Update: It's been brought to my attention that the first set of images caused the blog to go blank afterwards. I think the issue has been resolved, but if not, you can always message me on Facebook (thanks Emily!), Instagram or LinkedIn to alert me of a glitch (or just want to chat). Seems it's been an issue for the past three posts, and I hope it has now been fixed!
Hello, every bun! Took a break last week because I was waiting on my shipment and I'm no longer reviewing Le Tote, but the good news is I had extra time to run around in my rentals and Mr. HGL is all over the place.
Last night I read the news about RTR laying off 24% of their workforce. While this is sad news for those impacted, I still think rentals will eventually own the retail industry and within the next 3-5 years, almost everyone will rent handbags, jewelry, clothing, and accessories. Rentals have made my life so much easier and more exciting! As someone who's all about instant gratification, every week or two, I can look forward to receiving a new-to-me shipment of clothing that I can mix and match with whatever is left in my closet. But if you're always at home, not going back to an office, and have nowhere to go, I completely understand how a rental model might not work for you right now.
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 four items by Esteban Cortazar, Ulla Johnson, Paco Rabanne, and Jonathan Saunders Collective were fresh from the dry cleaner, on the hanger, and sealed in plastic bags.
Esteban Cortazar Mini Tank Dress, Retail Value $255, RTR $242
How I styled it: By now you must recognize this designer because I've rented a few of his pieces recently. I rocked this colorful dress to meet my friend Rania at a comedy show in DC. I wore it with the Rocksbox jewelry, Salvatore Ferragamo sandals, and the vintage Chanel bag, and I brought the Gucci leather jacket because cellars are always cold!
Size and fit: Got the medium and while it's kind of unforgiving, if you wear it with shapewear of some sort, it does look better. This ribbed tank dress is crafted of a recycled polyester blend and features wide shoulder straps, a scoop neck, and a banded hi-lo hem. It's easy to dress up or down!
Honest review: I love the dress, design, and color, but $242 is a bit high (and not a discount at all) for a dress that's been worn by many people. I've never been an orange girl but being a part of RTR has allowed me to experiment with so many colors, I now love it. The one color I'm still not a fan of is purple... maybe it's because of the Baltimore Ravens? I'm not a football fan.
Ulla Johnson Marie Tie-Back Dress, Retail Value $595, RTR $565
How I styled it: I like Ulla Johnson a lot, but sometimes I find her designs to be a little too puffy and layered, and that can add weight to any body type. I was trying to tame the ruffled waist a bit, so I added the Esty leather belt and I'm not sure if that helped, but I did wear this dress a few times (like to a polo match at The Great Meadow Foundation) and it was a hit. I also wore it with Ulla Johnson sandals, the Chanel 19, an Audrey-esque hat, and Julie Vos earrings.
Size and fit: This crisp cotton dress, with its puffed sleeves with elasticized cuffs, square neckline, tiered ruffles, back-tie closure, and concealed zipper, was a hit amongst the women at the polo match. I got the 6 and it was a great fit, but it helps that you can adjust the ties in the back.
Condition: Great, but a little wrinkled.
Honest review: I have a love/hate relationship with this dress. I'm 5'11" and while I felt like it bulked me up a bit, I think it could completely swallow a much shorter person. Plus, the fabric is quite stiff which makes it more difficult to soften the look.
Jonathan Saunders Collective Ruched Mesh Dress, Retail Value $350, RTR $105
How I styled it: I wore this dress to meet some friends at Millie's Spring Valley for brunch. I ended up belting it to try and break up the print, but that didn't seem to work very well. Also wore it with Ferragamo wedges and a vintage Chanel bag.
Size and fit: Crafted in floral-printed mesh, this easy, breezy dress features an elasticized and gathered front and back, crew neckline, frilly butterfly sleeves, a concealed back-zip closure and it's lined. I got the 6 and it was a really good fit. It's also a bit stretchy, so it may be safe to say it could run a little large.
Honest review: When I see it in pictures, I like it better than I did looking in the mirror. I think it's the butterfly sleeves that throw off the look a little for me and maybe the mesh fabric cheapens it a bit.
Paco Rabanne Leopard Print Ruched Side Slit Dress, Retail Value $700, RTR $630
How I styled it: What do you wear to a polo match? Probably not something leopard print. While equestrian is trending this year, I simply don't own anything equestrian at all! I've been a huge fan of Holland Cooper since I discovered the shop in Edinburgh many years ago, but because UK sizing is not like the US, I've been hesitant to buy any of her items for fear it won't fit! Look through the site... those capes are amazing!
Anyway, Roxy and I met some friends at Twilight Polo, and we were totally overdressed. Poor Roxy's stilettos kept sinking into the wet ground and then a crazy storm came out of nowhere and soaked us! Well, I wore the dress with the Chanel 19, block-heeled sandals, my favorite Etsy necklace, and a leather jacket just in case it got chilly.
Size and fit: I got a size 6 and this leopard print sheath dress is crafted in shiny viscose with a crewneck, one cap sleeve and one short sleeve, and a gathered slit with snap closures. It's a pull-on design with a hint of stretch and it makes me look like I have a Kardashian butt!
Honest review: Despite not dressing like it's horse girl fall, our outfits were a HIT. Flattering and fabulous, the ruching on this dress strategically minimizes and hides any sort of bumps that may appear in the belly area, the fabric is like butter and the print is so fun. I want to wear it a few more times before I send it back.
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 got a lot of wear out of all the items, but I'd like to have an excuse to wear the Paco Rabanne Dress one more time before I send it back! Who's down for a fancy night out on the town?
- Did they meet or exceed expectations? Exceed, of course.
- 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. You can also drop it off at one of their exclusive drop-off points in some of the major cities.
I don't think I've ever cried over the death of a celebrity, but for some reason Queen Elizabeth made me tear up and I was glued to the news for two days.
Want to hear an odd story about her handbags? One of the ways I uncovered the truth about my ex's fraudulent activity and his crew of white-collar criminals was over a phone call that I wasn't supposed to hear. Quick backstory: I had this crazy idea to open up a designer resale shop in Middleburg, VA (thanks to relationship trauma and COVID) and he insisted on taking out a loan for the shop and having one of his associates fund it too. I said no.
Now, I was already aware of overseas money transfers and began reporting these shell companies to the feds, but this was the final straw. He was on the phone with another fraud, and I heard him say, "Yeah, Mary was a Victoria's Secret model, and she has access to Queen Elizabeth's handbags! She's going to sell her handbags at her shop!" So, I sprinted downstairs and yelled at him while he was lying about me to this Ozark wannabe and I said, "First of all, I worked in marketing at VS as a copywriter and secondly, I never have and never will have access to Queen Elizabeth's handbags! Why are you lying about me? You're ruining my business before I even launch!"
Of course, he tried to calm me down because he didn't want this guy to know he was a pathological liar, so I stormed off, went back upstairs, Googled this "investor" and discovered he had been in federal prison for white collar crimes including real estate fraud and a Ponzi Scheme. He owed his former victims over $3 million dollars, and he was back at it again. My ex truly believed that this guy's fiancé had a sister who married a prince and lived in Vegas, and he wanted to convince these fake royals to buy handbags off me. WTF!
Know what I did next? Contacted the FBI again, threw all of them under the bus, tore up my commercial real estate lease, and moved out the following weekend. Unbelievable, right? Like how in the world would I ever get access to Queen Elizabeth's handbags? Soooo stupid, but I am so happy I uncovered all of this and did NOT move forward with a retail shop funded by a bunch of frauds. I could've gone to jail, and poor Mr. HGL would've been all alone!
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 $71,687!
Do you subscribe to Rent the Runway? Let us know what you think down below!