I’ve heard and known about Rent the Runway for quite sometime now (in fact I’m sure you’ve heard about them too). They offer current season designer fashions and allow women to find, book, wear and return an outfit for an occasion. Over the years I’ve heard both co-founders speak at various panels- my favorite being this video– and I’ve read multiple articles as case studies for class. Needless to say, I was ecstatic when I finally had an occasion to use their services. The moment I found out I was invited to the Multicultural Gala at the Met Museum as someone’s guest, I took a look at all the dresses on the Rent the Runway website on the computer during my lunch breaks and on my phone in idle moments. (That was in my mobile browser but now they have an app!)
Instead of renting a dress online, I decided I would prefer to have my first Rent the Runway experience by visiting their showroom and seeing/trying on the dresses in person, especially because I was shopping so last minute (read: the day before the event). After signing up for an account, I made a showroom appointment, filled out a style assessment and was assigned a stylist.
To prepare for my visit to the showroom I sent her a looooong email with the following links and photos to give her an idea of my preferences and some options she could (hopefully) pull for me the day of my visit. I wanted to make sure that I would indeed find a dress I loved and felt confident in. The fact that I was shopping for the event the day before made me so nervous because I’m usually a planner.
In addition to the style assessment I filled out, I mentioned that:
-I’m probably going to be one of the youngest ones there so I want to look presentable, mature and classy while showing off my youth.
-Since I’m short, I like to show off my legs and give the illusion of height.
-Black, gold and burgundy flatters me the most (are my favorite colors).
-I’m trying to rent for less than or around $100. #postgradproblems #ihaveabudget.
I also showed her pieces that I saw online and would love to try on if possible, hoping that this would also give her an idea for my taste.
My First choice:
I mentioned I love this magenta/burgundy color:
When I went to the showroom first thing in the morning on a weekend (yes, the showroom is open on a weekend), I was greeted by a stylist who actually turned out to be different than the person I had emailed (embarrassing moment). Fortunately though, they had my long email printed out and there was a dressing room with a few of the dresses I had mentioned already hanging and ready for me to try on. There were two other guests in the rooms next to me shopping with their own showroom stylists.
I was a bit disappointed because the two I was really looking forward to trying on, including my first choice, were not available in the showroom. But as you can see, they had more than enough options available.
My stylist pulled a few other options for me as the session went by but I didn’t quite like them which made me think she hadn’t read my email/didn’t know my taste or perhaps was not yet awake since it was a bit early for a weekend! Either way, I took a look at what was a beautiful organized closet of designer dresses of the latest season and was able to find three that I really liked both on the hanger, and on myself.
I loved this gown but it was too long for me. It also felt a bit too formal for what I was going to.
This dress was beautiful when i tried it on but out of my price range. Maybe next time!
Thankfully I was able to find a dress in the 45 minute long appointment after trying on about 10 dresses , and there was an easy checkout. Because it was my first rental, I was given $25 off which was great. (You too will get $25 off your first RTR purchase)
I am SO glad I went in person because a lot of the dresses I thought would be dressy based off the photo, were not. Also, the fit varied for each dress and in some cases, the colors of the were not exactly as pictured. Also, it goes without saying that we are not all model sizes. Although the “My Runway” photos (photos that other users post) do help, I personally still like the experience of trying it on especially because i know I can be one size in terms of waist and another in terms of my bottom half.
I was a bit nervous that I might not find something dressy enough but what I ended up with just felt right. The invitation said black tie but considering it was a reception, dinner, dance party, I wanted to be comfortable. Not to mention, I was planning to go straight from work so I needed something I could easily change into.
Thank you Rent the Runway for your patience and your help!! Congratulations on your recent opening at Henri Bendel and on your RTR app.
Stay tuned for a post on the actual event and to see what I ended up wearing!!
Check out the Rent the Runway Showroom yourself and let me know what you think!
***NOTE: this is a late blog post, talking about an event that happened September 23, 2013. You know how delayed/behind I am on my posts. I’m working on that. Hope you’ll forgive me!!*****