Louboutin Decolette pumps, J.Crew bag, H&M tights, pearls from a friend, Revlon "ravish me red" lips
Earlier this week, the Rent the Runway team was in Boston and offered complimentary dress rentals for their event. I was so pleased with the service that I wanted to share my experience for any readers who might be interested. As someone who has trouble with standard sizing, I never really considered RTR because I usually purchase items and tailor them to fit. True to my expectations, there aren't many options for those who need smaller than a 0 or bigger than a 16. If you can wear between that range of sizes (height is less of an issue, as I saw many options that work on shorter women), then this service would be more useful.
For an overview on Rent the Runway, please visit my old post. I completely forgot about this post, and was even more surprised that my "pick" over two years ago was this same exact Tibi dress.
Some notes from my experience:
- The most helpful feature to me, by far, is the "Our Runway" tab where you can browse dresses based on member photos filtered by height, bust size, age, and more. I completely missed this feature when I was renting (smacks head). After you click into the photos, it shows a detailed review plus the member's weight. Some of the reviews are especially helpful and share what was done to "adjust" the fit. To make this feature even better, I wish it'd be possible to click into an individual member's profile and see all the dresses they've rented and reviewed. If I ever need a long gown for a black tie event, I will be back to scour the options.
- When I was renting, I did a traditional search for dresses based on style, length, price range (starts at $40), size (0 to 16), and more. Each dress detail page shows reviews and photos of members in the dress, and what size they took. I found two ladies who rented this Tibi dress that were my height and weight - they both said a 0 fit big, but wore it regardless. From their photos, I determined that I could make it work.
- Every rental price includes an optional 2nd size for free, in case you're not sure which size to get. If none of your rentals fit, you receive a merchandise credit less the cost of shipping.
- Note that the total cost includes the dress rental, plus an additional $5.00 insurance (covers stains, broken zippers, or other incidents that can be cleaned or repaired), standard shipping of $9.95 (includes return envelope), and sales tax. For this specific dress, the dress was $75 for 4 days but the total came out to a little over $90. Depending on the style selected, the total cost could range from $55 to $200+.
- My dress arrived in two days, neatly hung in a garment bag and inside a box. It was clean and I did not see any visible signs of wear. I was worried about return shipping as I never make it to the post office...but turns out, you only use the mailer envelope and drop it off in any USPS mailbox. This is very convenient for anyone who is usually pressed for time.
- In addition to the garment bag, you get to keep a mini package of double-sided fashion tape for temporary "fixes."
The first time I wore this dress, I threw it on at work and didn't get to examine the fit. The chest and waist were loose so I hastily added a belt, not realizing it'd look bunchy. The second time around, I nixed the belt and added a cropped blazer for a dinner party. And for the third wear at a holiday party (really making the most out of this 4-day rental), I adjusted the dress in the same manner as for my a+o shift. I folded excess material at the waist over a belt, then secured it to the belt with the complimentary fashion tape. This effectively shortened the length as well, for a fun party look.
For any RTR members interested in this specific dress, the measurements of a 0 are: 16" across the underarms, 13.5" across the waist, 14" torso length, and 31.5" total length. Material is a medium-weight silk/wool blend.
Readers - If any of you have used Rent the Runway or a similar service, please share your experiences!