What is Rent the Runway?
I first heard about Rent the Runway at my neighborhood’s social planning committee meeting when we were talking about our New Years Eve Party.
What is it?
It is a company that allows you to rent a dress for an event.
What is the process?
It is super easy. You go online and pick out a dress you want. The search filters are wonderful because they help you narrow down your choice (ex: I only want to look at short dresses since I am super short). The dresses are from various designers and range in price. You can rent a really cute dress for as little as $30.00.
Once you choose your dress, you then choose the date you want it shipped. You need to choose a day that is one or two days before your event. If you choose for it to be shipped on a Saturday, it will cost you extra.
What is included?
You are able to choose two different sizes of the dress because Rent the Runway realizes that dresses can fit differently. The two dresses are included in the rental price and have to be the same dress. You can also rent accessories.
What is the cost?
The cost includes: The rental of the dress, insurance for the dress (ex: if you spill red wine), and shipping. (The insurance and shipping are around $20.00).
(Side note: If you think you are going to rent more than one dress, you should sign up for the Rent the Runway Pro Membership. You pay $30.00 and get the membership for a year. The membership allows you not to pay for any shipping or insurance on your rentals. You get them for free. If you are renting more than one dress in a year, it will pay for itself after the first rental.) I got the PRO Membership because I had three events coming up in a two month time period)
I’m worried that I have a very important event and the dress that they send me will not fit right for my body?
One of the best things about Rent the Runway is that people leave reviews of the dresses.
People who rent the dress post pictures of the dress on them for the event they attended. They can put their height, weight, and bust size so that you can get a better idea of what the dress will fit like.
I was excited to try Rent the Runway for a charity event I was attending. I went on the website and searched for a dress. I was able to press on a heart and tag all of the dresses that I liked.
Once I tagged the dresses, I was able to read the reviews and see the pictures. There were a lot of reviews for all of the dresses that I tagged so I was able to see what the dress would look like on a 5 foot girl with a small chest. These reviews are great because some people will tell you not to rent a certain dress if you have a large bust because of the way it is made.
I picked out a dress ($50.00) and added it to my shopping cart. The reviews let me know that the back was pretty scarce so I would need to buy appropriate undergarments that could be used for a backless dress.
My husband LOVED the backless dress and couldn’t stop talking about it…a lot…I kept laughing because I don’t think a backless dress is age appropriate for me…but who cares….
I decide to sign up for the PRO membership because it was $30.00 a year and had I not, I would be paying $20.00 for the insurance and shipping for my dress. I added two accessories to my rental, bracelets and earrings, each for $5.00.
The day before my event, the UPS delivery guy rang my doorbell and delivered my dresses in a nice garment bag. I opened it up and found my dress in two different sizes along with my accessories. I quickly tried on the dresses and realized that in my head I was one size but really was the bigger size. Thank goodness you get two different dress sizes!
If you love your dress and must keep it, there is an option for you to buy the Rent My Runway dress at a reduced cost. Another service that is provided is that you can buy undergarmets for your dress (panty hose, bras, etc). I would not recommend you doing this because the price is very expensive. The undergarment required for my dress cost me $24.00 at Target and was $46.00 on Rent the Runway.
My dress was very comfortable on the night of my event. I was not worried about someone spilling wine on me because there was insurance included that would have covered it. I did not end up wearing the accessories because I felt they were “too fancy” for my dress. This was completely my fault for choosing accessories that did not go with the dress.
You must return the dress immediately.
The next day, I put the dresses and accessories back in the garment bag and put the preprinted address label on the front. For security, they give you a zip tie contraption to put on the zippers that have to be cut off in order to get into the bag. I looked up the nearest UPS drop box and found that it was a mile and half from my house. I dropped it off and felt that the entire process was VERY easy and convenient.
My friend Anna was the person who told me about Rent the Runway. She would also be attending the charity event and wanted to try it out for the first time.
Anna’s two dresses also arrived a day before the event. Like me, one of the dresses was too small and the other fit perfectly. Anna’s dress, though, had a two inch hole in the side seam. She immediately called Rent the Runway to tell them about her problem. They overnighted her another dress and gave her double the replacement cost (in credit) when she told them she was worried about a replacement not coming in time. Anna brought the dress to her seamstress who was able to easily fix it.
Anna was very impressed with the wonderful customer service she received. She said that looking foward to the event was even better because of the fun experience with Rent the Runway (choosing the dress and getting to try on two sizes). Anna is happy that Rent the Runway made it right with her (for her time and money to fix the dress) and now has a free rental available for the next event! Anna’s dress looked great on her and she is looking forward to her next dress (sparkly) for New Years Eve!
Is Rent the Runway for You?
If you have a fun party coming up and don’t feel like going shopping, Rent the Runway is a great option! I tried it out because I knew I had a few back up dresses that I could use if the dresses that were sent didn’t work out. I think, though, that you have to make sure you read the reviews and do the research. Don’t choose a dress that will not fit your body type! Both Anna and I are excited about our next Rent the Runway dress!