I’ve always had a love for shopping and buying the latest fashion or whatever was trending. I accumulated a lot over the years and was not very good at letting go of things. I remember my husband (boyfriend at the time) making a comment at how often I would bring something new home or a new package would arrive at my doorstep. He didn’t think anything bad of it, he was just amazed at the rate. I’d wear the same outfit or item for multiple days in the week if I really loved it so to me I was getting good use out of it. Though with the rise of social media, like Instagram and Facebook, it became more undesirable to wear the same item or outfit multiple times after it had been documented and shared. This, along with seeing all the clothes I’d accumulated over time, made me take a step back and reevaluate the way that I shop.
In a culture where clothing is only worn once and fast fashion is trendy, how do you decrease waste as well as save time and money, while still being able to shop quality clothing? Well, renting your clothes is a way! I’ve recently took the leap and tried out Rent the Runway. In my 20’s I had a lot more events to go to, such as weddings, so I could re-wear a dress without being seen in it twice by the same person. Back then I also had more time to shop for deals and could usually find a designer dress at a steal. Fast forward to the present where I have a toddler taking up most of my time and hardly any weddings to go to. So, when the invitation arrives for a wedding I am freaking out a little because I love dressing up for weddings! You can read my blog post about dressing up for a wedding here.
Rent the Runway was very easy to use. I already had in mind the dress I wanted to wear so it was easy for me to search for what I wanted. They carry a wide selection of designers, from Free People to Christian Siriano, so there’s something for every price point. You can also search by occasion if you don’t know exactly what you want (wedding guest, cocktail party, graduation, work, vacation, etc.). The app is really convenient for shopping from your phone. You can choose to rent an item for a minimum of 4 days or extend to 8 days. They suggest starting your rental 2 days before your event date. For example, my event was a wedding on a Saturday so I started my rental on the Thursday before. You also have the option of selecting a back-up size for free! I took advantage of that to make sure my dress fit right. The dress I chose was a For Love & Lemons maxi which retails for about $300. The rental price was $65. Totally worth it seeing that I probably couldn’t buy something of that similar caliber for that price. There’s also an option to rent a second item for $32.50, so if you are deciding between 2 items this is something to take advantage of. Or if you have 2 occasions within your rental window you definitely should take advantage of this. Another perk of using Rent the Runway is that they take care of all the dry cleaning. For a fee of $5 per item you don’t have to worry about the small stuff. You can enjoy your event without having to worry about wine accidents, snags, missing sequins, or any small repairs. You still have to be careful though because charges can occur if an item is damaged beyond repair. But, it is convenient not having to clean the item(s) before returning. Lastly, shipping is a flat rate of $9.95 and don’t forget to add on your local state taxes. Adding it all up, my total cost to rent this dress was $88.
My items arrived on Thursday as expected in a cool eco-friendly garment bag. Each dress was protected in plastic and came hanging on it’s own hanger. The items were in very good shape and clean with no stains or defects. I could tell that it wasn’t brand new but that was to be expected. I received so many compliments at the wedding! I felt so amazing in this dress. Returning the dress was easy as well. A pre-paid label was included so it was a piece of cake to just slip it in the bag, no printing needed! All that was left for me to do was zip up the bag with the dresses in it and secure them with the included zip ties and drop the garment bag off at the nearest UPS location. Because my drop off date was a Sunday when locations are usually closed, I had till noon on Monday to it drop off.
My overall experience with Rent the Runway was a very good one. It is something I will definitely do again. It worked out perfectly for me because I had the luxury of finding the dress I wanted and my size was available on the dates I needed it. However, I can see the possibility of multiple people wanting to rent the same thing at the same time so that can be a let down if something isn’t available. But, with hundreds of designers there’s bound to be something for everyone. The process is quick and easy and also decreases waste in the long term so you’re not buying something and wearing it just once. You also save money with not having to buy. That frees up some funds to either rent more or buy something you really love and want to keep. I highly suggest trying this service out!
If you were ever thinking about renting clothes I hope this helps you in your decision. Always here to help!