I need help. So, remember when I said DC isn't the most stylish place on planet earth? Well, that will always be true, BUT I was invited to an event tomorrow night and the woman who's hosting happens to be one of the most stylish women in the DC metro area. So, I panicked and started adding items to my RTR bag, but then they were getting stolen, so I lost out on two dresses I really loved! I finalized my shipment with the next four items, and now I'm having the hardest time deciding because I don't like anything on me quite like I liked it on the model and now I'm to the point where I'm wondering if I should just wear something out of my closet. I actually wish I had kept the Bronx & Banco gown.
Help me choose!
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 Altuzarra, Self Portrait, Saylor, and Alexis arrived fresh from the dry cleaner (they're clean!), on the hanger, and sealed in plastic bags.
Altuzarra Marlena Polka Dot Dress, Retail Value $1,795, RTR $1,615
About the designer: Joseph Altuzarra was born in 1983 and raised in Paris by a Chinese American mother and French father. His multicultural upbringing and interest in everything from film to literature and art are key influences throughout his work.
Since the launch of Altuzarra in 2008, Joseph has received numerous accolades for his work, from inclusion in Forbes’ 30 Under 30 and Business of Fashion’s BoF500 to the Swarovski Award for Womenswear Design.
In 2014, Joseph was named by the Council of Fashion Designers America as the Womenswear Designer of the Year and, in 2017, the Accessories Council’s Designer of the Year.
How I styled it: I couldn't decide if I liked it with or without a belt, so I tried both. I wore it with two pairs of Lele Sadoughi earrings, Capezio fishnets, Twinset Platform pumps, and the Chanel 19.
Size and fit: I rented the 6 and it feels slightly stretched out. This midi-length, polka dot dress comes in an off-the-shoulder design with wide shoulder straps, a gathered bodice with overlay, exposed back zip closure, ruched sides, and a midi-length skirt with sides slits.
Honest review: I ordered this dress because Kate Middleton loves polka dots, I don't know. First off, it's not worth $1,795. And secondly, it's way more casual than I expected.
Self-Portrait Cut-Out Midi Dress, Retail Value $410, RTR $389
About the designer: Self-Portrait has been one of my favorite designers for the past 7 years! Han Chong is the designer behind Self-Portrait, the contemporary luxury label which became super successful due to its impeccable lace designs, celebrity fans, and its accessible price point. Born and raised in Penang, Malaysia, Chong moved to London to study womenswear design at Central Saint Martins. After graduating, he co-founded the label Three Floor with Yvonne Hoang in 2011, but he wanted more creative control and left the brand in 2013 to focus on Self-Portrait.
In 2016, Self-Portrait was nominated by the British Fashion Council for the British Emerging Talent award. In November 2018, Chong announced the launch of a five-year scholarship fund supporting Central Saint Martin's MA Fashion students, granting each year's recipient a mentorship from Self-Portrait and key stakeholders.
How I styled it: Simplicity is key. While I considered covering up the cut-outs with a wide leather belt, I changed my mind because that's what makes the dress. So, I tried it again with the fishnets (although I might pop on some black tights to see what that looks like), another pair of Lele Sadoughi earrings, a vintage Chanel and the Prada Bunny Clutch (because of the colors), and Charlotte Olympia Suede pumps.
Size and Fit: Since the reviews said to size up, I got the US 8 and it's a great fit. I've purchased many items by SP in the past, and I know his items tend to run a bit small, especially in the rib cage area. This neon green jersey dress is fully lined and crafted in an hourglass silhouette with a round neckline, puffed shoulders with removable shoulder pads, long sleeves with button-detailed cuffs, a back zipper with keyhole button closure, elasticized and cutout sides, a gathered waist, and an asymmetrical wrap skirt with front slit.
Honest review: So, I know I said I'd never rent another cut-out design, but this one isn't as extreme as others. I love the dress—it's cozy, sexy, and brilliant—but I'm not sure it does much for me, the color may wash me out, and I'm not sure it works for this event. Thoughts?
Saylor Marcey Lace Mini Dress, Retail Value $253, RTR $240
About the designer: In 2014, after unexpectantly losing her job, Jillian Shatken booked a trip to the west coast where she discovered the female-centric LA fashion scene. With only a small amount in her savings account, some rough sketches, and a business partner, she was inspired to launch her own line and Saylor was born. Jillian had saved the name Saylor for her firstborn daughter but decided to name her brand after it too.
Saylor honors the momentum and progress women have made and commemorates and empowers women through signature, beautiful and feminine pieces that encourage personal style. Saylor is also a sustainable brand that prides itself on using sustainable fabrics, they 100% offset the carbon emissions of each order and recently launched a pre-loved shop where you can buy and sell pre-loved Saylor items.
How I styled it: I wore the dress with Sheertex tights (I was intrigued so I bought them during the Black Friday sale—I'll let you know if they live up to the hype), another pair of Lele Sadoughi earrings (they're from Rocksbox), the Kendra Scott Maya necklace, the Chanel 19 and Charlotte Olympia Suede pumps.
I rocked this festive frock to meet a friend from Baltimore at Ciel Social Club and it lives up to the hype.
Size and fit: I got the 6 and the fit is a little odd. While it's clearly too short on me, the bodice is a bit baggy in the front and back. This dress is made of pink lace nylon with a mock neck, long puffed sleeves, back zipper, keyhole button, centered ruching, dropped waist, and ruffled hem. It's lined except for the sleeves.
Honest review: Soooo pretty and the hot pink color is totally in style right now, but I l look like I'm competing for the Olympic gold in ice skating. While I can't wear this dress to Saturday's event because it's too short, I will make sure to get a lot of wear out of it otherwise.
Alexis Sivan Knit Dress, Retail Value $352, RTR $123
About the designer: Founded in 2008 by mother-daughter duo Ana and Alexis Barbara, ALEXIS is for the woman who embraces all aspects of femininity, sophistication, and elegance. The spirit of the ALEXIS brand echoes the personal style of Ana and Alexis, their worldly travels and passion for vintage have played an integral role in shaping their design style and aesthetic into what it is today.
Their advanced contemporary collections embody effortlessly chic sensibilities in a woman's everyday lifestyle. Opulent dresses and versatile separates serve as the perfect canvas for richly decorated laces, romantic silks, and striking textiles.
How I styled it: Since it's a busy dress, I kept the styling simple with pearl hoops, Calzedonia tights, the Twinset Platform pumps, the Yves Salomon Shearling jacket, and the Chanel 19.
Size and fit: I got the 4-6 and I was afraid it wouldn't fit, but it's stretchy so it all worked out. This beautiful Pointelle knit dress features a ruffle-trimmed round neckline and shoulders, long sleeves with ruffled cuffs, and a ruffled hem. It is a pullover sheath dress that comes with a separate slip.
Condition: Great, but the bottom ruffle needs to be sewn. Looks like it got caught on something and tore.
Honest review: I love Alexis and Mr. HGL seems to prefer this dress since he hid in the corner for the others. Ah, the resale price is pretty low too... should I make a purchase?
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 everything is so dressy and specific to the season, I didn't get much wear out of any of it.
- Did they meet or exceed expectations? RTR exceeded expectations.
- 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 got to review and wear two of my favorite designers... Self Portrait and Alexis! Woohoo. Ok, it seems Mr. HGL prefers the red dress, but the initial invite said to wear a "long dress" and it's not very long on me. Sigh, what do I do? I also have another dress by Alexis that's mine and I've only worn it once.
What do you think about this one?
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 $91,467.
Do you subscribe to Rent the Runway? Let us know what you think down below!