Men have been renting tuxedos since the beginning of time.I am not sure that I even know a man who owned a tuxedo – it’s so easy to rent them for whatever the prom/bar mitzvah/wedding occasion they’re needed for. So what’s wrong with us women, dropping sometimes hundreds of dollars on a dress that we may (a) wear only once or (b) begrudgingly wear to every occasion we need a fancy dress for because we spent so much money on it? We work hard for our money but still my not be able to afford that beautiful Chanel or the amazing Christian Soriano dress hanging in some high end boutique that we pass every morning on our way to work (note – this may or may not have really happened in real life).
Instead of just whining about this dilemma that faces all women everywhere, Jennifer Hyman and Jenny Fleiss did something about it. They co-founded Rent the Runway, for “women who know and love high fashion, who want to look glamorous for all their nights out and experiment with new brands without the anxiety of investing in piece after piece”. If you haven’t heard of Rent the Runway, check it out.
How Rent the Runway Works
Rent the Runway‘s process is easy. Seriously totally simple. A few steps that go like this–
- Search their designer collections online and find the dress you love. I am talking real designer – they have dresses from Chanel, Versace to drop a few names.
- Reserve your rental – choose from 4 days or 8 days – and note when you want it to arrive.
- Your dress will arrive by 8pm on the day you specify.
- Wear your dress to your event, get a million compliments on it and feel like a bazillion dollars.
- Put your dress in the prepaid envelope that Rent the Runways sends you and send it back. No dry cleaning necessary.
My Personal Experiences with Rent the Runway
I have used Rent the Runway now about 3 times in the past two years for 3 Bar Mitzvah’s we attended. Each time was great. People have asked me a bunch of questions about my rentals so I’ll do my best to answer them all here.
Here are the three dresses I have rented….
Okay, and now for the questions….
Is it gross to wear a dress that you don’t know who has worn it before you?
Not really. I buy clothes in stores and I don’t know who tried it on before me, same idea. Rent the Runway has each dress professionally dry cleaned when it is returned. Each dress is also steamed and pressed before being sealed in plastic and wrapped in a garment bag, which is exactly how you will receive it.
Aren’t you worried someone will drop something on the dress or you will rip it?
I’m generally not klutzy or messy, but sometimes things are beyond our control (like the waiter at my wedding who spilled an entire bottle of wine on our friend, another story for another time). There is a $5 insurance charge on each dress that covers most minor damage. However, significant damage and theft is not covered under the insurance. Just be careful and make sure no one steals your dress.
What if the dress you get doesn’t fit?
Of course this is a big one. Nothing worse than planning ahead, ordering your dress and then having it not fit when you try it on the night before your event. I mean a few things are worse, yes, but in that moment, not so much. If you’re like me and need everything you wear to be altered, this could definitely be an anxiety filled experience. However, I have to say that all three of my rentals have gone pretty smoothly. I have needed to adjust some of the dresses with pins and/or tape, but was able to do so relatively easily. When you order your dress, you can order 2 sizes – the size you think you’ll wear and a backup size. You also have the option of adding another dress to your card and the lower priced rental dress will cost only $25 more (this backup dress you can order in 1 size). So of the three, chances are pretty good that one will fit. And if it doesn’t, contact Rent the Runway immediately and they will issue you a merchandise credit (less the cost of shipping and accessories).
Is it as expensive as buying a dress?
No. That’s the whole point. The rental is a fraction of the price of a dress. I wouldn’t spend $1,500 to buy a Christian Siriano, but I would pay $150 to rent it. Rental prices range from $40 to $450 so you can find something that fits both your style and your price range.
Use Rent the Runway for your next event
Whether you are heading to a Bar Mitzvah, wedding, bachelorette party or even just a vacation, Rent the Runway has you covered. Use this link for your first rental from Rent the Runway and you’ll get $20 towards your rental. And in the interest of full disclosure, I’ll get $20 towards my next rental too!
If you have any questions about Rent the Runway, drop me an e-mail or leave them in the comments and I’ll be sure to answer them.
Disclosure: This was not sponsored by Rent the Runway in any way. All opinions expressed are 100% mine as a paying customer because I love their company. As noted above, if you use my referral link, I will get $20 towards my next rental – and I have a wedding and a Bar Mitzvah coming up in September, so go get your dress now. 🙂