Holiday Party Oufits: How to Look Like $1000+ for Under $250 Using Rental Subscriptions


This post may contain referral/affiliate links. If you buy something, MSA may earn a commission. Read the full disclosure.

I’ve tried out a lot of rental services from Vince Unfold, Express Style Trial, Le Tote, Infinitely LOFT, and more. They all have their pluses and minuses, but at the end of the day, some people just don’t see the value in renting everyday clothes.

Now that it’s December though, parties are afoot and glamour feels mandatory! It’s the perfect time to take advantage of rental services – especially the high-end ones that you may not have a reason to try unless you have some special places to go. I don’t wear party dresses often so I can’t see spending a lot on something I’ll only wear once or twice a year. But hey- I still want to look expensive! By signing up for rental services like Rent The Runway and Switch, I can wear designers I could never afford to otherwise and send them back without feeling buyer’s remorse! The best part is that unlike styling services, with Rent The Runway and Switch you get to choose what you want to be sent!

I got Megan to join me in this challenge, so read on to see how both achieved $1000+ looks for under $250 total.

For this post, My Subscription Addiction paid for the Rent The Runway Unlimited subscription while Switch sent us jewelry at no cost to complete our outfits. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)

Marne’s Company Holiday Party Look

Shoshanna Preuss High Low Dress from Rent the Runway, size 8R – Retail Value $660.00

Here’s a look that I created for a holiday party with the Shoshanna Preuss High Low Dress from Rent The Runway. I was going for a classy “work party” vibe and ended up feeling extremely presidential in this dress! It has got to be one of the fanciest I’ve ever worn and I really enjoyed the high/low cut of it. Silly me, I used the attached belt to tie a bow in the back instead of the front (where it was meant to go), but I think it still looks fantastic. I was worried about sizing, but I found the other users’ reviews to be extremely helpful! The dress ended up fitting me perfectly and it was quite comfortable to wear as well.

SALAR Gold Laminate Trini Candy Clutch from Rent the Runway – Retail Value $257.00

Do Not Disturb The Sonoma Ring from Switch, size 7 – Retail Value $785.00

Fendi F Is For Fendi Ring in White from Switch, size 7.25 – Retail Value $350.00

I thought a metallic gold clutch (which also came from RTR) was a great contrast to the dark blue and black dress. I found the clutch to be a little edgy with its studded triangle closure and crinkled foil fabric. The stacked ring from Do Not Disturb on my ring finger was rented (along with all the other jewelry) via Switch and is made of 14k rose gold and diamonds which is why it fetches such a large price tag. There’s no way I’d ever spend close to $800 on a ring, so this was a real treat to wear! I immediately fell in love with the Fendi ring, perhaps due to the bold chunky white circle and the statement gold “F” that reminded me of some sort of balloon art. There’s something fun and almost childlike to this ring even though it’s from a high-end designer!

Marni Resin and Crystal Drop Earrings in Orange from Switch – Retail Value $310.00

How could I not go with a designer who shares my name? Although I wasn’t drawn to these at first, Megan convinced me that these orange and crystal earrings from Marni would be a great pairing with the deep blue dress. They also happen to be clip-on, which I had no idea were even a thing these days. I always want to wear large statement earrings, but usually can’t because of a mishap back many many years ago in which I tore my pierced ear almost all the way through my lobe. It’s been awkward ever since and I simply haven’t put aside money to get it fixed. So, much to my delight, I saw that Switch offers gorgeous clip-on earrings that allow me to accessorize my lobes with ease!

Total retail value of this outfit: $2,362.00

Marne’s New Year’s Eve Party Look

Badgley Mischka Sequin Disco Dress from Rent the Runway, size 8 – Retail Value $595.00

I wanted my look for New Year’s Eve to be a little more playful and fun. One of my deepest darkest secrets is that I adore sequins. My sequin obsession usually rears its head around this time of year when stores stock their most glitzy garbs. Since I’m a bit shorter (5’4″ on a good day), I like to wear mini dresses that elongate my legs, but I wanted to cover my arms since it’s going to be cold out! I chose the Badgley Mischka Sequin Disco Dress to achieve this cute glam look and I’m really happy with the way it fit me and how it looks on. Although the dress has most likely been worn before, there were no signs of wear or tear and every sequin was accounted for!

Angela Caputi White Resin Necklace from Switch – Retail Value $195.00

There is something about resin jewelry that I just love. The oversized links in a milky white also sold me on it since I prefer minimal colors. I didn’t want a necklace that was too sparkly or complicated since the dress has a lot going on already. I thought these two styles would be a nice power-clash of sorts.

Yuzefi Blush Daria Bag from Rent the Runway – Retail Value $545.00

I know this bag isn’t the sleekest, but I just LOVE the chunky resin strap and oversized button at the closure. I thought the strap would mimic the resin necklace well and tie it all together while not battling with the sequins for the spotlight. There was plenty of room in here for my wallet, phone, keys, and of course, a tube of lipstick.

Total retail value for this outfit: $1,335.00

Megan’s Holiday Party Look

Nicholas Pleated Prairie Dress from Rent the Runway, size 16 – Retail Value $678.00

Samantha Sipos Basic Ribbed Leather Jacket from Rent the Runway, size XXL – Retail Value $995

My family’s holiday parties are notoriously low-key, so I knew I wanted something that was unique and comfortable to wear, but still special. The bright orange shade of this cotton dress immediately caught my eye (I mean, it’s loud enough to catch most eyes) and I have never shied away from bold colors. I also think the simple prairie-style cut and midi length make it a more demure and relaxed option on a day when I will probably be over-indulging in holiday treats. I paired it with a fitted and cropped leather jacket to give it some structure and edge. This dress was so comfy, and because it had an elasticized waist, I maybe should have sized down. Either way, I love the whole slightly boho vibe and the fact that it has POCKETS.

Aurelie Bidermann Twisted Turquoise Hoops from Switch – Retail Value $350.00

I wanted a pop of color to complement the bright solid orange of this dress but I wasn’t sure exactly how to go about this without looking like a hot mess. When I saw these turquoise resin hoops on the Switch site, I knew they would be perfect! Though they are on the larger side, they were relatively lightweight and the gold band twisting around them was a perfect complement to the two other pieces I added to complete this look.

Chanel Large Vintage Quilted CC Logo Pendant Necklace from Switch – Retail Value $1500.00

Lara Bohinc Gold Mini Galaxy Bangle from Switch – Retail Value $292.00

So there is already quite a bit happening with this look, but the holidays are a time for indulgence, so why not add more? I selected this gold-toned cuff and long Chanel necklace to tie everything together. I am not normally someone who really wears a lot of designer logo accessories, but the Chanel necklace was understated, that perfect length, and very vintage. I had to, right? The cuff bracelet was a nice finishing touch and added in just a little more gold.

Total retail value of this outfit: $3,815.00

Megan’s New Year’s Eve Party Look

Hutch Velvet Teddy Dress from Rent the Runway, size XXL – Retail Value $325.00

Samantha Sipos Basic Ribbed Leather Jacket from Rent the Runway, size XXL – Retail Value $995

I sadly have large red scars on my legs from psoriasis, so I tend to always pick midi or maxi length dresses. I had to try this one because the burnout velvet is actually sheer, and the skirt lining stops right above my knees, so I felt like I could show a little leg in a super subtle way. As a ’90s kid, I also loved the slip-dress shape! Slip dresses can look rather shapeless on me so I also paired the fitted leather jacket from my first look with this dress. It gives my curves a little more definition but still gives me the coverage that I need to feel more comfortable. It also makes me feel like kind of a total badass.

Chains and Pearls White Baroque Pearl Necklace from Switch – Retail Value $1100.00

Valentino Beaded Necklace from Switch – Retail Value $575.00

Chanel CC Logo Pendant in Clover Cutout from Switch – Retail Value $1350.00

I knew this dress had a drapey cowl neckline, and just as I had hoped, it showed just the right amount of cleavage. Because of this, I knew I wanted to go over-the-top in terms of necklaces, and this trio came together perfectly! The chunkiness of the pearls mixed with the red beads and the gold chain is a match made in heaven, especially for someone like myself who loves vintage jewelry and LOTS of it.

Coach Rexy by Guang Yu Signature Canvas Callie Foldover Chain Clutch from Rent the Runway – Retail Value $295.00

As I mentioned earlier, I am not someone who generally reaches for obvious designer logos, but I also realize I have worn two large Chanel necklaces so far in these looks and now this Coach clutch. Something about the holidays makes me feel super luxe I guess? I think what drew me to this clutch was the super cute graffiti-inspired twist. It also tied in beautifully with the black leather on my jacket and was roomy enough for my cellphone, lipstick, and all the important cards I need to function.

Total retail value of this outfit: $4,640.00

The Rental Services We Used & Their Value

Rent the Runway: RTR Unlimited vs RTR Update

For the two outfits we each put together, we used Rent The Runway’s RTR Unlimited plan, which is $159/month for 4 pieces at a time with unlimited deliveries. (They also offer a membership for $89/month (called RTR Update) which allows you to rent 4 pieces for the entire month with no swapping out.) I, Marne, was able to rent two dresses and two handbags in one delivery, which means both outfits could also be rented at the lower subscription cost if you don’t want the ability to have unlimited returns and new items. Similarly, Megan got both of her dresses, plus a jacket and a clutch in one delivery.

Find out more about Rent The Runway by reading our reviews!

Switch: Designer Jewelry Rental

For the jewelry, you can use Switch’s three-pieces-at-a-time plan for $69/month with unlimited deliveries within the month. If you only want one or two pieces at a time, they do offer subscriptions for $29/month or $49/month respectively. You can keep the pieces as long as you’d like or swap them out as much as you’d like.

Learn more about Switch by reading our reviews!

Total Costs & Value For All Four Outfits

For $118, you can subscribe to both RTR Update ($89/month for four pieces) and Switch ($29/month for one piece) to get a lot of designer wear for less than $150 per month. You’ll just want to confirm how far ahead you’ll need to order to make sure you’ll get your delivery on-time for your event.

If you want to go big, you can spend $228 to get RTR Unlimited ($159/month) and Switch ($69/month for three pieces) to maximize the number of outfits and accessories you can get in a month. I found the turnaround for RTR Unlimited to be fairly quick (one day between choosing my pieces and them going out), although RTR won’t ship your next box until they receive your previous one (it took mine 4 days including a weekend to get back), so that was the longest wait. If you’re looking to get outfits for both Christmas AND New Year’s Eve, I’d suggest getting them in one shipment since there will not be enough time in between to get them separately.

For what you see above, the cost for subscriptions was $228 (RTR Unlimited + Switch 3-at-a-time) and I rented $3,697 worth of clothing, jewelry, and handbags with the ability to get even more before the month is up. Megan got $8,455.00 worth of holiday realness for the same cost.

If you’re wondering about my makeup, check out my wintry makeup tutorial that utilizes Allure Beauty Box’s December box! Check out Megan’s review for that box here!

Have you used this holiday outfit hack before? What do you think of rental services – would you try one?

Written by Marne Orenich

Marne Orenich

Marne is a lipstick connoisseur, record collector, and twice over cat mom. She loves discovering new clean beauty brands and has quite the collection of beautifully packaged serums and moisturizers.

14 Comments

  1. Ladies, I really enjoyed this post, I read it while drinking my morning coffee. With skincare expense is no issue, but clothes, my choice is the thrift store. Thanks for the ideas and info., it started me thinking of coordinating outfits. I love how you both accessorized, and how adding different pieces can change the look of an outfit into a completely new one. Please post more, although I’m sure you both put a lot of time and work into this post, just know your readers appreciate all that you do.

    • Thank you so much for your kind words, Claire! I’m so happy you enjoyed it with your morning coffee. What a nice picture you paint. 🙂 Glad to hear we inspired you to get thinking about some great outfits!

      • You are very welcome, Marne. Happy New Year to you both!

  2. That Shoshanna dress is absolutely stunning! Fits you like a glove, too. 🤩

  3. Beautiful ladies!!

  4. Beautiful!

  5. RTR also has jewelry available in the monthly rentals – I have unlimited and it’s the greatest – esp this time of the year!!! (Especially as I work right by a drop off return spot) The best part is that you can swap 1 item or all 4 at once so I truly have an unlimited wardrobe

  6. I love it when you guys make these kinds of posts, they’re so much fun. You two look amazing!

    And I LOVE that velvet dress. Guh.

  7. Thanks for the kind words, ladies!! We had so much fun with this post!!

  8. Both of you look georgeous!
    Thanks for this great enlighment on how to save money for holiday parties. ❤

  9. Marne that high low blue dress is stunning on you and is just stunning too!

  10. You ladies look gorg!

  11. Love everything about this post!

    • Me too! Great post.

Post a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Remember to post with kindness and respect. Comments with offensive language, cruelness to others, etc will not be approved. See our full comment policy here.

Please do not enter your email address in the Name field or in the comment content!

*