So, last night I went down a rabbit hole looking at some of my travel pics on Instagram and I cannot believe so many of these pictures were taken over four years ago. I know people say the older you get, the faster time flies, and I guess it really is true. I don't know about you, but I feel like the past two and a half years are a blur. We lost lots of time due to the pandemic, but you'd think being stuck indoors for over a year would make time creep along, but it feels like the opposite to me.
Anyway, due to the pandemic, I haven't shopped much at all. I moved twice in three years—ugh, I know—and cleaned out my closet multiple times to avoid dragging all that extra stuff with me and now I'm recycling whatever I'm not renting. Before 2020 hit, I used to live on eBay, Rebag, TheRealReal, and The Outnet and one of my favorite past-times was scouring these sites to find amazing deals on designer pieces and sometimes reselling them. Oh, and did I ever mention I also collect vintage Barbie Dolls?
Most of the accessories I wear or carry in these posts are pre-owned and a lot of times they're vintage or one-of-a-kind items that are practically impossible to find online, but if I'm wearing something that is still available, I'll do my best to find and link it for you. If I ever forget about something, just ask! I've also added an "About the designer" section where I'll mention why I chose the item too. As for shoes, most of them are pre-owned (just like my handbags) because I'm very rough on them, but I still like nice things.
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 Prabal Gurung, Thebe Magugu, and Saloni were fresh from the dry cleaner, on the hanger, and sealed in plastic bags.
Prabal Gurung Rania Dress, Retail Value $1,595, RTR $1,425
About the designer: Prabal Gurung is a Nepalese American fashion designer who started his fashion career in New Delhi and moved to NYC to finish his design studies at Parsons School of Design. His first job was on Cynthia Rowley's design team and then he was appointed head designer at Bill Blass which he held for five years until he launched his own line. He has dressed everyone from Kate Middleton to Michelle Obama and has won many top awards in the fashion industry. He produces and manufactures his products in NYC to uphold standards of quality and give back to the local community.
I've had this dress on my wish-list since last year and I've been curious about it ever since. I chose it this time because it's got the perfect Fall vibe and the colors match the changing leaves.
How I styled it: Since this dress has a lot going on, I didn't do much to it. I again wore the Nicholas Kirkwood sandals, Luv AJ Slash Chain Studs, a pre-owned Saint Laurent Sac de Jour, and a belt I found at a vintage shop in Baltimore.
Size and fit: I got the 6 and the Rania dress, crafted from ultra-soft wool feels like a nightgown. Featuring a crewneck, three-quarter sleeves with flared button cuffs, back-zip closure, fitted hips, and a hi-low hem with side slits and buttoned closure, this colorful sheath dress has some serious southwestern vibes.
Honest review: It's beautifully made, the print and colors are delightful, and I love all the details like the button closures and the frilly sleeves, but I wish the lining of the sleeves matched the print and the waist was a little lower. I had high hopes, but they've fallen flat a bit.
Thebe Magugu Sisterhood Bandana Blouse, Retail Value $520, RTR $182, Thebe Magugu Sisterhood Bandada Skirt, Retail Value $549, RTR $521
About the designer: Do you ever feel like every item in your closet is a different variation of the same piece? For the longest time, everything I purchased was black, sleeveless, and puffy and while that was part of my NYC uniform, after a while it got boring. It wasn't until I moved back to DC that I started to change my style a little bit, and then last year—thanks to clothing rentals—I finally stepped out of my comfort zone and this colorful set that recently popped up is proof!
Thebe Magugu is a luxury South African brand that offers sleek designs embellished with motifs and details inspired by the country's storied past and mirrors the qualities of the people these multifaceted clothes are made for.
How I styled it: At first, I wore it together as a set, but it was almost a little too much, so I paired the skirt with an Alice + Olivia leather cropped top and Ferragamo sandals and wore the top with my A+O jeans, B-Low the Belt belt, and another pair of pre-owned Ferragamo sandals.
B-Low the Belt has some of the best belts I've ever seen, and this skirt made me realize I need to invest in a thin, dressy belt. Also, I'm beyond obsessed with this hat. I've been waiting for the price to drop for over a year now, but it hasn't, and I still can't justify paying that much for a hat, but I just might have to.
Size and fit: I got mediums and both pieces are made of green printed polyester with a colorful patchwork of bandana prints. The top features a shirt collar, triangular cutouts on the collar bone, long sleeves with flared and slit cuffs, a front snap placket, and a rounded hem. The skirt features a banded waist with belt loops, a side zip closure, box pleats, and an asymmetrical handkerchief hem. The top was a little tight in the shoulders which threw off the look a bit for me and the skirt was a little too big in the waist. I tried to belt it, but the ones I had just weren't working.
Honest review: When I wore the pieces separately, I got a lot of compliments. When I wore them together, I got some confused looks and stares, but it is the DC area, and everyone here is too scared to try something new. Nevertheless, I returned both pieces because neither of them fit me the best.
Saloni Isa Scallop Dress, Retail Value $695, RTR $625
About the designer: Inspired by her childhood in India, and living overseas in Hong Kong, Seoul, London, and Italy, Saloni Lodha founded her label in 2011 with a vision of combining elegant femininity with her love of textiles, signature shapes, and custom prints. I've had this dress on my list for almost a year now and finally rented it because I love the top of it and thought it would look great on Zoom calls.
Size and fit: Crafted in luxurious black and light pink silk, this size 6 sheath dress features a mock neck, gently puffed sleeves with buttoned cuffs, contrasting scalloped details, gathered waist, back zip closure, cascading ruffles, and a slight hi-low hem. It's lightly lined, and it fits me a little tighter in the waist and hips. All around, I'd say the dress runs a tad small, and since it's designed in silk, the fabric doesn't give much at all.
Honest review: It's a beautiful dress, but the fabric in the skirt portion is almost too thin and the hook and eye closures on the back of the neck aren't the easiest to close (or keep closed). It could use a slip or lightweight shapewear.
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 the most wear out of the skirt without the matching shirt and the Saloni dress.
- 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.
Thanks for your comments and suggestions and I will make a point to get out a bit more and have pics taken in my outfits too... although I hardly went anywhere this past week. Meanwhile, I'm over here wondering what I was thinking when I ordered this set. The pieces are unique, but they're a bit odd too. All the flair is a bit much and while I use the rentals as an excuse to step out of my comfort zone and try new things, a lot of times they're total failures. What do you think? I like the skirt with the cropped top, and I love the Saloni dress, but the top is too much and the yellow dress is far from my favorite too.
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 $75,046!
Do you subscribe to Rent the Runway? Let us know what you think down below!