My First Experience with Rent the Runway

My First Experience with Rent the Runway

Over the weekend, Anel and I were invited to a charity event on the beach by some friends of ours. I knew the crowd was going to be pretty fancy-schmancy, so I wanted to wear something that would fit in. Instead of buying something new, I decided to practice what I preach and rent a dress from Rent the Runway for the very first time. I’ve worked with them in the past but have never gone through the whole process as a regular customer.

To be honest, I was nervous. Rent the Runway wasn’t something I had turned to before, even though I know how much people love it and that it’s a great sustainable option because I thought you would only get one dress and if it didn’t fit tough luck. I was happily surprised to find that this was not the case!

Backup sizes: My main concern was what I would do if the dress didn’t fit. I didn’t realize that you can choose a free backup size when you order. That put my mind at ease and was what convinced me to actually use RTR.

Reduced-rate second style: I also wasn’t sure if the dress I wanted would look good so I picked a second option and learned that you get your second choice for only $32. So that was pretty awesome too.

Customer photos: Another great feature on each product page is customer photos. You can see what the dress looks like on different body types and in different settles.

Rental time: I went for a 4-day rental, but if you’re traveling for a destination wedding or need the dress for longer, they also have 8-day rentals. It arrived on Thursday and I put it back in the mail on Monday morning since Sunday wasn’t a mail day.

The return: The return process was shockingly easy. They packed a return label and all I had to do was switch it out on the front of the zipped garment bag. They don’t use boxes and reuse and recycle all of their hangers and plastic that protects the dresses. Their dedication to sustainability is really wonderful to see.

Sustainability factor: Rent the Runway as a company is incredibly dedicated to sustainability in other ways too, using responsible dry cleaning, only faux fur, and environmentally-friendly packaging. They also have a section of sustainable designers that you can rent from which is where I found both of my dresses.

Customer service: I accidentally ordered my dress for the wrong date and called customer service to fix it. They were really helpful and made the whole process quite painless.

My dress: My first choice was actually a beautiful one-shouldered yellow dress with pink florals (worth $598 and rented for $90) but I got a backup dress that happened to be from the same designer for $50 just in case I didn’t like it on my body (normally worth $698 and rented for $105).

I was able to get both dresses in two sizes so I had four chances for success. I ended up liking the backup dress better than my first choice and went with it instead!

Will I use them again? 100%. We have a black-tie wedding this fall and I plan to rent two more dresses for the event. I have my eye on a beautiful Sachin and Babi floral gown and a Jill Stuart color-blocked column. Which one do you like best?

Have you ever used Rent the Runway? What was your experience?


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  1. EM said:

    Personally for the price of renting something I’d just buy one nice piece– something classic that I could simply rewear (but maybe change with different accessories). I don’t see why one has to show up in a different outfit every time one goes to an event, even if some of the same people will be at the various events. No one says anything when men repeat a suit!

    7.18.19 · Reply
  2. Ellen R said:

    I highly recommend RTR unlimited! I’ve completely stopped shopping and instead have been renting 4 different pieces on a rotating basis. It’s really fun and I’ve gotten to wear some really unique pieces I would never buy because if the price tag!

    7.18.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      So many friends of mine do this but said there aren’t always as many options. Have you found that to be true?

      7.19.19 · Reply
  3. Margaret said:

    Second the recommendation for RTR Unlimited. In terms of bang for your buck, it’s definitely better. I can rotate between vacation styles, work styles, and event styles based on what’s going on with my life.

    I also live near a WeWork drop off so I can return my clothes and order my next style all in the same day.

    7.18.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      I dont think I would use it enough for this to be worth it but if I worked in an office, this would be so awesome!

      7.19.19 · Reply
  4. Libby said:

    OMG please get the Floral gown for the wedding because you would amazing in that!! I might use RTR for my MOH dress for my sisters wedding because I am the only bridesmaid!

    xx Libby

    7.18.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Ahh thank you! I am so in love with it. Smart idea for your sister’s wedding.

      7.19.19 · Reply
  5. Allison Hagemann said:

    I’ve rented the Jill Stuart color-block column dress. It’s beautiful on. Loved it!

    7.18.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Ahhh no way! Do you have photos? I love it so much.

      7.19.19 · Reply
  6. Cameron P said:

    Yes! RTR Unlimited! I didn’t think the concept was the right fit for me (monthly fee for 4 pieces at a time, new pieces every time you return one of your items, no limit on how many swaps per month), but I was hooked after a friend gave me a free trial month. Now I rarely shop or if I do, it’s to invest in basics that I wear again and again. It’s not just fancy dresses! There are casual pieces, handbags, jewelry, day dresses, work pieces, coats, and lots more!

    7.18.19 · Reply
  7. Carol said:

    I love RTR and use it so often, almost for every wedding I attend. However, I’m shocked that you had a good experience with customer service. Every. Single. Time. I call, I am on hold for upwards of 40 minutes, and they usually can do nothing to help. I have rented 7-9 times a year since 2015 and this year I’ve really cut back because of their customer service.

    7.18.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Really? It was so easy! Maybe I got lucky with a good rep. I called first thing in the morning so maybe that helped too.

      7.19.19 · Reply
  8. Meghan said:

    The column would look fantastic on you, the floral is so unique and so rare to be able to wear that type of look. I say floral, but think you’ve got a win / win on your hands!

    7.21.19 · Reply
  9. Jamie W Bergen said:

    Wore the Jill Stuart color block for a wedding on Nantucket! Loved the dress – got lots of compliments. Just prepare to wear heels – it seemed long to me! I’m 5’7 and wore a 4, but still needed a solid wedge to avoid tripping!

    7.22.19 · Reply
  10. Laura Irish Hefty said:

    Go for the floral! In the fall, when you attend your event, it’ll be so refreshing to see that pattern. I think that you’d look stunning-your coloring and hairstyle! The hem is super cute too!

    7.30.19 · Reply
  11. Kate said:

    This looks so beautiful on you! Thinking to rent for a long weekend in the Caribbean next month. Think you can dress it down for dinner out with friends? Definitely pulling the trigger on RTR and this dress because of you – thank you 😉

    1.19.20 · Reply