In the name of “buying less” we are trying to figure out how to make fashion posts that are less “sell, sell, sell” and more ideas, trend spotting, or reviews. Does that mean we aren’t going to try on and shoot fashion posts with new clothes? Nope. We have a business to run, but we are very happy to promote companies that make dressing up and having fun with fashion more sustainable. So I finally tried Rent the Runway and partnered with them on this post. I thought RTR was mostly renting fancy dresses for cocktail or black-tie occasions. Ultimately a great way to wear a beautiful dress that is typically too expensive for the number of times you would wear it. And it’s still that, but they now have an unlimited monthly program that I tried out.
I chose to rent 4 high-end pieces by some of my favorite designers and I get to try them for a month for $159 ($39 for anything additional) and it was SO MUCH FUN. You can rent them for the month or send back early and trade them out for different pieces. And with the unlimited plan, you can get multiple shipments per month. As in, you could wear something once and send it back to get a new piece if you’ve had your fill of it or it didn’t work out. Also to get you pre excited, RTR is giving all of you probably the most solid deal ever to try it out if you are curious. They are taking off $200 of your first two months of the unlimited plan by using code: RTREMILYH. Ya, I know, it’s good.
So today I’m going to show you what I rented (all styled out) and list out the perks I realized by using this unlimited rental program. I was skeptical. Renting clothes seemed not for me, but it was FUN.
1. You get to rent classic pieces from your favorite brands that are high end, but low impact.
Like in the home, I splurge far more on statement pieces than classics. These days many affordable brands can make a decent denim dress so it’s not where I would spend $600-$800 EVER, but sure I want this one because it is special. I’ve loved the brand Marni forever, and this dress is awesome and classic, but simply put, not worth the retail amount to me. But to be able to rent it for a month will scratch that itch, and make me feel good being in such a tailored high-quality denim dress. Then I’ll try something else next month.
But back to this great dress. The stitching, pockets, zipper, and two-tone denim make it pretty darn special and as you can see it has tiny arms and a really great tailored shift bodice. While this dress is timeless, I don’t have an office job (not really) so the added “personality” is great for a shoot or a special meeting. Plus it’s really nice not to have had to spend a lot of money on it.
2. You get to indulge in a current favorite designer/s.
You know that I love Ulla Johnson, but I’m on a Ulla diet right now. Not a strike. Not a fast. Just abstaining for a while and shifting resources to more important things (kid’s college fund, vacations with Brian, should I get braces?).
By renting I also got to try some of her other pieces that were a bit riskier (like these pants) which aren’t in stores near me. They were NOT GOOD on me, but that dress sure is pretty and kinda like the winter version (because it’s full length:)) of my favorite more summer-y dresses.
Speaking of Summer…
3. You can try riskier trends… go outside your comfort zone a bit because there is a HUGE variety in the inventory.
I love Mara Hoffman otherwise I wouldn’t have risked renting these high waisted floral pants but we all LOVED THEM. I almost wore that outfit to the Goop Lab premiere party but feared it was drawing a bit too much attention. I may have to re-rent these in summer because goodness, these are happy pants.
Also because of what I do, I do need more “photoshoot” clothes which I’m extremely picky about – no small busy patterns (but yes to patterns), no head to toe simple black or super dark outfits (doesn’t pop on camera and often sucks the light and washes me out), and has to be flattering without being tight. I’m not a model, I struggle to find clothes that I feel look good on camera – thus forgiving patterns and fun proportions are where I spend my fashion budget.
Point is – it’s nice to have something new for an occasion or shoot, but not commit to it financially for the rest of my life.
4. You can save on seasonal items that you don’t need year-round.
I really wanted to try this sweater from Alexa Chung but I can never justify expensive sweaters living in LA (thus justifying more fun dresses that I can wear year-round). So I rented this sweater, hoping that by wearing it I would be transformed into her, perfect messy brunette curly hair and all (she started a hair revolution, that chic lady).
I love it. My stylist friend Suzanne doesn’t (see stories). We broke up and she moved out from next door, but I have a fun sweater to wear for a month while I mourn the friendship. The wool of the sweater catches my tears, so very little cleanup!
5. You can get that serotonin rush from shopping without guilt.
I love the Amo jeans I bought last year, very much. So when I saw this silhouette (notice the top of the waist and NO RIPS) I wanted to try it despite my general hesitation of high waisted pants on me. The only downside to these jeans is that Brian’s dad can no longer make his monthly joke about “when I am going to get a job that pays enough to buy jeans without holes.” He’ll have to come up with new material, likely something about puffy sleeves.
I’ve already worn these jeans 3 times and they are no longer in stores, so I couldn’t have tried them on to know how great they are.
6. Lastly and most importantly – You are being more sustainable.
I understand that the most sustainable thing to do would be to wear the same 10 things for the rest of our lives or only shop at thrift stores or vintage. But honestly, that is a hard reality for a lot of us mostly because of time and availability. Fashion is one of the ways I express my creativity, and it has become a fun hobby this year. So this unlimited program made it really easy to shake up what I was wearing, without paying retail pricing. Then after I’ve worn it a few times it simply gets mailed back, returned to the inventory for others to rent instead of in the back of my closet for a year (or worse), and then later potentially end up in a landfill.
So yes, my first rental experience was FANTASTIC.
A few extra tips:
- If you have an occasion in a month or even further away, plan ahead because if you are trying to do something for say next week you’ll have less inventory, obviously.
- Listen to the sizing recommendations. I thought my size was pretty standard, but on a few things RTR suggested that I size up, which I appreciated.
- If you are doing the “unlimited” plan, make sure you select that before you start shopping. This way you are shopping from all the unlimited options. Their entire inventory isn’t included in the “unlimited” plan, but certainly a lot of it is.
All in all I thought that the inventory had so much variety, with a lot of my favorite designers. It came quickly in a really nice black bag (all on hangers) and yes, they cover insurance, shipping, and dry cleaning.
Again if you guys are interested and want to try it out you can get $200 off your first two months of the unlimited plan by using code: RTREMILYH. It’s honestly their best offer ever so this would be the time to give it a go.
Thanks to Rent the Runway!
*Photography by Veronica Crawford
**This post is in partnership with Rent the Runway but all words, designs, and selections are our own. Thanks for supporting the brands we love that support the blog.