Rent the Runway
I recently had a black-tie event that I needed to go to and I couldn’t decide what to wear. My friend that was going with me suggested that I try Rent the Runway to help me decide what to wear. I had heard of this great service before but had never tried it but she assured me that she has used it many times.
If you’re not familiar with the dress rental site, let me give you the simple rundown….first you browse the thousands of styles by over 300 top designers, using the filters to help narrow down your choices. Read the reviews (with photos!) by real-life women to see how your favorites fit and wear before selecting your size…and if you’re still not sure, you get a free second size as back-up! I ended up choosing this Mignon dress.
Then select your timeframe (either 4 or 8 days), rent the dress for a fraction of the cost to buy it, and wait for gorgeousness to appear at your doorstep! They arrived perfectly laundered in a thick garment bag, complete with instructions for returning, and a pre-paid shipping label. They even cover the cleaning upon return!
The downside is that you do spend money for a dress that you do not get to keep but some of the dresses that I would buy for events, I wouldn’t end up wearing again anyway. Plus, with social media and all the pictures people take, you do not want to wear the same dress too frequently anyway. I’ve read stories of high school girls using the site for renting their homecoming and prom dresses and it made me wish that was an option when I was in high school
* Be realistic and familiar with what styles fit your body…and what shapes you’re comfortable wearing. The downside of the service is you don’t get to try the dress on weeks before your event. (Although, they guarantee you’ll love your dress or they’ll overnight you a new one!)
* Read the real-life reviews, and stylist notes, they are hugely helpful in determining what size you’ll wear. Since I am on the taller side, it was helpful to read whether the dresses ran short or long. It helped me to figure out if I needed to order the regular or long version.
* Get the free back-up size if available!
* If you’re looking for a specific event, filter the options by your date range so you don’t fall in love with something not available when you need it.
* If your event is out-of-town, have the dresses shipped to you there.
* Sign up for emails even if you don’t have any immediate events…they constantly offer sales and promotions.