Hoppy Friday! I wanted to tell you about something I experienced this week that was a wake-up call for me.
I ran out of foundation, so last Saturday afternoon I visited Sephora at Tyson's Corner to stock up. While I was heading back towards my car, I felt like I was being followed so I quickly glanced over my shoulder and noticed a guy walking very close behind me. Now, the mall was packed, but that didn't make me feel any safer because they've had some serious security issues and shootings recently.
So, I ducked into Zara and zig-zagged through the store towards the back and low-and-behold, he had followed me. I ended up in the corner of a rack (there were a lot of people there) and I thought fast and grabbed the strap of my bag to crossbody it. As I did that, I felt a strong tug and he had tried to grab the bag off my shoulder and run away. I didn't let go and a salesgirl who was right there chased him out the door.
I was lucky, but I wouldn't be surprised if some other woman became his victim that day. So, what did I learn? As much as we want to assume everyone is a good person and has our best interest at heart, this is simply not the case. Whether you're in a busy setting or not (I was sexually assaulted on a very packed NYC subway train back in 2010), you should always be very aware of your surroundings, and if your gut is telling you something is off, pay attention to it!
Also, don't let your handbag just dangle from your shoulder (which is what I was stupidly doing) and always have a tight grip on the strap, and don't be distracted by your phone! I had my keys, wallet, phone, laptop, makeup and recent purchases in that bag, and I would've been screwed.
Be aware of your surroundings and don't be like me and let your bag just sway away... that's how it can walk away.
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 10 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
Apologies... I forgot to take pics on the mannequin, but also wondering if it's more useful to see it on the model instead?
All four items by Self-Portrait, Roland Mouret, Retrofete, and Paco Rabanne arrived fresh from the dry cleaner, on the hanger, and sealed in plastic bags.
Self-Portrait Green Lace Midi Dress, Retail Value $440, RTR $242
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: Since this statement piece speaks for itself, I wore black tights, and Charlotte Olympia Suede Slingback Pumps and carried the Prada Bunny Clutch.
I wore it to my friend's second birthday party at Casa de Montecristo Cigar Lounge and it sure did stink up my place afterward. Took about three days for my hair to smell good again, so I'm sure RTR had to wash the dress multiple times too. Whoops!
Size and fit: I've been a huge fan of Self-Portrait since its launch, and I quickly learned that his designs run really small. That wasn't the case with this dress because it's been worn and stretched out many times, so I stuck with the US 6.
This lace dress features a banded lace neckline, puffed shoulders, long lace sleeves, semi-sheer lace-paneled bodice with bandeau lining, exposed back zip closure, grosgrain waist, and pleated chiffon and lace-paneled skirt.
Honest review: This is the perfect party dress, and the lace is surprisingly soft. Self-Portrait is almost always a great call... unless the dress has side cutouts which never look good on me!
Roland Mouret Witham Dress, Retail Value $1,440, RTR $720
About the designer: Established in London in 1998, the Roland Mouret fashion house fast became known for the use of drape, cut, and understanding of the female form, with its designs worn by the world's most recognized women. In 2021, Roland Mouret was acquired by SP Collection, a holding company dedicated to discovering, nurturing, and developing best-in-class creativity and design. In this new chapter, the Roland Mouret brand, which is headquartered in London, will continue to explore heritage silhouettes with a focus on modern wardrobing.
How I styled it: I was going to wear this dress to a business meeting at the Tower Club, but I couldn't squeeze into it. I felt like Cinderella's stepsisters trying to squeeze their feet into the glass slippers.
Size and Fit: When I tried on the size 6, I couldn't even slip my forearms into the sleeves. So, I guess you need to be skin and bones to wear this dress!
Honest review: I've had such a long-lasting love affair with Roland Mouret that I decided my wedding dress would be designed by him. And while the dress is lovely, now I know I need to order an 8 next time. Yikes!
Retrofete Jana Romper, Retail Value $475, RTR $119
About the designer: Born and raised in Israel, Ohad Seroya spent much of his professional career surrounded by fashion even at the young age of 16. Working in all departments from buying to showroom management, Seroya knew there was a future for him in the industry. When he and his husband, Aviad Klin, moved to the USA, they began working on private labels and special projects for their clients. After years of working in the industry and helping various brands grow, the duo recognized a gap in the market. Klin pushed for them to create a brand of their own DNA, which quickly led to the inception of Retrofête in 2018. Driven by the desire to create statement pieces, the brand is known for designing emotional and opulent ready-to-wear looks that make every woman feel confident, sexy, and radiant.
How I styled it: I ordered this romper to wear to a St. Patrick's Day party and it was a total fail. After I slipped into it and noticed the odd fit, I grabbed my double-sided tape and sprinted out the door because I was running late. I tried to fix it in the restroom once I arrived and absolutely nothing worked so I kept my coat on the entire time to hide the fact that I looked like Baby Yoda.
I wore it with Sheertex tights, Twinset Platform Pumps, and I kept my Yves Salomon coat on the entire time.
Size and fit: I got the medium and it fit terribly. Too short in the torso, the collar was bunched up, the zippered crotch was crooked, and I couldn't even fix it with double-sided tape.
It's crafted in a green and black jacquard design, this one-piece features a notched collar with deep v, long sleeves with zippered cuffs, bottom button, zip closure, side slash pockets and it's fully lined.
Honest review: Oh my god, I look like I was stuffed into a peapod. Not only was this romper too short in the torso, but it's been washed so many times, the fabric became detached from the collar, and it bunched up in the oddest way. I did not look like the model at all!
Paco Rabanne Geometric Dress, Retail Value $890, RTR $267
About the designer: Francisco Rabaneda Cuervo, more commonly known as Paco Rabanne, is a Spanish fashion designer of Basque origin who became known as an enfant terrible of the 1960s French fashion world. Rabanne's father, a Republican Colonel, was executed by Francoist troops during the Spanish Civil War and his mother was the chief seamstress at Cristóbal Balenciaga's first couture house in Donostia, Basque Country. She moved Rabanne's family when he opened Balenciaga in Paris in 1937, due to the Spanish Civil War.
Rabanne started his career in fashion by creating jewelry for Givenchy, Dior, and Balenciaga and founded his own fashion house in 1966. He used unconventional materials such as metal, paper, and plastic for his metal couture and flamboyant designs. Rabanne is known for the green costume worn by Jane Fonda in the 1968 science-fiction film Barbarella. In 1968, he launched Rabanne perfumes.
How I styled it: I wore the dress to a date and luckily it was still cold enough to get away with it. I paired it with Sheertex tights, Kat Maconie Sock Boots, a Burberry Patent Leather Jacket, and a Louis Vuitton Electric Epi Mirbeau Tote (forgot I have this bag!).
Size and fit: Full of retro glam, this sleek, unlined Paco Rabanne sheath dress features a mock neckline, long sleeves, keyhole back snap closure, and a back vent.
Honest review: It's a beautiful dress and flattering, but a little too Christmas-y for March. I'm not a huge fan of embellishments and metallic threads as I tend to think they cheapen the look.
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? The Paco Rabanne and Self-Portrait dresses were great, but I couldn't wear the other two items.
- Did they meet or exceed expectations? My biggest complaint this round was the baby pea romper that made me look absolutely ridiculous. It needs to be retired.
- 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.
This shipment was a mess. RTR announced their new membership just as I was adding items to my bag, and it caused me to place two orders (they canceled the second one). Between sending me a pair of pants I never ordered, and the confusion on the app once they launched their extra spot, it was a hot mess express.
They did redeem themselves though and gave me 7 items for the next round, and it's a winner! Stay tuned.
VALUE BREAKDOWN: The 10 Items a Month membership costs $104/month and goes up to $144/month after the first 3 months) and so far, I've received styles with a retail value of $113,400.
Do you subscribe to Rent the Runway? Let us know what you think down below!
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