What I’m Wearing This Week: Rent the Runway
Hey, MSA! I’m back with this week’s edition of What I’m Wearing This Week — Rent the Runway. If you’re new here, welcome! And if you joined me last week, I’m so happy you’re back. So, just what is WIWTW? Every Friday, I’ll take you on a trip through my life (recovered from COVID in March, now fully vaccinated), where I’m going (90% of the places are outside, and I wear a mask), what’s missing in my closet, my current obsessions, what I’m excited to try — and maybe even buy.
CLOTHING RENTALS, RIGHT NOW?
“If everyone could just wear new clothes every day, I reckon depression wouldn’t exist anymore.” – Confessions of a Shopaholic
Who’s going out? Who’s going to the office? Who cares what we look like while we’re stuck at home? I get it! We all know there aren’t many reasons to buy new clothes right now, but some of us still long for a reason to get dressed up, kick our depression to the curb, and feel good about ourselves…and rentals could help. Trust me, I understand your hesitations. It seems a little unsanitary and unnecessary to rent clothing while we’re still in the midst of all this, but the clothing is fully steam cleaned, inspected, and mended before it is shipped out.
Hey, did you know that fashion is in the midst of a sustainability crisis, and clothing rentals provide an answer to the problem? Rentals reduce fashion’s impact on the environment (and our wallets) by recycling the garments instead adding them to a landfill. More wears, less CO2 emissions. Rentals are saving the planet, one piece at a time.
WHAT I’M WEARING THIS WEEK: RENT THE RUNWAY
Full disclosure: The last time I rented clothing (before last week’s review) was in 2012 when I borrowed two Herve Leger Bodycon dresses from Rent the Runway for my birthday extravaganza in the Hamptons.
Many years later I moved to DC where I stopped by their shop in Georgetown to see what they had in stock, but I felt like it was a prom dress wonderland and I never went back.
Well, until now (not the shop because it closed). For the past 10 years I’ve kept a close watch on the secondhand and designer resale industry, and only recently noticed that in regards to designer handbags, jewelry, and accessories, sometimes it’s cheaper to buy an item brand new than on resale. So, I started thinking…well, what’s next? RENTALS again, duh. I have a theory that rentals will be back and better than ever, and more shoppers will be buying their items off rental sites than anywhere else.
MY RENT THE RUNWAY FRENZY
I want you all to know that RTR of 2021, is NOT the gala, black tie, and prom dress destination of the last decade — you’ll find sweaters, leggings, leather jackets, bell bottoms, mini skirts, and more — I was absolutely thrilled when I logged on to the site and started scrolling through EVERYTHING. MONSE, Proenza, Rocksanda…oh my!
So, what is Rent the Runway? Obvi it’s another clothing rental company, but it was the first clothing subscription platform that provided the everyday woman with access to authentic, luxury fashion. Since its launch in 2009, RTR has gone through many iterations, some of which were the result of the pandemic, and now it’s also a sustainable resale platform where shoppers can rent, buy, or subscribe to secondhand clothing.
Before I committed to my items, I reviewed the plans and chose one that best suited my needs. You’ve got the option of 4 Items Per Month, 8 Items Per Month or 16 Items Per Month.
This is a review of the Most Loved Up to 8 Items Per Month plan
COUPON: Use code 30OFF to get 30% Off 2 Months of the 8-item subscription!
This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
WHAT I RECEIVED
From the time I signed up and chose my items, to the date they arrived, the entire process took about three days. The items arrived in a navy blue garment bag that features straps and can be hung up. They were neatly arranged and came with individual hangers which was great.
Proenza Schouler Black Printed Scarf Top, Retail Value $1,190
How I styled it: Due to the pandemic, I had to pack up my life, move out of the city, and away from my friends, family, and (gasp!) favorite Thai restaurants. Luckily, I stumbled upon Tiki Thai in the burbs and wore this outfit to give it a try! YUM. Since the Proenza Schouler Black Printed Scarf Top is asymmetrical, I paired it with cut-out leather leggings, Nicholas Kirkwood sandals, and topped it off with a snazzy fedora. Yes, a mask was also involved, but I made it fashion.
Size and fit: It’s the first piece I’ve ever tried by Proenza Schouler and since high-end designers tend to run a little small, I sized up and went with an 8. Sadly, it was a little too big. Side note: American designers run a little larger than European designers, but in my summer haze, I forgot Proenza is American.
Honest review: I am such a huge fan of Proenza Schouler and I fell head-over-heels in love with this scarf top when I spotted it online. From the drape-y neck to the logo print and the asymmetrical design, I had to try it! Yes, it’s a beautiful statement piece, but it’s also a complicated top to figure out, difficult to button and the scarf tends to slip a bit. Would I buy it? No.
Rosetta Getty Triangle Bordered Skirt, Retail Value $750
How I styled it: Rosetta Getty (yes, that Getty) is a designer who’s intrigued me since she launched her eponymous fashion line in 2015. Known for her complex simplicity, she partners with a different artist each season to create a bold new collection. Needless to say, I was thrilled to find the Rosetta Getty Triangle Bordered Skirt which I paired with Robert Clergerie Wedge sandals, a bold, gold-tone belt from Etsy, and a cropped leather top by Alice + Olivia. I wore this to an outdoor concert where I drank too much Bev, and when I fell into a hole in the ground, I almost broke my ankle. Proof that wedges aren’t always the best choice, and Bev is stronger than I expected! Whoops…maybe I should act my age.
Size and fit: Elasticized waist, front slit, and slimming in the hips, I ordered a size 6 and it fit like a glove.
Honest review: OMG I loved it and I love Rosetta Getty. I will be renting a lot more of her stuff, and I’d consider renting the skirt again too. Would I buy it? Nope, still too expensive.
Haider Ackermann Drape Neck Top, Retail Value $895, Proenza Schouler Printed Pleated Midi Skirt, Retail Value $890
How I styled it: So, I’m not sure what inspired me to go for drape neck tops this round, but I did it again (and I’m over them) with the Haider Ackermann Drape Neck Top. And while I wasn’t planning on combining it with the Proenza Schouler Printed Pleated Midi Skirt, they worked amazingly well together! I topped off the look with a pair of earrings I got at an art festival, a pair of Charlotte Olympia pumps, and the Chanel 19 bag — both of which I bought on resale and plan to resell myself.
I wore this outfit to meet some of my friends outside at this Euro-style restaurant and lounge called Greenhouse Bistro. I hadn’t seen some of them in over two years so it was a great reunion and I loved the space. It felt like a little slice of Europe right outside the Capital Beltway. FYI for the RTR folks…they were smoking cigars.
Size and fit: For the skirt, I ordered a medium and by the end of the rental it started to slide down a little bit. It’s a very heavy fabric! As for the top, I ordered a 40 which is a size 8 in the US and it was a little big too. Luckily, I now get to try all these designers to figure out how they’ll fit me in the future.
Condition: Both arrived in excellent condition.
Honest review: The drape top is super complicated. I had to Google it more than once to figure out how to style it and I still couldn’t get it to look quite like the picture on the site. As for the skirt, it’s the item I wore the most. It just felt like it was stretching out while I wore it due to the weight of the fabric. Would I rent them again? Not the top, but yes to the skirt. Would I buy them? Nah, too pricey and complicated.
DID THEY DELIVER?
- What items were most helpful and versatile to own this week to ensure I got the most out of my rental and completed the look I craved? Since I wore the Proenza skirt four times, it was definitely the most versatile item I received. From brunch to happy hour, and church (kidding, I’d get struck by lightning), I was able to mix and match with most of the items I already had in my closet.
- Did they meet or exceed expectations? RTR absolutely exceeded my expectations. When I created a new profile a few weeks ago, I figured it was going to be fancy nighttime attire or workwear, but I was pleasantly surprised. I lost many hours of my life perusing designers, styles and putting outfits together. I was also thrilled to discover so many designers I’d otherwise not have the opportunity to try.
- What’s the return process like? Simple! Just place your items in the pre-paid garment bag, slip in the return label, and send it back via UPS!
I could really get used to this. I might sell the rest of my closet and subscribe to rentals for the rest of my life…well except for undergarments. RTR is so much better than it was a decade ago — I think I can finally forgive them for not hiring me when I went through their interview process for a Senior Copywriter role back in 2013. 😉
CAN YOU STILL GET THIS BOX IF YOU SIGN UP TODAY? Yes, all these items are still available to rent.
COUPON: Use code 30OFF to get 30% Off 2 Months of the 8-item subscription!
VALUE BREAKDOWN: The Up to 8 Items membership costs $99/month (and goes up to $135/month after the first two months) and so far I’ve received styles with a retail value of $3,725!
Tell me your thoughts and feelings about rentals, but let’s avoid discussing the elephant in the room (ahem, the pandemic).