Moms Night Out – Rent The Runway Review
A year and half ago, I discovered Rent the Runway (RTR) in my favorite weekly gossip magazine Us Weekly. As most new moms can attest, you do not always feel beautiful after giving birth due to weight gain, body changes and major life adjustments. For the majority of moms, we also do not have the time or energy to shop.
My first experience with RTR was five months after giving birth to my son. My grandparents were having their 60th wedding anniversary party and like most moms and women, I waited to the last minute to decide what to do about a dress. I had been thinking about it for awhile, but procrastinated too long. I wanted something new, but I only had a week to buy something and I really did not want spend too much money. The concept of renting a designer dress for minimal cost intrigued me. After visiting RTR website and reading more about the concept – brilliant by the way – I decided that I was going to give it a try even though the word “rent” does not always say classy, clean, chic, etc. to me or most other people I know.
I worked with the stylist online, which was much more fun than expected and did not take much time to find something that would fit my personality and style. I placed an order for your dress two days prior to leaving on my trip. They shipped me two sizes for free (RTR’s common practice, if both sizes you choose are in stock), which is great because I found in almost designer piece of clothing the sizes varying from one designer to the next. I received the dresses at my hotel the day before the event, and mailed the dresses back the following day.
I would recommend purchasing the $5 insurance. For me, this is an absolute must. It prevented me from paying the retail price of the dress for any of the damages. After a night out with a five month old, I had grease stains, baby throw-up, breast milk, formula and everything else all over me. Needless to say, I felt wonderful, looked great and received so many compliments.
Here I am in my first Rent the Runway dress w/my 5 mos. old.
If you decide to rent a RTR dress, I would highly recommend doing the following ten things.
1. Read the reviews from the other members and renters of the specific dress you are interested in renting. I have found most reviewers are honest and put a lot of thought into their reviews making them more detailed and easier to figure out if the dress would be a good fit for me.
2. Pay close attention to the Product Details and the Size & Fit. Product Details section provides details about the length of the dress and how the dress fits on certain size models. I have notice most RTR models are 5’ 10”. This is very important for dress lengths because what looks short on a 5’ 10” model will not be short on a 5’ 4” woman.
The Size & Fit notes might have more specifications from the Designer on the dress fit.
3. Purchase the $5 insurance. This is an automatic setting already clicked when you hit “Rent Now”. If you do not want the insurance, you have to unclick the button.
4. Talk to an online stylist one time, especially if it is your first time renting a dress. They can provide insight and guidance on the type of dress that would be the right fit, style and appropriate for the occasion.
5. Always select a “2nd size for free”. If you are anything like me, every designer’s clothes fit differently on me regardless if they say a size 4. This gives me a piece of mind, and it will you too that at least one of the dresses sizes will most likely fit you and you would look stunning and most importantly feel beautiful.
6. If you rent a dress and it does not fit, be sure to return it within 24 hours and call their customer service number to let them know you are returning the dress. If you do not, you will not be guaranteed your money back (less the cost of shipping). I have called the customer service both on a Friday evening and early Saturday morning and always received a live person on the other end.
7. Ensure that you order the dress to arrive the day before your event. Although, they are very timely on dress arrivals, they cannot control UPS. I have always received mine on time, but there were time I had sweated a bit hoping it would arrive by 3:00 PM for a 5:00 PM event.
8. Always have a back up dress with you or in your closet, just in case the dress you rented does not fit or you just do not like it on.
9. Place your order at least a week or two prior to your event. If not, you might not get the dress you highly desire. However, if you procrastinate like I do, you still can get a beautiful dress two days or even a day before your event.
10. Be prepared with staged answers. If you are wondering like I did, what to say if someone compliments you on the dress or asks where did you get it? Be prepared with some staged answered such as “Oh, I borrowed the dress,” or “thank you, I really like the dress as well.” If you are comfortable with renting a dress, as I am now – wasn’t at first – I tell people I rented the dress from Rent the Runway.
Since my first experience, I have rented from RTR eight times and donned the dresses five times. I have been very impressed with their service, quality of dresses and professionalism. By renting dresses, I found that I am experimenting with color more and not shying away from dresses that I normally would not purchase because I felt to self conscious. Plus, I realized I rented dresses more often for occasions other than formal gathers, such as anniversary parties, Christmas parties, fundraising events, and weddings.
Here are five dresses I have worn and loved every single one of them.
Yigal Azrouël Framboise Fantasy Dress retails for $840; rents for $100.
Hervé Léger Ruby Bandage Dress retails for $995; rents for $100.
Badgley Mischka Sliding Shoulder Dress retails for $475; rents for $60.
Lela Rose Power Rouge Sleath retails for $1095; rents for $150.
Hervé Léger Heartbreaker Dress retails for $1050; rents for $100.
If you can’t see the slide show here are the pictures.
If you are looking for fashion, beauty and do not want to spend a lot of money this is the way to go, especially for new moms who want to feel great on their first date night after having their lil’ one.
Now, it would be great if Rent the Runway would release an app.