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What I’m Wearing This Week: Rent the Runway

Mary Zubritsky
ByMary ZubritskyJan 13, 2023 | 4 comments

Rent The Runway
3.7 overall rating
7 Ratings | 3 Reviews

Hello and happy Friday! This week I went on a bit of a 60s dress binge and was thinking warmer and cozier thoughts. That's the fun thing about rentals... you can try wacky looks without the commitment. And to be honest, more than half the stuff I rent I would never consider purchasing. Either the items are stretched out, unflattering, don't go with anything in my closet, or simply not attractive! And some of the looks I create, I only put together for these reviews—in real life, I'm slightly more conservative.

I was forced into a little bit of a rental hiatus and had to wear items in my closet, and that was boring. For me, one of the best parts of rentals is feeling like I'm unpacking something new (we all love the excitement of receiving a package) and it brightens my day. I love opening the pieces and checking them out in person—and while sometimes it's a total disappointment, many other times I'm pleasantly surprised.

As for my dress obsession, when I lived in NYC, I had minimal storage space so I only bought dresses because you could hang them up and squish them together. At the time, I only had one shelf for clothing and didn't even have space for a dresser. I eventually bought a wardrobe at Ikea but did a terrible job putting it together, and one night it fell apart and collapsed on me in my sleep.

So, yet again, I had nowhere to store my separates.

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 House of Sunny, Derek Lam Collective, Koche, and Stine Goya arrived fresh from the dry cleaner, on the hanger, and sealed in plastic bags. They did hold onto this set a little longer because my returns got stuck in the holiday weather mess.

THE GOODS 

House of Sunny Blue Moon Sweater Dress, Retail Value $175, RTR $157

 

About the designer: Founded by Sunny Williams in 2011, House of Sunny is an independent womenswear brand based in London. Designed for an easy everyday look and feel, each product is carefully crafted to become the perfect addition to elevate any wardrobe which can transition through the seasons. Quality is always foremost whilst ensuring affordability is never sacrificed to achieve this.

They are proud of producing only two seasonal collections a year, which allows them time to research and then source sustainable fabrics and manufacturing methods. Committed to creating quality garments, which last and can be worn season after season, they are an eco-friendly and sustainable brand that doesn't use animal products, as well as recycle or donate textile scraps and samples to avoid waste.

How I styled it: Oh dear, I look like a fuzzy Easter egg! It's a bit bulky and unlined so I decided to wear it with tights, shapewear, and a stick-on bra. To cinch the waist and not look so boxy, I added a vintage belt from Etsy, Nicholas Kirkwood flats (the clear plastic inserts are tearing on both shoes which is super disappointing and unfixable), and the Gucci Studded Leather jacket.

Size and fit: Since UK sizing runs a tad smaller than US, I got the 8 and it fits quite well. This fuzzy, long-sleeved sweater sheath dress features a crewneck, back teardrop cutouts, and a groovy swirl print design. I just realized I look like Cookie Monster.

Condition: Great!

Honest review: At first glance, I thought the name of the brand was House of Bunny and it got me excited. Perfect for the colder months at home, this colorful and fuzzy dress gives me serious Austin Power vibes because it's just so groovy (and maybe not in the best way). While this isn't exactly a flattering dress, it's a good piece to lounge around in at home or if you step out for brunch and a mimosa after a night out on the town.

Derek Lam Collective Denim Tie-Front Dress, Retail Value $495, RTR $470

 

About the designer: The Derek Lam brand was founded in 2003 and Derek Lam 10 Crosby collection was launched in 2011. Derek is from San Francisco, California, and attended Parsons School of Design.

Derek has been recognized by the CFDA, the Smithsonian Institute, and The Fashion Group International. His work has been exhibited at the Museum of FIT, the Kennedy Center, and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Derek Lam Collective is an exclusive collaboration with Rent the Runway.

How I styled it: Duh... I had to try it out with cowboy boots (yee-haw by Tecovas and Sam Edelman), black tights, a shearling vest, and a fedora from Hats in the Belfry.

Size and Fit: I got the 6 and this cotton chambray dress is softer than it looks! Crafted in cotton with a hint of stretch, this denim shirt dress features a shirt collar, long sleeves with button cuffs, button-front closure, flap-patch pockets, a waist-cinching belt with belt loops, and a slightly flared hem. I wanted to replace the belt, but it's attached.

Condition: Great.

Honest review: I liked it way better on the model. Not sure if it's dirty, but it has this weird, chemical scent that was bothering me. And obviously, Mr. HGL is not a fan!

Koche Zebra Stripe Dress, Retail Value $785, RTR $235

 

About the designer: Koché is a fashion brand established in Paris by Christelle Kocher in 2015.

Koché fights for values of openness in fashion: diversity and inclusivity of genders, body shapes, and social and geographical origins... Moreover, Koché DNA is based on elevated craft know-how.

How I styled it: I woke up last Saturday morning and decided to drive out to Shenandoah National Park. I slipped into this dress because it's comfy and paired it with lug sole boots (so I could walk a little on the trails), heavy tights, and a very warm Mackage coat. I was all set to take a short walk until I saw a sign warning me about black bears. Since I was alone and there weren't many people on the mountain due to closures from the winter storm, I changed my mind and headed into Front Royal instead where I got a pulled chicken sandwich at a car repair shop turned restaurant called PaveMint Smokehouse.

Yes, I know I was overdressed, and I planned on swinging by Middleburg on my way back, but once I hit 66, I kept going. I wore this dress a few nights later with Sheertex tights (haven't torn or gotten nubbly, but I'm starting to see some wear), Kat Maconie Sock boots, and Kendra Scott jewelry. I don't think a belt is necessary.

Size and fit: I got the US 4-6 and it's a perfect fit. Isn't annoying how sizing is all over the place? This stretchy jersey dress features a bold zebra print, scoop neckline, long sleeves with logo embroidered cuff, concealed side zip closure, semi-sheer mesh back, striped mesh trim, and a side slit hem.

Condition: Great!

Honest review:  Since I skipped reading the product details, I actually thought this was a sweater dress, so I was quite surprised to find out it's more of a lightweight, stretchy jersey material—and more athleisure than night at the opera. It's quite thin so it could use some shapewear or tights.

Stine Goya Solaries Dress, Retail Value $350, RTR $332

 

About the designer: Danish Designer Stine Goya launched her label in 2006, known for minimalist designs and muted palettes, with Copenhagen as her main source of inspiration.

As Stine Goya continues to expand, its playful silhouettes attract legions of loyal and confident followers seeking to inject every corner of life with a fresh and bold approach. Also drawing on inspiration from the design and art worlds, each collection is built on a strong foundation of flattering cuts, simple yet high-quality fabrics, and bespoke hand-drawn prints by the brands' in-house team.

How I styled it: This is another groovy dress, baby! It's a tent dress that gradually flares out as you get closer to the hem, and it can swallow you whole. I tried to belt it to tame the flare, but I'm not sure if that makes it look better or worse. I also wore black tights, Coach Over-the-Knee boots from over a decade ago (that I cannot walk in), a Yves Salomon Shearling jacket, and the Saint Laurent Sac du Jour. I wore this dress to meet my friend Liz at the Four Seasons and Martin's Tavern (one of the best bars in DC) to celebrate her birthday.

Size and fit: This multi-colored, abstract-printed crepe dress is crafted of recycled polyester and features a fold-over mockneck with back button closure, long puff sleeves with buttoned cuffs, gathered bodice, and it's rendered in a trapeze design. I got the 6 and it's quite oversized.

Condition: Excellent.

Honest review: I love the 60s vibes, the texture of the fabric, and the twirl-ready design. I will rent more items by Stine Goya in the future!

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? Hmm... I think I need to get more serious about my rentals next round. I got the most wear out of the fuzzy dress because it's the perfect work-from-home item.
  • Did they meet or exceed expectations? RTR met 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. 

FINAL THOUGHTS

Not sure what made me think about this (maybe our economy), but here's a funny story about living in NYC. My third apartment was next to AIG at the South Street Seaport. I lived there at the height of the Great Recession. I loved the neighborhood with its historic, cobblestone streets—it was a hidden gem, and living so close to all the Wall Street suits made my heart aflutter.

AIG was always doing construction on their building, and unfortunately, it would start at 10pm and continue until the morning. I am a very light sleeper and lived on the 2nd floor right across the alley from the dumpster and the scaffolding, so the constant hammering, sawing, screeching of the trash truck, and mindless chattering got on my last nerve. I hardly slept for two years and got into disagreements with the construction workers all the time.

At the time, it was a business district, so they were allowed to work around the clock... sigh. Due to the construction, we had a massive roach problem and when I came in at night, I'd have to check my bed for bugs. There are few things as repulsive and traumatizing as crawling into bed with a family of roaches the size of your fist! And yes, I often found them chilling underneath the top sheet like they owned the damn bed.

One Friday night, I went out hard with some friends and planned to sleep all day Saturday, but the banging and chattering woke me up at 7am. I got in at 4am and ate Chinese food in bed (which didn't help the roach situation at all) and felt like absolute death, so I threw on my baseball cap and sweats and headed outside to yell at those fools.

When I opened the front door and walked down the stairs, a group of guys yelled at me to stop, turn around and go back inside. I said, "No! I live here. You're always so loud and you woke me up. Go away and shut up!" And then we got into a screaming match, so I stepped out onto the street and right into a movie set. Turns out, they were filming The Bourne Ultimatum in front of my apartment. Since I had a massive, semi-stalkerish crush on Matt Damon at the time (I knew where he lived, which Crunch gym he belonged to, and that he went to the Astor Place Starbucks during the weekday), my hangover suddenly disappeared.

I quickly ran upstairs to shower and get ready so I could sit outside and watch my future ex-husband, Matt Damon, film a movie on my doorstep. After about two hours of staring and then realizing he was shorter than me, my obsession with Matt Damon magically disappeared and I walked up the street to Century 21 to see if I could find new dresses to add to my ridiculous collection.

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 $96,382.

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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4 comments

Teresa

Can you send back one or more items and hold on to one from the group?

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Mary Zubritsky

Yes, you can hold onto items from both RTR and Armoire. They’ll just subtract the number from your next shipment. I’ve held on to quite a few recently!

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Marina

You are stunning in the brown zebra dress. The rest were a bit of a joke, but as you said it is a bit of fun when you can send them back.

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Mary Zubritsky

I’m going to start getting a little more serious about these rentals!

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