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What I’m Wearing This Week: Rent the Runway

Mary Zubritsky
ByMary ZubritskyJul 8, 2022 | 9 comments

Rent The Runway
3.7 overall rating
7 Ratings | 3 Reviews

It's a new week and I've got a new attitude... maybe? After a week and a half of breakdowns, sobbing and anxiety, I decided to take control of my life again, and instead of canceling my new lease and moving to Pluto, I tapped back into my younger days of always having a Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C.

I've applied for about 50 different jobs — most of which I found were again freelance or contract, so not much stability there. Then, for Plan B and C, I really dug deep and remembered I have almost a decade of experience behind the bar and as a server, and if I get in at one of the high-grossing restaurants in the area, I could always pick up more bartending shifts or decrease them based on my schedule. And then my third thought was to become a personal shopper or stylist somewhere like Saks Fifth Avenue (I worked in corporate for almost four years) or Neiman Marcus and that way I can network, work in fashion and maybe find some potential clients for the business I want to launch. Plus, being stuck indoors for almost two years is killing me. I'm an extrovert and a social butterfly and I cannot sit in my apartment and stare at a computer screen for much longer. I must be out meeting people and I'm kind of burned out from corporate America too.

Anyway, I'm keeping my options open and hoping we don't end up in a terrible recession. YIKES!

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, 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.

 

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 

 

All items by Herve Leger, MSGM, Sarah Battaglia, and Tome were fresh from the dry cleaner, on the hanger, and sealed in plastic bags. Keep your eyes peeled for my opinionated little stylist again!

THE GOODS 

Herve Leger Spearhead Print Dress, Retail Value $1,690

 

The backstory: While there's still a week left; I haven't been able to wear this dress because it's huge! I'm going to buy fashion tape and see if that helps, but I'm sad. I love it and haven't worn Herve Leger since my first RTR experience back in 2012 — pic included along with my bangs. What is it about breakups that cause us to attack our hair?

How I styled it: This dress is a statement piece on its own. It doesn't take much to style, but definitely missing the double-sided tape for the straps.

Mr. Hoppy Golightly says: I'd suggest a long, delicate necklace to distract the eye from the white bra that keeps poking out.

Size and fit: Herve Leger's famed bodycon dresses were first launched in the mid-90s, but these girdle-tight dresses didn't really become a must-have until Max Azria (of BCBG fame) acquired the brand in the late 90s. These dresses were TINY and back in 2012 and I had to order two different sizes from RTR to make sure they fit since slinking into one of these dresses was a workout. 

Well, I expected this Herve dress to also fit like a glove, but it seems the design and fabric have changed a bit since a decade ago. This dress is big, and it may be stretched out from years of wear and hanging on a hanger. The straps are very long and loose, and the bodice isn't even tight enough to hold it up. What happened to these dresses?

It's a heavy, stretchy fabric with a serious scoop-neck and back-zip closure, but it's just not working. 

Condition: Very good condition.

Honest review: Damn! I've had this on my list for a year and I'm so disappointed to find out it's too big! How do I keep those straps in place and quit flashing my bra to Mr. HGL? Ugh, I'm disappointed.

MSGM Mod Abstract Shift Dress, Retail Value $805

 

The backstory: I was in a 60s mood this week and inspired by the pics I've seen of Anne Hathaway and Jessica Chastain filming a movie in New Jersey. I've worn this dress quite a few times and got caught in a torrential downpour leaving a Georgian embassy gathering.

DC is actually the perfect place to launch a styling business because no one pays attention to fashion (nor do they care), there is a lot of money and the entire area is pretty much recession-proof (I am NOT going back to work for the federal government, it's brutal). Since I don't work for an embassy and my dad was not a diplomat, the conversation quickly turned to fashion because the girls wanted to discuss my dress. The one girl said she had pretty average experiences with RTR due to sizing and delivery complaints, and the customer service was subpar, so she never rented again. You listening, RTR?

How I styled it: The artful design and pleated detail make this such an awesome statement piece that it really doesn't need much styling help in the warmer months. You can even pair it with tights, boots, a slim-fitting turtleneck, and a leather jacket for winter wear too.

Mr. Hoppy Golightly says: Elmer J. Fudd got me. I'm dead.

Size and fit: Sometimes I feel like talking about the fit is useless because there are sooo many different body shapes, and one item won't fit two people the exact same way, but that's one of the reasons I'm so interested in mastering the art of styling. I love to talk about fashion so why not use my passion to help others? Well, anyway, I got the 42 which is a US size 6 and it was slightly tight around the bust area, but otherwise quite roomy throughout.

This mod little sleeveless shift dress is crafted in abstract-printed crepe with pleated detail, side slit pockets, and a back-zip closure. It's fully lined, and the fabric is on the slightly heavier side, but not enough to weigh you down in the summer. I love the fun print and the bubbly texture of the material.

Condition: Great.

Honest review: It's so cute and very well made, but I can't buy any clothes right now. The guy in the pic with me is my friend Mordecai and he's very single. Ladies, line up. Ha! Should I start a dating service? Kidding.

Sara Battaglia Abstract Tank Dress, Retail Value $665

 

The backstory: I've gotten a lot of wear out of this dress, like to dinner at The Lost Fox in Virginia. I also wore it on a fun little day trip with my friend Tori to historic Harper's Ferry, West Virginia where we toured some of the old ruins, checked out the shops, and had a quick bite to eat. Next time I'll get a group together to hike a little and go tubing too. While we were there, we discussed our decision to stay in NYC for well over a decade and how we feel it's negatively impacted the rest of our life.

When I moved to NYC in 2001, I proudly proclaimed I'd never leave, but then 9/11 hit, I lost my internship, and I begged my parents to let me come home and they said NO. So, I got a job at the W Hotel in Times Square to make ends meet until I snagged an internship at Cosmopolitan Magazine. Fast forward many years and I was so focused on getting all these huge brands on my resume and being 100% independent, that I missed out on many of life's major milestones.

I have quite a few friends who also stuck around the city for well over a decade and we all wish we had left much sooner, but we didn't know where else to go. By the time I had burned out of fashion and Manhattan, it was 2014 and I was in my mid-30s. After my entire group of friends staged a mass exodus, we spread out all over the world and many of us lost touch. Leaving my NYC bubble was a major culture shock, and it took me a good two years to readjust to the DMV area. The hardest part was the job situation which I touched on a few posts ago.

My point is in many ways I feel like my decision to stay in Manhattan for 14 years ended up hurting me more than helping me. I call it The Sex and the City Curse. Yeah, it looked like a blast on TV (and trust, it was), but we got so wrapped up in living in that bubble that we lost touch with reality and in a sense screwed ourselves over too. Living life like Carrie Bradshaw (complete with my very own Mr. Big) was at times a dream come true, but then one day you wake up and wonder if it was worth it and if it was more like a glamorous nightmare instead.

How I styled it: Since we were kind of hiking through the streets of WV, I wore flats at first, and then we went out later at night, I switched to my Salvator Ferragamo Gavina Sandals.

Mr. Hoppy Golightly says: Hi, me again. How the FLUFF did they get away with that print? It's a total Pucci knockoff!

Size and fit: I got the 44 which is a US 6 and it's roomy and comfy, but a tiny bit short on me. It's a lightweight, sleeveless sheath dress with a back-zip closure and it's pretty awesome. Too bad I spilled like 15 different meals on it, including a Hoagie from Wawa while I ate in the car.

Condition: Love the dress, but it's quite worn. Just about time to retire it.

Honest review: Definitely a Pucci knockoff, but I love it anyway. My two main complaints are the wear and tear, and the resale price. In all fairness, this dress should be maybe $75, if not less. I could probably find an actual Pucci dress on the resale market for the same price they're trying to charge.

Tome Collective Orange Pleated Dress Retail Value $325

 

The backstory: Well, I haven't really had a chance to wear it out yet, but I will this weekend.

How I styled it: Do you prefer it belted, or not? From the front, I like it belted, but the back looks weird. This is another standout piece that doesn't need much to dress it up. I paired it with the Nicholas Kirkwood sandals, oversized gold hoop earrings, and a vintage Chanel bag.

Mr. Hoppy Golightly says: You look like a Teletubby.

Size and fit: I got the medium and it fits like an extra-large. The armholes are enormous and if you move a certain way, someone could peek in and see all the way down. Definitely wear a bra or a strapless stick-on bra like I did so the fabric doesn't hang out.

Condition: Great.

Honest review: If you order this dress, size down. Also, try it with and without a belt to see what look you like best. So, RTR just sent me a special app deal to purchase this dress for only $81, and while I love the color and the design, it's just not something I'll get a ton of wear out of right now.

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? I wore the Pucci knockoff the most, but I loved the others too.
  • Did they meet or exceed expectations? This round was awesome again. Just disappointed in the Herve Leger. 
  • 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.

FINAL THOUGHTS

The news is draining, life is exhausting, and the world is spiraling. Wouldn't it be nice to just not have a care in the world like Mr. HGL? I know having a bunny rabbit is weird (says the girl who also collects unicorns and vintage Barbie Dolls), but they really do make great pets. They're smart, trainable, quiet, loving, and comforting. I don't know what I'd do without my fluffy little man!

CAN YOU STILL GET THIS BOX IF YOU SIGN UP TODAY? Yes, all items are still available. 

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 $65,805!

Do you subscribe to Rent the Runway? Let us know what you think down below!

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Choose from thousands of designer clothes and accessories. Try new styles and trends for any occasion. Mail everything back for free via UPS. We handle the dry cleaning. RTR offers both one-time, on-demand rentals as well as an unlimited rental that charges a monthly fee.

Mary Zubritsky
Mary Zubritsky

If shopping were an Olympic sport, I’d be a gold medalist. And while my bank account often feels the crunch, I just can’t stop buying secondhand clothing and accessories, under-the-radar designer goods, stuffed animal unicorns (I have about 75), and toys for my pet bunny rabbit. After 20 years of city slicking in NYC and DC, I now have a car and love to tour the Virginia countryside looking for vintage shops, undiscovered wineries and breweries, historic sites, and Thai restaurants—I’m addicted to Thai food. I never leave home without a spare phone charger because I love horror movies and therefore have an irrational fear of being stranded somewhere with a dead battery.


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9 comments

Paige

Everything looks so great on you, although I see what you mean about the Herve Leger being stretched out around the neckline. I have been toying with the idea of RTR but I would be pretty disappointed to get stretched out/overworn garments. That said, it seems like the majority of what you receive is in really good condition. BTW, the Sara Battaglia is currently available on Ebay for $130 (yes, I loved it so much I had to check!). Alas, it’s a size 12 which won’t work for me or you, but maybe someone else reading these comments can snag it. Thanks as always for the fun, honest, and well written review. You are like a breath of fresh air!

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AH

Ohhh Mary,
I’m having a breakdown of my own over the weekend for something that would take a long essay to explain so I truly feel for you right now. Sending you the best of vibes that you find something with stability and that you also love or at the very least don’t absolutely hate. I have to say that the Herve Leger might be my favorite of all time that I’ve seen in your posts. I just love busy, slightly bohemian prints. It’s just gorgeous. And if you hadn’t told me it was too big, I truly wouldn’t have known. You look stunning in it! Also, proud of your restraint on the Tome. While it’s a good deal, I totally understand your sentiment and I think you made the right decision on passing it up.
Also, since you kinda need to have social outings to help along with these posts (I love your posts!), but social outings can cost a pretty penny, are you thinking you’ll do anything differently until you square away your work situation? That’s a tough one for sure.
Sending you and Mr Golightly hugs and comfort. Xx

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Mary Zubritsky

Thanks, AH. Hugs to you too! That dress makes me mad 😫 Yeah, Ms. Social Butterfly is definitely cutting back. I’ll still go to events (they’re free) and a few outings here and there, but I won’t be running around bars and restaurants very much. I hear cheers from my liver. Now that I have a car and live about 25 mins outside of DC, I also have to drive and pay for parking too so that can really add up.

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mia

Love reading your weekly columns and admiring the way clothes hang on your 5’11” frame. I weigh the same as you, but I’m 5’2″ 😂😂

I can relate to your saying that you missed out on many of life’s major milestones. I grew up very poor, and have always focused on getting an education and getting a job to support my family, especially after my dad passed away when I was 20. All the hard work and focus, and now I’m fairly comfortable with a stable job and a condo of my own, but I never got married or had kids, and I wonder what it’ll be like when I grow old.

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Mary Zubritsky

Ah, Mia! But how awesome to step up to the plate and help out those in need – especially family. My sister is about 12 years younger than me so in a sense, I’ve always felt like she was my child. I would love to be a stepmom, and you can do that too. 🙂 There are always options in life, but I feel you. Luckily, it’s a little more socially acceptable to bypass these social expectations and do whatever makes you happy.

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NoelleL

Love all the looks on you!

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Mary Zubritsky

Thanks, Noelle! I’m a big fan of this shipment.

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Laurie

So sorry you’re having to job hunt and wish you all the best. My son and his girlfriend live with me, so I’m sorry your parents wouldn’t cut you a break and let you come back home. A lot of families have 2-4 generations living under the same roof these days. We current have 3. Anyways…. Dress #1 looks great in your. Pair it with a really sexy black lace bra and let it show. Dress #2 is a bust – looks like a paper bag. Dress #s 3 & 4 look fab in you. I’d have a hard time letting go of #4. That dress is the be all and end all of dresses and it looks amazing in you.

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Mary Zubritsky

Thanks, Laurie! I whined, begged and talked about moving to NYC since I was in 8th grade, so when I finally got there in 2001 (right before the towers fell), my dad said nope, you’re staying. Honestly, I’m glad he did! As for my current living situation, I love my building and location. I don’t want to move, but of course I found out about my job two days before my new yearly lease kicked in and I went into meltdown mode. If I wanted to move home right now, either with my mom or dad and stepmom (they’re all friends), they’d be thrilled, but it’s not happening. Hopefully my next move is to Florida! Too funny about your dress description. It does kind of resemble a paper bag and feels a little like it too! 😂

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