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What I’m Wearing This Week: Rent the Runway

Mary Zubritsky
ByMary ZubritskyMay 5, 2023 | 4 comments

Rent The Runway
3.7 overall rating
7 Ratings | 3 Reviews

Lots going on right now! Between my dad's birthday, Mother's Day, and my sister's birthday, May is always such a busy month.

I was talking to my mom the other night about rentals and how I haven't bought any new clothes (aside from the jumpsuit I returned) in ages, and if I do purchase anything, it's either a necessity off Amazon, Etsy or an item from a resale site like TheRealReal or Poshmark. Plus, I've saved so much money on dry cleaning!

I'm very rough with my shoes, and quite clumsy, so as soon as I buy a new pair, they're scratched, bumped, or torn in a matter of weeks. I also wear down the right shoe much quicker than the left, so I've resorted to resale shoes.

Sometimes they're like new and other times they need work. Well, I recently bought a pair of Jimmy Choos off TheRealReal and they needed a lot of help, so I read a bunch of Google shoe repair reviews and landed on someone in Great Falls, VA—basically, the wealthiest D.C. suburb—and I got absolutely hosed.

The Ferragamos needed a lot of help because I've worn them into the ground and wore off the sole, but the Choos only needed a little touch up and change of heel. I paid $30 for the very worn Choos and $110 for the Ferragamos, which were practically brand new.

The cobbler looked at the shoes, and then looked at me and said, "These will cost $95 and the Choos will cost $75." I'm sure the expression on my face was priceless and I asked why. Blah, blah, blah... what he really should've said was that I'm paying double because of the neighborhood and the shoe designers.

There was this hot dad behind me and some other dude huffing and puffing about suitcases in the shop, and I didn't want to look cheap or complain so I decided to accept it and left the damn shoes. I could've just chucked them and purchased two new-to-me pairs off TRR for the same price. Grumble, grumble.

Reminds me of the time I dropped off a Saint Laurent Bag and a Chanel Shopping Tote to a cobbler in Dupont Circle to get cleaned... he then charged me $180.

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

 

All five items by Esteban Cortazar Collective, Elle Zeitoune, Philosophy, and Hofmann Copenhagen arrived fresh from the dry cleaner, on the hanger, and sealed in plastic bags.

THE GOODS 

Esteban Cortazar Collective Blue Flamenco Dress, Retail Value $390 RTR $136.50

 

About the designer: Colombian designer Esteban Cortázar is one of the youngest fashion designers to ever debut at New York Fashion Week. Inspired by his Colombian heritage and Miami upbringing, when he was 13, Cortázar showed his sketches to Todd Oldham who became his mentor. At the age of 18, he began his fashion apprenticeship with Bloomingdale’s which led to him designing his own Bloomingdale's window display in 2002. In 2007, he moved to Paris to become the Creative Director for Emanuel Ungaro but left in 2009 when Lindsay Lohan was appointed co-director. From that point forward, he focused on creating the Esteban Cortazar collection.

After showing Paris Fashion Week, Cortázar's style of slick, sculptural lines full of ease, grace, and flow earned him a cult following. Today his collections are available in over 30 stores worldwide and Rent the Runway!

How I styled it: I wore this dress to dinner to celebrate my dad's birthday. Now, I've never been to The Milton Inn before and I love horse country, so I was super excited to finally check it out. The ambiance is great—I love historical places—but the food was average.

Before we arrived, I looked over the menu online and realized there wasn't much I'd eat so I landed on soup and a salad, but then once we got there, I discovered the menu was a bit different (nope, I'm not eating a pigeon despite being considered poultry), and I landed on the fried chicken sandwich. Yes, I'm basic. Well, the sandwich was mostly dark meat which surprised me, and the rest of my family said their entrees were just OK.

Our bill was $500, and we all left feeling unsatisfied. It's overrated and not worth the money! Anyway, I wore this dress with the Etsy Obi Belt, Lele Sadoughi Lilly Earrings, Gucci Studded Leather Jacket (it was cold in there), and Tabitha Simons Floral Laser-Cut Pumps.

Size and fit: This polyester-blend flamenco dress is crafted in a timeless hourglass design with a scoop neck, wide shoulder straps, concealed side-zip closure, bold contrast trim, and a handkerchief hem. I got the 6 and it fit like a glove.

Condition: Great!

Honest review: I've had my eye on this dress for a long time, and I finally decided to take the plunge. I love the color and design, but the fabric is quite heavy and feels a little cheap. However, I think it's a great dress for work if you wear a cropped jacket or blazer on top.

Esteban Cortazar Collective Red Midi Dress, Retail Value $295, RTR $103

 

How I styled it: I wore this dress to get my hair chopped in Tyson's Corner and went to get dinner at Aracosia, which is an absolute MUST if you like Afghani food. This time I got the Chicken Sabzi Lawaan and it's my new fave.

I paired this dress with the Etsy Leather Obi Belt and a pair of designer resale Ferragamo Wedges that I found on Poshmark.

Size and Fit: Crafted in ultra-soft cotton, this retro dress features an adjustable halter strap with a sweetheart neckline, concealed side-zip closure, side slit pockets, and a slightly gathered A-line skirt. It's unlined and wrinkles very quickly.

Condition: Great!

Honest review: I got this dress because I love the 50s silhouette, it's a beautiful design and a lovely color, but the fabric felt cheaper and flimsier than I expected, and it arrived quite wrinkled.

Elle Zeitoune Mason Dress, Retail Value $350, RTR $350

 

About the designer: Established in early 2010 elle zeitoune is an Australian label reflecting sophistication, elegance, and glamour.

Offering an exclusive range of gorgeous feminine cocktail, evening, bridesmaids, and bridal dresses, elle zeitoune captures the very essence of femininity and elegance. elle zeitoune uses a combination of classic silhouettes with a modern edge ensuring you make a lasting impression, whatever the occasion.

How I styled it: I wish I had somewhere to wear this dress... even my dad told me I couldn't wear it to his birthday party! Rude. It was the White House Correspondent's Dinner weekend, so I could've worn it to the Rick Ross party, but the weather was nasty, and I had to drive to Baltimore.

Anyway, you'll notice I'm not straying far from the same accessories this week and I also paired this with the Nicholas Kirkwood Block-Heeled Sandals, a studded leather belt, and oversized hoop earrings. Had I worn this out in public, this is how I would've styled it.

Size and fit: I got this purple tulle dress in a size 6 and it was way comfier than it looks! The top of the Mason dress is crafted in a square-neck design with wide shoulder straps, back zip closure, and tiered tulle skirt.

Mr. Hoppy Golightly was very confused by my ballerina attire.

Condition: Like new.

Honest review: This appears to be a new designer on RTR, and I was curious because of the springy lilac color and the Carrie Bradshaw tulle skirt. The top portion slides down and stretches out quickly (probably due to the heaviness of the skirt) and despite wanting to relieve my Sex & the City days, I couldn't wear this anywhere because it was just too much.

Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini Yellow Floral Mini Dress, Retail Value $955, RTR $955

 

About the designer: Femininity, lightness, and sensuality are the key elements of Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini’s collections. Led by Creative Director Lorenzo Serafini, the brand offers effortlessly elegant dresses and versatile separates stealing the spotlight with eye-catching prints and precious decorations.

A go-to fashion label for a plethora of A-list celebrities, including Chiara Ferragni, Rita Ora, and Hailey Bieber, Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini seduces with a balanced mix of glamour and edgy romanticism.

How I styled it: I wore this dress to meet my friend at Dominion Wine and Beer where we tried to take advantage of the 80-degree weather, but so did everyone else. I wore it with a vintage studded leather belt from Etsy, embellished hoop earrings, Gucci Studded Leather Jacket (since I'm always cold), and the Chanel 19.

Since the weather started warming up, I've spent wayyyyy too much money on happy hours!

Size and fit: This vibrant dress is crafted in a slightly itchy fabric and it's designed with an artful floral pattern, scoop neck, cross-back shoulder straps, back-zip closure, side slit pockets, and a full skirt.

Condition: Excellent.

Honest review: Despite being a little itchy (it's unlined) and slightly large, I loved this dress so much, I kept it for the next round.

Hofmann Copenhagen Emilie Swing Dress, Retail Value $335, RTR $100.50

 

About the designer: Hofmann Copenhagen was founded in 2011 by designer Heidi Hofmann.

Hofmann Copenhagen represents cool sophistication. The brand’s attention is on creating sophisticated, long-lasting investment pieces that complement and empower women around the world – always with a conscious approach.

Hofmann Copenhagen strives to design collections that flatter all body types and ages with timeless collections. Focusing on excellent quality, workmanship, vivid colors, and unique materials. Design and comfort go hand in hand in all collections designed in the Copenhagen studio.

How I styled it: I wore this dress to support my friend Roxy at a political event and it definitely made a statement. I wore it with Nicholas Kirkwood Block-Heeled Sandals, Lele Sadoughi Pinwheel Earrings, and a vintage Chanel Flap Bag.

Size and fit: This sleeveless trapeze dress is crafted in textural red crepe with a high neck, back tie closure, side slit pockets, and a ruffled hem. I got the 6 and while it's supposed to be oversized, there's a chance I could've downsized.

Condition: Excellent.

Honest review: It's a bit too Christmas-y for May. I felt like a present wrapped up under the tree. It is a very well-made, beautiful dress, but the back tie can really get in the way. Obviously, not something you'd wear to the office unless it was for your office holiday party.

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 a lot of wear out of the two Esteban Cortazar and the Philosophy dresses. Unfortunately, my other two weren't as wearable.
  • Did they meet or exceed expectations? They 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. 

FINAL THOUGHTS

It's time to go back to the office, and I'll have to be a little more strategic and conservative with at least two of my outfit choices every other week. And while I think most items (as long as they're not too short) can easily go from day to night with a little layering, I'll probably be one of the most overdressed people in the building (I was back in 2017), so I guess I'll have to tone it down a little...

Or just stand out from the crowd and teach everyone how to dress in rentals!

When I lived in NYC, finance guys were my weakness and I dreamed of the day I could work for an investment bank or hedge fund so I could have a built-in dating service. Ha! Well, now I work in finance, but it's not what I had in mind in NYC. Does Capital One even have investment bankers? Looks like they ended that division in 2022.

Maybe I should get a job at The Carlyle Group instead.

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 $118,127.

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

Mallory

I also recently switched careers into finance and I TOTALLY thought I was going to be absolutely SWIMMING in dating prospects. Nope! Not the case! The movies have lied to me.

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Mary Zubritsky

And unfortunately, the older we get, the harder it is. I’m officially going back to the office on Tuesday, so we’ll see who’s there. I’m expecting to be quite a bit older than most of the guys!

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Caligirl

Love everything this week.

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Mary Zubritsky

Some weeks I wish I had more time to wear everything and others I simply can’t wait to get rid of the items!

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