I thought Rent the Runway was a service for renting dresses for other people’s weddings so that you didn’t have to purchase something you only planned to wear once. I never even looked into it because over the years I’ve collected a rainbow of cocktail dresses (and by rainbow I mean, they’re mostly black and red but, hey, you like what you like, right?)
You guys. I had no idea Rent the Runway had casual clothes. I also had no idea that you could get a membership and rent four pieces per week, every week of the month and that they’d be like, designer clothes. I mean, you’re not going to find Chanel (yet) , but you can have your pick of $500 Jason Wu rompers, $250 3X1 denim with the tags still on, or Zac Posen handbags.
This isn’t an ad, but I’m so excited about this next part it’s gonna sound like it. The selection is amazing, yes, but being able to have four new pieces per week for everything from casual wear to clothes for our recent trip to Las Vegas without purchasing them has saved me a ton of money. The membership is $159 per month for four items out at a time. So you could keep a spring trench for as long as you need it, order three dresses, then send back two pieces cause you love the one dress and want to wear it again. Then, when RTR receives the two pieces back, you can use the app to snap up two more to rent. It’s mix and match, if you will.
I’ve also realized that it’s kind of an ideal way to shop. When I placed my first “rental” with RTR, some of the pieces I thought I was going to love did that thing wear they stretch out and aren’t flattering after one wear. Which is fine, because I got to just send them on back and get something else for the following week. The same happens to me with clothes I purchase all the time. I’ll get a pair of jeans or a top and then a few wears in it stretches out, or I realize it’s kind of not as comfy or as flattering as I would’ve thought or has too many buttons to be a hydrated human in.
So…those I get to send back. But the ones I love? I’ll hold onto them for a while (that trench coat situation was real. I rented an $800 trench and wore it until a button fell off the cuff and sent it back. They’re insured). But the pieces I can’t imagine my wardrobe without? I purchase them at the RTR discount. I’ve seen discounts offered anywhere from 10%-70% off depending on how long the item has been in their collection.
The jeans I rented (they still had the tag on when they came to me, so they were brand spanking new!) and wore five times? I bought them at 10 percent off. The romper in the pic below that Scarlet squealed “Mommy! You have to buy that!” That was also 10 percent off retail. I bought them with two taps on my RTR app, then immediately had a space to rent two new items.
Side by side of the clothes on the app and then me wearing the item.
Here are the highlights:
You send it back dirty. That reminded me of that OG Christina Aguilera song, anybody, anybody? They don’t want you to clean anything. They handle that so that they can guarantee it’s fresh for the next person.
Shipping is free. But don’t lose the return slip it came with (I only made that mistake once), because it was like $40 for me to send it back and they make no exceptions for lost packing slips. They’ve got you covered, but you gotta keep that return label. Any UPS store will accept the drop-off “bag”.
They have a ton of sizes, even maternity. I mean, had I known that when I was pregnant, I would’ve totally joined sooner.
If you love it, you can purchase it at a discount. Even new items are discounted, but if it’s an item they’ve had for a while, you can get it for a steal. After the purchase goes through, you can immediately order a new item to rent
RTR just added a la carte items to the Unlimited Membership. You can add a 5th (or 6th, etc), for an extra $39.
You pick each item yourself. The app starts to show you things “it” thinks you’ll like, you can browse their newest items and “heart” items you may have in mind for an upcoming trip but don’t need this week. It’s really well done.
What if it doesn’t fit? I’ve had one or two items just really not fit, so I just sent them back right away. I’m typically a size 4 or 6 and I do pretty well just getting my typical sizes. But other members post reviews and will mention if it runs big or small, which helps in figuring out which size to get. If you have an event, they have a service where you can order a backup size. They’ve thought of everything. It’s a billion dollar company now, and I love that the founders are women.
Would I spend $525 on this ribbed, backless top (below)? Heck no! But I’ll sure rent it cause the membership is the same no matter what four items you rent.
Would you try RTR? Let me know whatcha think! XOXO, Mandy