Hoppy Friday, y'all. This week I went over to Tyson's Galleria to check out the sales at Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus and noticed that Farm Rio is taking over the contemporary departments. Lucky for me, I rented one of their dresses this week. And while I didn't end up buying anything (why buy when I'd get bored in a month and can rent these items?), window shopping has always been therapeutic and inspirational for me. When I lived in NYC, most Sundays (when it was warm enough out), I'd go for a morning run around the Jackie O Reservoir, pop into the Met to look at some art, and then window shop up and down Madison and Park Avenues, just like Holly Golightly! It was a Sunday ritual I really loved.
During the week, I'd get off the subway a stop or two early to swing by A Second Chance on Lexington to check out their latest and greatest resale items... and dream about the day I could touch a Birkin.
It was also really safe back then, so I never worried about crime. Ahh... memories of the good old days. Do I sound like our parents or what?
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 Temperley London, Farm Rio, Ronny Kobo, and Ulla Johnson arrived fresh from the dry cleaner, on the hanger, and sealed in plastic bags.
Temperley London Trophy Knit Check Print Dress, Retail Value $1,195, RTR $1,075
About the designer: Alice Temperley founded her eponymous label Temperley London in 2000, a year after graduating from the Royal College of Art. Alice continues to head up the creative direction of this British independent brand, now in its 22nd year of business. Temperley Bridal, which launched in 2006, is defined by ethereal, timeless silhouettes and is inspired by the romance and decadence of a bygone era. The brand currently operates standalone stores, including its flagship store in Somerset which houses a Bridal Boutique, as well as stores in Chelsea and Dubai.
How I styled it: There's a backstory to these photos. I interrupted poor Mr. HGL's beauty sleep so he woke up, got angry, and peed on the couch in retaliation. And then yawned at me to show how boring he thinks I am.
I wore this dress a few times for video calls and to meet my dad and stepmom for freezing cold brunch at a place called Cured | 18th & 21st. I wore it with my heavy Mackage Wool & Shearling Coat, Plein Sud Leather Thigh-High Boots (from Yoox), and thick tights.
Size and fit: The reviews say it runs small, but from my experience, these items almost always arrive slightly stretched out, so I stuck with the 6 and it was a great call. This wool-blend knit features a ribbed turtleneck, long sleeves, a side-slit hem, and a black and metallic gold check print.
Honest review: It's a lovely, cozy, and well-made design that was perfect for the cold snap we experienced, but I could never justify spending over $200 for this dress. The $1,075 resale price is absurd, especially since you can find it on Google for under $300. Where do they come up with these prices?
Farm Rio Crazy Mix Velvet Dress, Retail Value $295, RTR $265
About the designer: With over 20 years of history, FARM is Brazil’s most beloved clothing and lifestyle brand. The story began in 1997 in Rio at a local independent fashion market called Babilonia Feira Hype where founders Katia Barros and Marcello Bastos took their chances on launching a clothing line that embodies the feminine spirit and vibrant colors of Rio.
Brazilians quickly fell in love with the brand, the booth became a store, that grew into more stores, and now FARM is Brazil’s most recognized brand.
How I styled it: I've become a huge fan of taking pics of outfits before I wear them out and now, I realize the belt doesn't work and I need a lariat necklace (which I might rent from Rocksbox next month). I also wore black tights and a pair of suede Charlotte Olympia Slingback Pumps, and I will carry the Chanel 19.
Size and Fit: I got the Medium and it fits a little more like a large–maybe that's because I don't have anything to fill out the top! But seriously, even the hips are quite large. Well, this red and black floral velvet dress feature ruffle-trimmed shoulders, a deep v-neck with hook closure, long puffed sleeves with buttoned cuffs, concealed side closure, a defined waist, and a tiered skirt. It's fully lined and features a boxy fit.
Honest review: It's really pretty and Christmas-y, and if we didn't have such freakishly warm weather these days, I could've gotten a little more wear out of it. I really like FARM Rio!
Ronny Kobo Astrid Dress, Retail Value $528, RTR $501
About the designer: Originally from Tel Aviv and raised in Hong Kong, Ronny Kobo's interest in fine art, travel, and culture eventually led her to New York City, where she graduated with a master's degree from NYU. She speaks fluent English, Hebrew, and Spanish.
Ronny started off her career by founding her own line of accessories and ultimately launched the trendsetting apparel brand Torn by Ronny Kobo in 2009. Additionally, she held a seat on the board of Christie’s Auction House. Ronny Kobo's current collections are best known for standout prints, upscale versatility, and timeless silhouettes.
How I styled it: I wore this stunner to the new Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in DC (which used to be the Trump Hotel) and then to meet my friends at this spectacular and beautiful Indian restaurant called Rania. Afterward, we went over to Donahue in Georgetown but didn't last long because the weather was too cold, and we were sitting near the front door. I wore this lovely design with Lele Sadoughi earrings (quick detour: I really like her jewelry, but I don't think those puffy, embellished headbands look good on anyone—even *gasp* Kate Middleton), Calzedonia Back Seam Tights, Twinset Platform Pumps, Prada x James Jean Bunny Clutch, and a vintage mink.
Size and fit: Ronny Kobo's designs seem to run a bit small, and this dress was a little tight in the waist but bigger in the bust so I had to compromise. In order to keep the plunge neckline in place, I attached double-sided tape to both sides and I wore a stick-on bra. Crafted in a semi-sheer velvet and silk blend with animal print, the Astrid Dress features strong shoulders, a plunge neckline, open back with zipper and button closure, gathered hips, and a slit tulip hem. Even though it is lined, it's still incredibly sheer in the light.
Honest review: I have a lot of Ronny Kobo dresses on my wish list, so you may see many more. If I had places to go, I'd consider purchasing this dress, and after entertaining the idea, I went to Google and searched for this dress. Surprise, surprise... I found it brand new for $250. What is it with rental companies and their absurd resale prices?
Ulla Johnson Tye-Dye Print Dress, Retail Value $445, RTR $311
About the designer: Born and raised in Manhattan, the daughter of archaeologists, Ulla Johnson honed her signature style between the streets of New York and the far-flung destinations of their family travels. Her eponymous line, founded in 1998 just after graduating from college, immediately caught the attention of the fashion press.
Growing from a handful of directional boutiques and with an early endorsement from Barneys New York, Ulla Johnson’s collection has gained a dedicated following and the support of retailers across the US, Europe, Australia, and Asia. She has never wavered in her steadfast attention to the details of construction that have become her hallmark, basing each of her collections on a foundation of natural fibers, beautiful finishing, and ease of fit and form. Ulla lives in Brooklyn with her husband and three children.
How I styled it: I paired this dress with Sheertex tights, Tecova Cowgirl Boots, a shearling vest, a fedora, and the Givenchy Nightingale. Yee-haw.
Size and fit: This denim dress runs small! I got the 6 and I had to loosen the laces on the sleeves and leave the zipper open for about an hour so I could stretch it out a bit. Crafted in cotton, this pink, printed denim dress features a round neck, puffed shoulders, long sleeves with lace cuffs, back zip closure, and side slash pockets.
Condition: Very good, but a bit worn.
Honest review: A bit stiff and uncomfortable. To be honest, I rented it because I thought it was casual enough to wear to some country line dancing night friends were trying to drag me to, but I ended up skipping because I was a little hungover after our night out in DC. This dress is meh.
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 Ronny Kobo and Alice Temperley dresses.
- 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.
I can tell that more people are signing up for Rent the Runway... despite having over 1,200 items on my wish list, I'd say I only have access to maybe 700 of them at a time. And not that I have a problem with that—I'm happy they're doing well—but I have a difficult time securing items that I'd really love to try, and I'm often stuck with my 3rd and 4th choice items.
Did you see that Amazon is now selling RTR's used items? When I lived in NYC, I used to frequent all the sample sales, but the RTR ones were always a serious disappointment so if you decided to shop for pieces on Amazon, just beware! The prices for the pre-loved pieces are actually quite reasonable, and you can buy their brand-new collective pieces too.
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 $102,490.
Do you subscribe to Rent the Runway? Let us know what you think down below!
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