should be larger or smaller, how long the dress is and what undergarments you will need.  You can tell a lot of work has gone in to making the rental process as smooth as possible.
My best piece of advice - know your size!  And ask questions.  Their stylists are amazing and will help you put together a head to toe look.
Anyone else ever Rent the Runway?!


  1. I am so excited to do this for a wedding in April...I am glad you had such a good experience!

  2. Loved this post! I did this for my girlfreind's wedding last June. I got to wear this gorgeous colorblocked Tibi dress. It was kind of perfect because I had recently had a baby and wasn't completely back to my original size. I didn't want to pay $800(big investment) for a dress that wasn't going to fit in a few months. I got tons of compliments though, and the process was completely hassle free. You look so pretty in your pick! P.S. Since this was such a fun experience for me, I wound up giving my sister-in-law a gift card to RTR for Christmas. It is a cool gift for anyone who has a lot of weddings or social events.