Tuesday, June 1, 2010
For our SATC 2 screening/my birthday extravaganza, we decided to try renting dresses from RentTheRunway.com. The idea is pretty simple: You register, peruse the available dresses, request the dress, two sizes (to ensure fit) are sent to your door on the desired date, you wear it, then return it after 4 or 8 days in the provided postage-paid envelope. In actuality, here's how it went:
A friend tipped us off that when you rent one dress, you get the second of equal or lesser value for $25. So Hope and I decided to rent our dresses together to take advantage of the savings. Searching the dresses is easy and fun. I love that they have it broken down by category: Beach Vacation, Birthday, Cocktail Party, designer and price. I started by searching under "Birthday".
Deciding on the dress to rent was a little more challenging. I wanted something that I would look hot in, that fit me well (without my trying it on), that was a good value and that was a little outrageous since I would only be wearing it once. After much back and forth, I decided on this purple one-shoulder Halston Heritage dress. Since we were seeing SATC 2, I thought it would be fun to pay homage to SJP as Halston's new creative director. Rent the Runway even has the white dress SJP/Carrie wears in the opening scene of the movie, but it seemed a little cheesy to wear that to the flick.
Hope went with this Catherine Malandrino jumpsuit.
Our total was $100, which included shipping and insurance. We excitedly awaited the delivery of our rental dress and jumpsuit. However, the day before the dresses were due to ship, we were told that one of my sizes in the purple Halston dress wasn't available. To make up for it, Rent the Runway said I could order any dress off the site, regardless of price. This has actually happened to two of our other friends with Rent the Runway.
I considered a tight, Hervé Leger number, but having worn his dresses before, I know that for my figure, they vary wildly in size and fit. Instead, I opted for this Christian Costa number, which looked flirty, fun and low cut in the front and back. The dresses and pantsuits were messengered to my apartment the next day -- a service that is offered in New York City.
This little mix up worked out to my advantage in the end, as both dresses fit. I wore the Christian Costa dress during the day to lunch. While it looked low cut on the model, on me it wasn't quite as revealing as I would have liked for a special night out. But, it was perfect with gladiator flats for lunch with the girls.
As for the Halston (pictured on me top), I was really happy with the way it fit--the ruching helped hide my figure flaws. It did have a small deodorant stain on it when I received it and the dress had pilled on one side in the front (we guessed it was from a bracelet or sequined bag).
Hope's jumpsuit fit better than expected. On the site, it appeared there may be a too-short situation; but luckily, it was longer than she thought. Hope loved the way the silk pants tossed around her legs all night. The only draw back was that she did need to iron the jumpsuit before we went out, so it wasn't ready to wear.
When it came time to send the dresses back, I was definitely a little sad to pack them up. But my credit card is still in one piece. Rent the Runway is an elegant option if you're headed to a lot of weddings this summer, frequently go to black tie events with the same crowd, are photographed a lot (nearly unavoidable in this Facebook-age) or just want to dip your toe into new style waters.