In Paris, wearing a rented AMUR skirt & Anya Hindmarch Bag; Anthropologie leather jacket.
SIX Tips: my best advice
1. Read the Reviews
There's a bit of a learning curve with designer sizing - each designer is different and they tend to run smaller than retail brands - so when in doubt, round up. The reviews for an item are your best bet for picking the right size or knowing if it will work for your body. They'll tell you if the cut or color is different than it appears online, if it runs small in the shoulders, if the material is heavy - all the details. If an item has tons of reviews it's more likely to be a bit worn, but is also probably a great piece. If there are none, it's probably brand new. Leaving reviews for items you've rented helps your fellow renters, too.
2. Build 'Hearts' Lists
Building a few lists of items you love makes it so much faster to find your next piece when you have an open spot to fill. I keep seasonal lists of things I've loved or want to try (Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter), an "Up Next" list for things I want to wear soon, and a dedicated list when I'm planning for an event or a trip. Being able to pick new items from my lists keeps me from scrolling endlessly through everything that's available.
I find that it's easier to build and manage lists on the RTR website - to start, settle in with a cup of coffee and spend a while exploring the collection, saving things that catch your eye. For browsing each Saturday's new arrivals and placing orders, I prefer the mobile app. It's so easy to filter everything and choose new items on the go - just yesterday I ordered this dress while waiting on the subway platform.
3. Find Your Favorite Styles & Designers
On Rent the Runway, you can try so many different styles and designers, so don't just stick to what you already know. Some of them won't work out, and you can send them right back. But I've found a handful of favorite designers and pieces that I wouldn't have tried otherwise - sometimes I'll keep a piece for months, or rent it over and over again. For example, I've rented every color of this Saloni dress at least once, rented this cheeky Anya Hindmarch bag in two colors (each for months at a time), and if you saw me anytime in March I was probably wearing this Tanya Taylor dress. Some of my favorite brands have been Milly (everything), Rebecca Taylor (dresses), and Oscar de la Renta (the best earrings).
4. Rent What You'll Actually Wear
If I let myself build a wardrobe based entirely on impulse shopping, it would be a giant collection of feminine cocktail dresses with one perfect pair of green velvet pants. When you're renting, you should absolutely have fun trying new things, but pay attention to what you'll really wear in daily life and any gaps in your wardrobe you could fill with a rental. Think about what you'd want to wear on a Tuesday afternoon or out for a mid-week happy hour more than what you'd wear to a fancy party. Rent a travel tote, a spring handbag, a winter coat - instead of buying one, at least for now.
P.S. If you do rent fancy outfits and wear them everyday, please send me your Instagram handle and let's be friends. I love to overdress, and we could really start a club that meets up for drinks in formalwear while everyone else assumes we've just come from a secret masquerade - we'll call it Black Tie Casual.
5. Don't Return All Your Items at Once
To get the most out of your subscription, try to keep at least one thing in your closet as you rotate out for new pieces. Returning all four pieces at once leaves you with nothing to wear from your subscription for up to a week, depending on where you live, and that's when it starts to feel like it's not worth it.
If an issue with an order leads to customer service mailing you a second garment bag, you can really maximize this system by having two pieces at home, one on its way to you and one on its way to RTR at any given time. You're effectively cutting out some of that dreaded transit time, and wearing even more pieces each month.
6. Use Unlimited for Special Occasions
As an Unlimited member you get 25% off Reserve rentals, but you know what's even better? 100% off. With some advance planning, I've been renting my special occasion outfits through Unlimited because I'm already paying for the subscription. Give yourself enough time to order a few different options, and exchange for a different size or style if you need it - probably 2-3 weeks before the event. I recently wore this fantastic ML Monique Lhullier dress to an equally fantastic wedding, avoiding a $100 rental fee.
Still have questions? Leave a comment below!
Use this link for $30 off any rental or subscription from Rent the Runway.