I just got back from the second wedding where I used Rent the Runway to get a dress, and I basically never want to buy a wedding guest dress in my life. Why would I store something in my closet when I can get something different every time that doesn’t contribute to clothing waste??
However, I have seen some horror stories about Rent the Runway (they average one angry instagram comment a post, I would say). So here’s how my experience has been (so far) and what I suggest to maximize your experience.
Read allllll the reviews. I usually have about 20 tabs open on the RTR website. First, I sort for only rentals that are under $50 (because grad school!).
I open every dress I could potentially want in a new tab, and then go through and eliminate the ones that won’t work for me. I do this by sorting reviews based on people who are a similar size to me (which you can do!), mostly sorting by height (at 5′11″, the first detail I need is “will this be a shirt on me?”). They also send you a free backup size on your first rental, which is so great.
The second thing I look for is dresses where people are just gushing. Both of the dresses I’ve rented so far had reviews that claimed the dress looked far better than the stock images. I looked through user-uploaded photos for dresses that flattered many women with different body types. (Here’s the orange one, and the purple one).
The second suggestion I have is to always have a backup dress. Just something in your closet that can be ready to go for most seasons. RTR is really cool, but it does rely on the dress-renter before you sending the dress back on time, and if that doesn’t happen (seems rare) you might be sent a different dress. So, just have something on hand in case.
Have a few accessory pairings ready to go, also. Having a couple pairs of heels and small purses has made picking dresses easy for me!
Just for fun–here are some more dresses I am eyeing renting for Fall and Winter weddings, if you’re in the market:
I hope this helps if you are also chipping away at the PhD while all your friends get married. Enjoy the open bar.
This review is not sponsored. But, if you want to try RTR, I get a little credit if you use this referral link.