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What I’m Wearing This Week: Rent the Runway

Mary Zubritsky
ByMary ZubritskyJul 14, 2023 | 7 comments

Rent The Runway
3.7 overall rating
7 Ratings | 3 Reviews

Back from my trip to Nashville, and I feel like I'm still recovering. Not that it was crazy, but I was in the middle of a severe period of insomnia, and it continued until I got home.

So, when I arrived, my bestie made sure I never had an empty glass, and I kept going. I didn't get to see any of the concerts, and hardly spent any time on Broadway, but I did try to get into the Spotify House one morning and the line was about five blocks long. After talking to the doorman, I decided to check out Kid Rock's bar instead, and it was a scene.

Rentals made this trip really easy... I chose the following outfits for my escapades (and my earrings were rented too).


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.)



All five items by Self-Portrait, Derek Lam, RHODE, and Paco Rabanne arrived fresh from the dry cleaner, on the hanger, and sealed in plastic bags.


Self-Portrait Azalea Dress, Retail Value $350, RTR $140


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.

Why I rented it: It's summer and it's a great day-to-night dress.

How I styled it: This dress requires no styling! I paired it with Salvatore Ferragamo Gavina Sandals, Fendi Fendista Baguette, and two furry friends.

Size and fit: Self-Portrait built its brand off the success of the now iconic Azalea Dress. Introduced in 2016, the Azaelea Dress is crafted using textured lace and a contrasting, transparent ladder trim. The dress features spaghetti straps, a scallop edge neckline, an exposed back zipper, a full, pleated skirt, side pockets, and a hand-cut, raw lace hemline.

I got the UK 6, US 10 and while Self-Portrait runs small since it's been worn many times, it fit me perfectly.

Condition: Very good. Definitely a bit worn.

Honest review: Love this dress. I might have to buy one off the resale market.

Self-Portrait Lace Peplum Mini Dress, Retail Value $495, RTR $446


Why I rented it: I love SP and always wanted to try this dress! It didn't disappoint.

How I styled it: Another winner by Self-Portrait, I paired it with Kate Spade Candy Shop Hoops, a vintage Chanel Bag, and Tabitha Simmons Floral Laser-Cut Pumps.

Size and fit: Because I know Self-Portrait runs small and this is a newer style, I ordered this dress in a UK 12/US 8 and thankfully I was correct. Crafted in a calming lilac rose lace hue, this artful dress features a round neckline, short sleeves with scalloped trim, a fitted bodice, an exposed back zipper, a peplum waist, and a gently gathered skirt with scalloped lace hem.

Condition: Excellent.

Honest review: As you'll see, my friend's house is lovely (can I move in?), and I took full advantage of that amazing Restoration Hardware chandelier and the vintage-inspired mirror.

I love this dress so much. I'd love to make a purchase, but it's not worth it if I only get a few wears per year.

Derek Lam Collective Coral One-Shoulder Puff Dress, Retail Value $345, RTR $121


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.

Why I rented it: I'm a Barbie Girl, in a Barbie World.

How I styled it: Since it's so puffy, I paired this dress with a pair of Jimmy Choo Patent Leather Wedge Sandals, Mignonne Gavigan Fan Earrings, and a vintage Louis Vuitton Cherry Blossom Bag.

Size and fit: This coral-hued cotton dress is crafted in a feminine one-shoulder design with an asymmetrical neckline, gently pleated bodice, side zip closure, self-tie waist, and a flounced bubble hem. The fabric is sturdy and comfortable, and I ordered a size 6 which was a great fit.

Condition: Great.

Honest review: I wanted to wear it before the Nashville trip, but it seemed a bit too much for the DC area. Plus, I had nowhere to wear it! The belt is complicated, and the puffy skirt was a little tricky.

RHODE Thea Strapless Dress, Retail Value $545, RTR $491


About the designer: RHODE is a story of friendship that started on the corner of 6th Avenue and 18th Street in Manhattan. Purna and Phoebe became college roommates and met at Bed, Bath & Beyond to shop for their dorm room which led to a long-distance friendship spanning two decades. Even though Phoebe became a travel photographer and producer in NYC and Purna, a fashion buyer in Dubai, they’d meet up for trips all over the globe. During these visits, they'd discuss what was missing in their closets and eventually quit their jobs to combine a love of travel and style into their vision for Rhode: a line of timeless pieces that are ready for anything.

Why I rented it: I wanted a longer dress I could wear to wander around Nashville.

How I styled it: I got a lot of wear out of this dress and paired it with all sorts of things, but in this picture it the Kendra Scott Maya Hoop earrings and necklace, Ulla Johnson Strappy Tie Sandals, a straw hat I found somewhere, and the Balenciaga Graffiti Bag.

Size and fit: Crafted out of thick and sturdy cotton linen, the strapless Thea Dress features an aquatic bloom print, a straight neckline with ruffled trim, a back zip closure, and flounced hem in a trumpet silhouette. For some reason, I ordered the 8 and it was a little large.

Condition: Excellent.

Honest review: The fabric is much heavier than I expected, but luckily it wasn't that hot out, and it was perfect on the plane. I had to pull it up often though which was annoying.

Paco Rabanne Metallic Blue Dress, Retail Value $910, RTR $273


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.

Why I rented it: To wear out and about in Nashville!

How I styled it: I wore it with the Chanel 19 and a pair of Nicholas Kirkwood Block-Heeled Sandals.

Size and fit: Crafted in metallic blue jersey, this shiny sheath dress features a gathered V-neckline, gathered cap sleeves, defined bodice, concealed side-zip closure, dropped waist, and flounced hem. It's unlined so it's a little thin.

Condition: Like new, BUT damaged.

Honest review: Another day, another Paco Rabanne dress. Yet again, the quality is slipping. The dress arrived with a broken zipper and a slight tear in the seam. But hey, I haven't given up on PR just yet... stay tuned. Haha.


  • 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 lots of wear out of the RHODE and Self-Portrait Azalea dresses.
  • 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. 


When I got home from Nashville, Mr. HGL accused me of cheating after smelling two different dogs on me. Then he threw his carrots at me and threatened to pee on my bed. In all seriousness, he really could smell my friend's dogs and would not get near me!

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 $128,967.

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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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Love both the lace dresses. I want an outfit in that metallic blue. That color looks great with silver hair.

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Mary Zubritsky

I really wanted to buy both of them!

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I loved the self portrait dresses on you.

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Mary Zubritsky

I love Self Portrait!

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Wow, I loved all of them but that last blue one.

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Mary Zubritsky

Yet again, the Paco Rabanne was disappointing, but I haven’t given up on him!

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I think you looked fabulous in the it! I couldn’t tell the zipper was broken or a seam was coming undone. Yet who wants to deal with damage in a rental dress. I’m sure it’s not easy noting all damage from every item returned to RTR, but you still wish they would catch issues like this before they send them out. I’m sure the problem is that people don’t inform RTR when a zipper first brakes for example, less they get charged.