Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Rent the Runway Experience

This is not a sponsored post. I've just been a member of Rent the Runway for years and finally got around to trying the service and wanted to share my positive experience with you guys.

In January, Rent the Runway emailed me a $50 off coupon for being a member for three years, and the coupon needed to be used by the end of the month. I figured, no problem, I could order something to wear to New York. The only catch was I'd have to worry about receiving it before my trip and mailing it back while on my trip if I wanted to go with the standard 4-day rental as opposed to the more expensive 8-day rental. Instead, I planned to order a dress for my birthday and go out to a fancy restaurant with my husband or something.

After some internal debate, I finally decided on Kate Spade's Crosswalk dress, which retailed for $478, but you can rent it for $75 (plus $5 insurance, plus $9.95 shipping, plus tax). With my coupon, it came to $42.19! Sold! Or rented, I mean! You have the option of ordering two sizes for no additional cost, so I went with a 12 and a 14 although I was pretty sure the 12 would be too small.

Oh hey Chantal from Top Model!

Cut to Wednesday, the day before the dress was supposed to arrive. Customer service called and emailed me to let me know that the 14 was no longer available since it was returned to them in a condition that was not up to their standards. I was bummed, but it is nice to know that they're not sending out trashed dresses. They offered me any dress on the site instead, regardless of the price. I sent them a couple similarly priced options as backup dresses, but then I figured I should splurge given this opportunity. I put this Matthew Williamson Malawi Tropics gown in a 14 long down as my #1 choice. This beauty retails for $2,750, and you can rent it for $400. Even the rental price is more than I would ever spend on a dress.

The dresses came packaged in a garment bag inside of a box, which also included a large padded mailer envelope with the postage paid to be used to send the dresses back. The garment bag does not need to be returned.

I wore the Malawi Tropics gown on Saturday out to dinner with my husband. I was making stupid facial expressions in both of these pictures since my husband was looming (and judging), so I cropped my face out of these first two.

Detail shot:

In an attempt to dress it down, I added a cardigan. I should've gone with a leather jacket, too - that would've been cooler. Hindsight.

This gown was soooo loooong. I debated ordering the regular-length version, and I probably should've so that I could've worn flats. As it were, my 4-inch heels were the only ones that would've been long enough to keep this from dragging on the ground. Still, I went with booties with about a 2-1/2 inch heel and was just careful all night.

As for the Crosswalk dress, which I wore for a family birthday dinner at my parents' house, the 12 fit! If I were to own the dress, I would buy a 14, but the 12 was doable. It was shorter in the waist than I expected, but it fits my good friend Chantal (just kidding) up there there same way, so I guess that's just how it looks on tall people.

Again, since I knew this was a casual affair, I tried to dress it down with a cardigan, a studded belt, and boots:

My only complaint is that the side zippers on both dresses were very difficult to zip up. However, that's mostly my fault because the bodices on both dresses were a little on the tight side. My ribs were extremely grateful when I unzipped the dresses after eating big meals both days. I would say the Malawi Tropics gown runs a tad small on top, and the Crosswalk dress runs a tad big. Both have plenty of room in the hips.

I would absolutely use Rent the Runway again, but next time, for an actual event.


  1. Especially love the yellow dress on you! Have wanted to try rent the runway for a long time---good to hear a positive experience.

  2. The matthew williamson dress looks amazing on you...great choice. I am definitely going to keep Rent the Runway in mind for the future!!

  3. Both of those dresses look amazing on you! The yellow on is just too adorable and the gown is absolutely jaw-dropping. It's so cool that you got to try them!

  4. Very pretty. The studded belt was a nice touch. I thought it came with the dress.

  5. Gorgeous dresses. The Matthew Williamson Malawi Tropics dress doesn't not look that great on the model, but looks awesome on you.

  6. Weird, I somehow missed this post completely! I would have known where the dresses were from if I saw this, duh!