Holiday Dressing: Rent the Runway Tibi Dress + Red Accents


Tibi “High Tea” dress rental c/o Rent the Runway (regular link) (referral link), Burberry coat, 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!
When you purchase through the links on this blog, I may earn a commission. Thank you for your support!

When you purchase through the links on this blog, I may earn a commission. Thank you for your support!

For Daily Posts

Leave a Comment


  1. Christie wrote:

    That is such a perfect outfit. Love the dress, very chic and classy!


    Posted 12.11.12 Reply
  2. Can the bag be used as an asymmetrical bag? I like the color and structure.

    Posted 12.11.12 Reply
  3. Good to know the return shipping is made so easy. I hate running to the post office myself. You look lovely as always.

    Posted 12.11.12 Reply
  4. sophié wrote:

    just to say how much I love your blog, photos and insightful posts. especially enjoyed the one about designers appropriate for work). I wonder do you hang out in any other fashion blogs? I used to like TPF but then I found it a little lucking in focus and wonder if you can suggest any other 'chat' groups? x

    Posted 12.11.12 Reply
  5. I love your blog so much! You are so stylish and I love this dress! I started a blog with my sister and we would love for you to check it out. We are having a $50 gift card giveaway to J.Crew…check it out.

    Posted 12.11.12 Reply
  6. Anonymous wrote:

    yea agreed! the lampshade cap sleeves look odd ..

    Posted 12.11.12 Reply
  7. GEMMA wrote:

    Love the outfit!

    Check out my blog and my nars giveaway:


    Posted 12.11.12 Reply
  8. Anonymous wrote:

    Hi Jean,

    I love your blog – you really inspire my work outfits. Can you do more winter work outfits please? I'm having a super hard time dressing properly for work when it's so snowy outside!

    Thank you!

    Posted 12.11.12 Reply
  9. Angela W. wrote:

    No a separate note, I have a recommendation for your search on a pair of classic heeled blow the knee boots. I just posted on my blog about it, I have very small feet, calves and ankle. They fit me perfectly! Hope that's helpful!

    Posted 12.11.12 Reply
  10. Anonymous wrote:

    Hi Jean,

    This is off-topic, but what (petite-friendly) slips would you recommend?


    Posted 12.11.12 Reply
  11. Ellie wrote:

    I am a new follower of your blog. I am petite (5'1' and 100 lbs) and I just graduated from law school. I have been struggling to begin building a professional wardrobe on my "new attorney repaying student loans" budget. Your blog is very helpful. Would you care to share any tips on the first pieces/wardrobe staples a new petite professional should aim to acquire first?

    Posted 12.10.12 Reply
  12. Anonymous wrote:

    Riԁіculouѕ quest theгe. Whаt happeneԁ after?
    Take carе!

    Αlso visit my blog pоst … moving supplies free shipping
    Feel free to surf my weblog :: samsung galaxy note 2

    Posted 12.10.12 Reply
  13. Stunning dress!

    Posted 12.10.12 Reply
  14. Raven Hill wrote:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

    Posted 12.10.12 Reply
  15. Eva Wu wrote:

    great pics! fantastic dress!

    Posted 12.10.12 Reply
  16. Anonymous wrote:

    hi jean, i purchased the prada tote you had mentioned in your prvious psot, where can i buy a bag shaper? or bottom base thing?

    Posted 12.10.12 Reply
  17. Adorable! Perfect for a work holiday party and your hair looks awesome!

    Posted 12.10.12 Reply
  18. Love the lace detail in front and you sure did make great use out of a 4 day rental! Tks for all the renting tips and great fix for a great fit!

    Posted 12.10.12 Reply
  19. I have to have this dress! Amazing!

    Check out our weekend wrap-up on The Glitter Life:

    Posted 12.10.12 Reply
  20. Chloe wrote:

    Pretty dress, Jean! I have a similar Tibi dress (exact same shape, but a different color and pattern) and I love it. Great to hear about Rent the Runway, too–I was nervous to try them due to being petite, but your belt trick to help shorten the dress is geeeeenious. Good post!

    Posted 12.10.12 Reply
  21. What a gorgeous dress!

    xo, Yi-chia

    Posted 12.10.12 Reply
  22. Anonymous wrote:

    I would love to see a post about your hair…it's gorgeous! What is your cut like? How often do you wash? What is your styling routine?

    Posted 12.10.12 Reply
  23. Mady T. wrote:

    love the outfit! the dress looks amazing!


    Posted 12.10.12 Reply
  24. i love this dress – and it's amazing you picked it long in the past! if i had an occasion that warranted it, i would consider renting a dress. thanks for this review.

    xox P

    Posted 12.10.12 Reply
  25. You look adorable ! love the dress ! I would like to invite you to my Christmas giveaway of animal print Furla Bag. Thank you so much for your time.

    XX Luba

    :: Well Living Blog :: GIVEAWAY :: FURLA BAG :: SORTEO

    Posted 12.10.12 Reply
  26. CynthiaC wrote:

    We don't have RTR in Canada (we have Rent frock Repeat instead), but I love renting since this is a way to try new designers without breaking the bank! I've used Rent frock Repeat twice now (and I got a chance to wear something from a designer that was having a show a couple of weeks ago).

    Posted 12.10.12 Reply
  27. Gorgeous! And so many wears in 4 days 🙂 I actually wanted to ask whether you have any recommendations on opaque tights/pantyhose and also how to care for them. I've seen so many that really stretch too much over the knee so that you get thinned out areas when you really want to be creating a nice elegant silhouette it draws attention to your legs instead. I love the look you have here, the dress is truly the star but looks so effortlessly put together with everything else!

    Posted 12.10.12 Reply
  28. Anonymous wrote:

    The look of slightly oversize shoulders add drama and overall make the dress look editorial rather than mundane. If only you didn't have the length problem (which you fixed with a whole lotta finesse) with the dress, Jean!

    Posted 12.10.12 Reply
  29. Posted 12.10.12 Reply
  30. Carol Li wrote:

    I love the dress, but as you have said, the fit is a bit big on you. This is especially true on the shoulders & arm holes.

    Posted 12.10.12 Reply
  31. Sabrina wrote:

    I love how you tucked the dress under with the belt! Of the three ways you wore it, this one is the best!


    Posted 12.10.12 Reply
  32. Helen wrote:

    Very beautiful dress outfit! Thanks for sharing. Hope you enjoy a nice day!

    Posted 12.10.12 Reply
  33. Tes wrote:

    My coworkers recently rented a gold sparkly gown from this site. She was clearly the most elegant one at our holiday party!

    Posted 12.10.12 Reply
  34. Suzie Q wrote:

    That dress is so stunning. The sleeve detail catches my attention the most. Great detailed review for RTR!

    Suzie Q

    Posted 12.10.12 Reply
  35. Brita wrote:

    Justine, Thank you! I wonder if I need to eat every single day… I was invited for a few gatherings, and I was not sure which date is the most important one out of all… They are ranged from Feb 9 to Feb 13… Not sure if I can go to all of them, so was wondering which one should be the 'official' new year celebration aka feast dinner day. Any thought?

    Posted 12.10.12 Reply
  36. Justine wrote:

    Wear (bright) red! Red is the auspicious color worn for celebrations (including weddings) because it symbolizes good fortune, joy, luck, happiness, etc. My second choice would be gold or yellow. Don't wear white, the color of death and mourning.

    Posted 12.10.12 Reply
  37. Anonymous wrote:

    what did you do to your hair here? so beautiful

    Posted 12.10.12 Reply
  38. Sabrina wrote:

    Good gracious, Jean, you look absolutely beautiful! Winter wear/holiday dresses really suit you! 🙂 I also have my apprehensions about apparel renting services, but reading your thorough and honest review, I feel much better about them now! Keep up the wonderful work, Jean!


    Posted 12.9.12 Reply
  39. stunning! love RTR

    Posted 12.9.12 Reply
  40. I have always been so curious about services like this, and I have heard of one here in Toronto called "Rent,Frock,Repeat", and being 5 feet tall and petite, I have the same apprehension about renting a dress as well. This dress, however looks great on you! I love the color, and the print detailing really catches the eye.

    Kathleen of

    Posted 12.9.12 Reply
  41. Brita wrote:

    The dress looks very stunnig! I love to read more about the holiday attire posts. I was hoping if anyone here could tell me some tips about the following….I actually was invited to Chinese new year feast (lol) and I have no idea what I should wear… Is it usually on Feb 9 when you start to eat all those new year's feast type of food? Or is it on Feb 11??? And is there any taboo* what not wear on that day?

    Posted 12.9.12 Reply
  42. newpetite wrote:

    Love the pop of red and your blazer!

    Posted 12.9.12 Reply
  43. Anonymous wrote:

    You look great in the dress! I especially love the first pic – you look so beautiful!

    Posted 12.9.12 Reply
  44. amazing dress! it looks amazing on you!

    Posted 12.9.12 Reply
  45. Angela W. wrote:

    I am not too crazy about this dress, but your Burberry coat is superb!

    Angela W.

    Posted 12.9.12 Reply
  46. i've never tried RTR but every time i read about another person using them, i want to try it out! that dress is amazing! and you look so pretty in these pics!

    xoxo, jenn
    the stylish housewife

    Posted 12.9.12 Reply
  47. Rachelle wrote:

    That dress is amazing.

    Posted 12.9.12 Reply
  48. maggie wrote:

    My friend rented a prom dress from RTR, and she loved it!! I would have as well, but I just borrowed my friend's dress, since it wasn't my own prom. Your's is so beautiful! No wonder you would choose it again.


    Posted 12.9.12 Reply
  49. lin wrote:

    i like your choice of dress. it looks great on you. i also like the pop of color from your lips/handbag. i prefer how you styled it so much better than their stock photo in your prior post.

    i haven't tried out RTR yet but it's a great idea. i had so many dresses that i've worn once then donated just because i knew i wouldn't be wearing them again. *sigh*

    Posted 12.9.12 Reply
  50. That's so funny you picked this same dress 2 years ago! It looks great on Jean though I can see that the fit isn't "perfect". I'm still not sure this service is good for me as I still find the price to rent pricey – probably b/c I don't have many events to dress up that much and an off the rack dress or top and skirt that I can wear again would probably be a better bet for me!

    Posted 12.9.12 Reply

Get the newsletter!

What updates would you like?