In an effort to have a "leaner closet" this year, I decided to not only limit what I bought but also try out a company that allows you to rent clothing. In theory, it sounds too good to be true: rent high-end clothing, return the clothing without having to wash it, and order something else you've had your eye on. What could get better?
Rent the Runway
I initially decided on Rent the Runway because I had used this service in college for formal date parties. Now, they have expanded and have three incredible ways to rent clothing.
First, is RTR Unlimited that allows you to rent four pieces at a time. You can keep the pieces as long as you want and swap them out at anytime. Additionally, if you love any of the pieces you rent, you can buy them at a discounted price that ranges from 10% to 70% off. This is the plan I chose and recommend. It is $159 per month, but the first month is $99. On average, I rent about 10 pieces per month.
Next, is RTR Update. This service only allows you to pick four pieces per month. You keep the pieces for the full month then return them and choose new pieces for the upcoming month. The Update service has less styles available than Unlimited, which is why I would recommend Unlimited over Update. However, Update is slightly cheaper at $89 per month and the first month is about $71.
Finally, there is RTR Reserve. This is the service most people are familiar with. You pick a date, a style, and rent it for 4 to 8 days. You pick one size option, but this service allows you to pick a backup size to ensure it fits. Additionally, if you are unhappy with your rental, RTR employees are happy to help you swap the rental out for something you love.
Each rental option comes with insurance and dry cleaning included, so you don't have to worry about cleaning the item or anything that causes small wear and tear. To return each item, all you do is throw the unwashed item into the garment bag provided to you, place the pre-paid shipping label on the front of the bag, and drop it off at a UPS location. Additionally, you can always return to a RTR store.
Now, let's get into how much I love this service! It's perfect for months where you have busy weekends and it takes the guesswork out of finding something to wear. Each shipment is a thrill to get in the mail and I love opening up a new bag and trying the items I rented on. There is everything to rent - from formal gowns, to casual date night outfits, to fun accessories, and work attire. I will likely stop this service this summer as I study for the BAR Exam (since I won't be doing anything besides studying...), but I plan to start it back up again in August!
There are two things I like to tell people about when they're thinking about trying out RTR: timing and availability are important.
Timing is important as you don't want to spend half of the month you paid for waiting for clothes you rented to arrive at your house or back at RTR. That's why I suggest RTR Unlimited only for those that live near a RTR store. In this case, you do have to order the items you want online [you can also pick up items you like in store, but there is a more limited selection available!] and the wait varies between two to three business days before you receive them. If you drop them off in store, there's no wait time for them to arrive at RTR by mail and you are able to order more items immediately. If you don't live near a RTR store then RTR Update may be better for you since you only rent four items per month. There is no wait time for you to send back the items before you can pick new items.
Availability is sometimes a hassle, but I've never had an item I've wanted for a specific event not be available. There are a few things that are newer that I've been looking to rent and those have recently been out of stock in my size. It's frustrating, but it's always easy to find another option. If you know for sure you want a certain item for a certain day I would suggest going with RTR Reserve as you can ensure the product will be available in your size on that day.
Looks I Loved
On My Radar
Looks I Didn't Love
In collaboration with Rent the Runway. All opinions are my own.