Hey, y'all! I spent a few days in Miami trying to escape the brutal cold and as you know, packing to go from one extreme climate to another can be tricky, especially if you're like me and don't like to check your luggage — lost luggage is the WORST. While I considered having Rent the Runway send my four choices directly to the hotel (awesome option, right?), I was slightly concerned they wouldn't arrive in time or get lost so I traveled with them myself.
A few weeks ago, I included a link to the midget "illegal apartment" in NYC where I lived for about six years without storage space. The apartment had one small closet which was about 5"W x 6"H x 5"D and that was it. I bought a small, thin dresser for the corner and eventually had a friend of mine build an Ikea wardrobe which collapsed on top of me as I slept one night. Needless to say, the 14 years I spent in NYC taught me how to become a minimalist because I had no choice. Sure, I could've moved in with an ex, but that would've required giving up my freedom and I was too independent for that!
When I shopped for clothing, I always purchased dresses because they were thin, and I could hang them up in the closet. Separates such as sweaters, jeans, and sweatshirts were too bulky and took up a lot of space, so I became an expert at layering and turning summer outfits into winter with tights, a leather jacket, and a pair of over-the-knee leather boots. And while I wasn't always toasty, I made it work.
So, what's my point? I used the skills I learned in NYC to pack and layer accordingly for my trip to and from Miami, and then to visit my parents in Baltimore once I arrived at BWI. I'm high maintenance, but if I can live out of a carry-on and large handbag for three weeks when I traveled between the US, Europe, and the UK, Miami is easy.
WHAT I'M WEARING THIS WEEK: Rent the Runway
Welcome back to What I'm Wearing This Week — Rent the Runway where you can rent and wear designer items by names you know and love, and up-and-coming designers too!
For the newbies to WIWTW, every Friday I’ll take you on a trip through my life (recovered from COVID, vaccinated), where I’m going, what’s missing in my closet, my current obsessions, what I’m excited to try — and maybe even buy. Well, that's if the price is right!
For sizing reference, I am 5'11", weigh 140 pounds, and have a 33" inseam.
Rent the Runway is a 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.
This is a review of the Most Loved Up to 8 Items Per Month plan.
ACTIVE DEAL: Limited Time Only! Get your 1st & 2nd months of 8 items/month for $99 (regularly $135/month)
This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we review boxes.)
WHAT I RECEIVED
This time I chose items that would be perfect for a long weekend in Miami. All four of the items by Red Valentino, Christian Siriano, Peter Pilotto, and Martin Grant arrived on time and in good condition. Each item was fresh from the dry cleaner, on the hangers, and sealed in a plastic bag.
Christian Siriano Pink Tie Shoulder Dress, Retail Value $1,248
The backstory: I went to Miami to visit my friend Claire who was my partner in crime in NYC. We were roommates for four years and back then (2002-2006, and then friends forever), and we were trouble. In fact, we've gotten the nickname Laverne & Shirley. Should I be offended? Luckily, we've both grown up quite a bit, and instead of staying out until 4am, taking a quick nap, and miraculously ending up at the office at 8:30am (after drinking enough alcohol to kill a horse), we now sip on wine and sometimes sip on vodka, and then head home by midnight. LOL.
When we went to London many years ago, we hit a restaurant called Sexy Fish and now there's one in Miami too! Since I'm all about the grandma special, I headed over there around 6:30pm, and unbeknownst to me, it was their second night open. The front door was full of velvet ropes, bouncers, and hostesses with clipboards which is something I was very familiar with 15-20 years ago, but now the velvet rope/guest list crap doesn't impress me at all. I text Claire to explain the situation and she said to try and get in anyway.
"Do you have a reservation?" - Guy in the fish-print suit.
"Nope" - Me
"Well, we're booked solid until the end of March which includes bar space." - Bouncer
"I was just going to grab a drink at the bar and wait for my friend. We weren't planning on staying all night. I'll just tell my friends to meet me across the street." - Me
"Let me see what I can do. Want me to take a pic of you outside?" - Fish-print suit dude.
So, he took my pic, made me wait for about ten minutes, and then escorted me into the bar. While I waited for Claire, I discovered my bartender, Kendall, grew up a few miles away from me in Baltimore County. All the other bartenders raved about her and said she's one of the nation's top mixologists. She's in the bar pic with me.
Claire and I ordered wine (sorry, Kendall) and chilled for about an hour and a half to people watch. When I went to use the restroom, I felt like I had been transported into The Little Mermaid. It was pink (like my dress) and there were paintings of mermaids and seahorses and a life-sized mermaid mannequin who was seated at the entrance. Of course, everyone was taking pics with her, but since I was so early, I got the scandalous Ariel all to myself.
While Sexy Fish is brand new and had the whole "You Can't Sit with Us" attitude at the front door, the staff was incredibly kind and once you got past the front door, you didn't get the snooty NYC club vibe at all.
How I styled it: RTR has given me the opportunity to experiment with color and now pink is one of my favorites. Before I subscribed, I might've purchased five pink items in the past 10 years, and they were mostly pale pink which tends to wash me out because I'm so pale. Anyway, I rented this Christian Siriano dress because it's PINK. Who have I become?
At first, the dress felt a little too bridesmaid, so I messed with my accessories a bit to make it less church, and more Miami. Of course, I brought the Etsy belt, so I wrapped that around my waist and paired it with the studded Gucci leather jacket, Nicholas Kirkwood block-heeled sandals, and the Chanel 19 so it was dressy with a little edge. This is a dress I feel wouldn't look great if you tried to winterize it due to the color, the ruffled trim, and shoulder straps.
Size and fit: I ordered the size 6 and it was practically a perfect fit. The shoulder ties are a little complicated at first, but once I was able to tie them correctly, I felt better about the dress. The asymmetrical ruffle trim is stylish and sweet, and the fabric feels like it sucks you in a little bit.
Honest review: While this dress is a little more summertime wedding than clubbing in Miami or winter in DC, Christian Siriano was my favorite Project Runway cast member and he's from Maryland so I will always have a soft spot in my heart for him and his designs.
Martin Grant Asymmetrical Draped Dress, Retail Value $869
The backstory: I was searching for a dress that was thin and lightweight so I could roll it into a ball and take it with me everywhere and this linen design was ideal. It got a lot of wear since it was so breezy and stylish. I wore it to places like the beach, the pool at the Kimpton Palomar (great hotel, BTW), and to Yardbird where I sipped a delicious bloody Mary.
How I styled it: Either RTR forgot to send the belt, or someone stole it, so I had to improvise. There's no way you could wear this without something cinching your waist because there's a lot of fabric and it's oversized. So, again I wore the lifesaver Etsy belt, a pair of old Cole Haan block-heeled sandals, sunnies, and a beach bag. The photos are weird because I switched between two different hotels and this one barely had any natural light.
Size and fit: Oversized and boxy, but very comfy. I'd suggest you size down.
Condition: Very good but missing the belt.
Honest review: While I like it, there's no way I'd ever pay more than $100 for this dress. It's great for a casual day spent at a beach bar or pool bar, but it wrinkles way too easily and without the right belt, you look like you're wearing a fancy plaid tent.
Peter Pilotto Navy Ruffled Knit Dress, Retail Value $2,060
The backstory: This dress is a star and I need it in my life. I rented it because it's long, heavy, beautiful, and easily transitions from day to night, whether it's warm or chilly. The weather in Miami averaged 75 degrees per day, but there was a chill in the air due to the ocean breeze.
The first time I wore this dress we went to a new restaurant and lounge called RASPOUTINE which I had previously spotted on the map and thought was a spot for poutine. Why am I always hungry? Then Claire told me it's a storied French nightclub with locations in Rome, Paris, LA — and now Miami. It opened mid-January and it's a total Miami hotspot and since I'm no longer cool, when we walked up to the bouncer standing behind the velvet ropes, I stumbled over my words, and we almost got denied entrance. Claire said, "Mary, you've officially lost your coolness factor!" #oldpeopleproblems
And then on my final day, I wore it to Coconut Grove — it's like Main Street in East Hampton without all the stupid celebs — where we went shopping and had brunch at this cute place called Greenstreet Cafe.
How I styled it: I didn't have much space in my carry-on, so my pickings were slim. I AGAIN wore the Obi Belt (which Claire ended up buying after seeing just how versatile it is) and a pair of gold-tone studded Robert Clergerie sandals for the daytime excursions, and the Nicholas Kirkwood block-heeled sandals for RASPOUTINE. I carried my leather jacket around with me since I'm always cold! After we left RASPOUTINE, we met a friend from DC at the bar at The Setai Hotel where we parked ourselves at the center of the action to check out the scene and stare at the "working girls" 😉
One day I might be able to justify splurging for a hotel like The Setai, but probably not. I could buy a designer handbag for the same price!
Size and fit: Ordered the size 6 and it's stretchy and even made me look like I had a butt! Look out Kim K. It's a pullover design with ruffled lace tiers and an intricate knit design that can be found throughout the dress. It's beautiful, thick, and long and the length was perfect on me.
Condition: Awesome, aside from a pull on one of the ruffles that could've been from me. Eek!
Honest review: I need this dress in my life. I've seen it on The RealReal before and I must have it. I went searching just a few hours ago and it's not on the site right now, but I will wait. "It will be mine. Oh yes, it will be mine." Can anyone name that line from a famous comedy movie? It's absolutely worth $2,000, but I cannot justify spending even $300 on it.
Red Valentino Denim Multitoni & Reserva Dress, Retail Value $850
The backstory: I switched hotels which is why the background is different. The first one was The Greystone, which is an adults-only boutique hotel that's ironically located next to an outdoor nightclub full of "kids" and it was LOUD. So, I switched over to the Kimpton Palomar for my final night and wish I had stayed there the entire time.
This was also my airplane outfit, but I wore it with tights, ankle boots, a leather jacket, and the mink jacket so I didn't freeze in the 24 degrees we had here! I missed the turn to the long-term parking lot three times and then spilled V8 all over the dress and in my car. I was so flustered, I ended up parking in hourly which cost me almost $100. My poor car still smells like V8, and it looks like a crime scene. I haven't been able to get all of it up yet.
When I chose my dresses, I wanted two chill items that could be worn during the day as I toured the city, and then two that could be worn at night for some fancier escapades. I got lots of wear out of this dress and a lot of compliments!
How I styled it: It's pretty simple so I kept it that way. Flats, hoop earrings, the Chanel 19 (which is a great crossbody despite the fact that I want to sell it), and the Clic Clac bracelet. I couldn't belt this one.
Size and fit: The reviews said the straps were incredibly long, and that's so true! I'm quite tall and have a long torso and they were still falling down. The denim is a little stiff, but it's very well constructed. I had issues with the butterfly design on the front... it wouldn't stay down and kept folding over. Since the straps are too long, the bust part doesn't stay where it's supposed to be, so your options are to either let it fall or use double-sided tape.
Condition: Very good.
Honest review: I really like the dress, but it's got some serious design flaws.
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? Everything was perfect!
- Did they meet or exceed expectations? These items exceeded my expectations, and the reviews on each item were absolutely on point.
- 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.
Is anyone watching Joe Millionaire? I'm obsessed. I hope they choose Whitney and Amanda — I like that they're a bit more natural-looking and seem to have that girl-next-door vibe. Seriously, what is up with these 20-somethings and their scarily inflated faces and lips? Someone needs to tell them these injectables make them look 45 or 50 — and I'm about to turn 45. I also love the friendship between the two guys.
I am so tempted to Google the ending, but I'll try to wait it out.
Also, who's seen The Tinder Swindler? OMG. OMG. OMG. If you have Netflix, watch it and prepare to gasp over and over again!
When I came back from my trip, Mr. HGL threw a fit. He peed in my bed, wouldn't acknowledge my existence and constantly gave me the butt. My boyfriend took care of him the entire time, and now I think he wants to move in with him instead!
CAN YOU STILL GET THIS BOX IF YOU SIGN UP TODAY? Yes, all these items are still available to rent.
ACTIVE DEAL: Limited Time Only! Get your 1st & 2nd months of 8 items/month for $99 (regularly $135/month)
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 $39,811!
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