Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Rent The Runway

A few weeks ago, my friend Beth invited us to a black tie event called Taste of the South. TOTS (we DC peeps love our acronyms) is a huge charity gala that is organized by the DC Southern States Societies. Attendees get dolled up in their finest duds and spend the evening drinking cocktails, eating southern cuisine, and taking home tons of swag...kind of like prom night for southern Hill staffers. 

I contemplated wearing my "go-to" wedding dress, but ultimately decided it was time for something new. Unfortunately, a new cocktail dress wasn't in the budget which led me to Rent The Runway. RTR isn't exactly new news. I know a lot of people who have used it/use it regularly. But, this was my first experience with the company and I thought it would be a great post for other rental newbies.

The rental process is easy: 
1. Go to the RTR website. 
2. Select your rental date and size.
3. Browse their vast selection of designer dresses available during your rental period (4 day and 8 day options).
4. Pick and reserve your dress.
5. Await its arrival. 

I must have scoured that website a thousand times before I made my selection. I knew I wanted something fun, that didn't look like something I already owned, and that was short. I planned to wear my favorite pair of Joie heels and didn't want them to be hidden under lots of fabric. 

Since my event was on a Saturday I selected the 4 day rental option with a Friday delivery. That means I had until Monday to return my dress. While checking out I also opted to sign up for RTR's PRO account. Despite never renting before, I could see the advantages to having a PRO Account right from the get-go: Free Shipping, Free Insurance, and a Free Birthday Rental. Free shipping always gets me on items. (Great marketing tool RTR. Touche!) Shipping alone would have been 15 dollars and upgrading to PRO was 25 dollars. Upgrading was the obvious choice. I have already made back that money and then will see why later. Any who, back to my story...

On the Thursday before TOTS my dress arrived. One day early! Holla!!! This is what it looked like when it arrived...

...and here are my dresses. RTR lets you order a second size of the same dress for free. Which I did even though I was pretty confident I knew what size I needed. I was able to figure out my size based on the consumer reviews RTR has on their website. This feature helps SO MUCH. Women that have rented dresses post pictures and give accurate reviews of fit, sizing, what the dress looks like in person, etc. The real people reviews is hands down my favorite feature on the entire site. 

Sure enough, the size I thought I needed was the one that I wore. And I LOVED IT! Not only did it arrive in pristine condition, but it was exactly what I wanted. Fun, flirty, and showed off my shoes. I felt like Carrie Bradshaw. Just the right amount of sexy without feeling inappropriate. Another pro to this dress was that it didn't look like anything anyone else was wearing. In DC I feel like all the girls wear the same mix of JCrew, Loft, and Tory Burch. Don't get me wrong. I like all those places and wear all of them too. But, I do like to look unique and non-cookiecutter at times and this dress helped me achieve that. 

When your event is over and the all the fun has been had, shipping back your dress is easy peasy. Simply wad up your dresses and put them in the pre-paid UPS envelope. No dry cleaning necessary. Talk dirty to me. 
Then drop it off at a UPS drop box by your return date.

As you can see from the drop box at my office building a lot of other Hill girls thought of RTR for TOTS. The drop box was exploding with RTR packages! This is one of the negatives of RTR for a big formal event. I saw a good amount of girls playing "twinsies" at the party. Like I said above, I DO NOT like playing twinsies and prefer to be unique. However, when you attend an event that has 2,000 guests there is a good chance you will see a doppelganger. I didn't have this problem and like to think it was because I kind of thought outside of the box. But it is more likely that I just got lucky. Either way, RTR is the best!

Which is why I used it again for my sister's bachelorette party. She wanted us to wear sequins. I don't own anything with sequins. Thus, RTR came to the rescue, and I had the dress shipped (which I didn't have to pay for) to my Mom's house in Texas (where it arrived early again!). That PRO account is already worth its weight in gold ;) And my go-to heels got another turn on the dance floor. 

I have heard from others that RTR has fantastic customer service which is an added bonus in my book. They also have rental options for jewelry, accessories, and handbags. Talk about one stop shopping rentals.

So there you have it. 
I am now a loyal RTR user/lover. 

Have you ever rented a dress?

What was your experience?

***RTR did not pay me for this post. All reviews are my own opinion. However if anyone from RTR is reading this post and would like to pay me, well then, SHOW ME THE MONEY ;)

1 comment:

  1. And Olivia was the official pre-Taste of the South photographer! You can check out her fabulous work at: