I used to slightly dread going to fancy events. I loved the food and the atmosphere. I would just stress for weeks before about what to wear. I don’t like spending money on special occasion dresses because I only wear them once. Then, they sit in my closet collecting dust. Now that I am focusing on having a minimal wardrobe, it becomes doubly important that I don’t fill my closet with clothes for one time use.
Rent the Runway (affiliate link) is an online service where you can rent a dress for any occasion. And not just any dress, a designer dress that normally retails for $400 and up. The rental prices are extremely reasonable and you can also choose accessories.
How it Works
At least a few weeks before your event, maybe a wedding or a fancy dinner, you log onto Rent the Runway and check out available choices. You can filter by size of dress, price range, color, length, formality… anything you need. The search tool makes it very easy to find a dress that fits exactly what you are looking for.
Once you’ve narrowed down your options, you can click on each dress and view stylist notes, such as how to accessorize the dress, along with specific fit. For instance, it tells you if it fits tight in the bust or how long the skirt is on a certain height model.
Best of all, you can view customer photos of REAL women wearing the dress. Each woman reviews it, describes how it fits and shares a picture. Best of all, they tell you how much they weigh and their height. To see how the dress might look on me, I simply look for someone similar in height and weight to me.
Once you make your selection, you choose a size and get to choose a FREE backup size. You can also select a few accessories. Rent the Runway always recommends some that would go well with your dress.
The dress arrives a day before your event in a large box with a return UPS shipping envelope included. After your event, place the dress back in the return envelope and drop it off by noon at a UPS store on your specified return date. Incredibly easy!
The Mom 2.0 conference I attended in April had a very fancy awards ceremony at the end called the Iris Awards. I needed a dress! I chose this beautiful Elle Tahari Gold Infused Lace Sheath. The dress normally retails for $798. My rental fee was $35. I also rented the gold clutch I’m carrying for $15 (retail: $208)
I ordered it in two sizes, a 6 and an 8. The 6 fit, but the 8 fit better. The dress was a little worn if examined closely, but nothing noticeable to the average observer. Unfortunately, I never got to wear this dress to my event. During Mom 2.0, I caught the stomach flu, so instead of partying (and meeting Andrew McCarthy I might add), I made the smart decision to rest at home.
When my former student teacher, Cassie, got married in May, I was overjoyed because I got to use Rent the Runway again! This time I chose an ML Monique Lhuillier Ring Around Dress. Normal retail was $498 and my rental fee was $75. This dress looked brand new when I lifted it out of the box.
I also chose to try the Mystery Bling for $15 because I couldn’t decide on accessories. My stylist sent me Lulu Frost Rise Stud earrings.
A photo posted by JoAnn (@awhimsiclelife) on
I am desperately hoping to get invited to another event soon so I can use Rent the Runway. The experience is unbelievably fun! I love playing dress up with expensive clothes and not paying a fortune to do so.
If you want to try it out, you Get $25 off your first rental of $75+ with new code FIRSTRTR25X75X.