Best Dressed Guest in Rent the Runway

Disclaimer: Rent the Runway DID NOT compensate me for this review. This is my honest opinion of a service I paid for in full. I was not offered a rental credit or discount of any kind, I will however, receive a credit if you use my invite link at the bottom of this article, but only once you rent something.

It’s no secret that Rent the Runway has been around for awhile … since 2009 actually. I remember living in NYC when the innovative idea to rent designer clothing came about and the best part was that living in the city, you could get it delivered the same day … yet, I never took advantage.

I’ve had a lot going on lately with work, work and more work, plus, looking for a reporting job.  That’s likely going to require me to pick up my life and move halfway across the country sometime in the near future, so when I got my most recent invite to my friends’ wedding.

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Matt and Heather are two of the greatest friends I’ve got on totally different levels. Matt and I used to be joined-at-the-hip sports news junkies, we hosted a radio show together and met doing a play; Heather and I used to work together and were the only people keeping each other sane in our retail jobs. We don’t hang out together or separately as often as any of us would like, but now I’m their equally loved third wheel and that totally works for me.

When Matt told me he was going to propose to Heather, I honestly couldn’t have been more excited for them. They both have this magical sort of idea they’ve hit the jackpot for getting to be with each other. That, in my humble opinion, is some true love at its finest. And in all seriousness, they totally deserve each other’s love and I probably wouldn’t think anyone else was worthy of either of them if they hadn’t found each other. Having each of them thank me incessantly for “all of this” on the night of their wedding truly struck a chord.

OK, enough with the sap. You came to read about the dress. So I’ve been slacking. My shopping game is not strong, I’m tired, I want to nap all the time when I’m not at work (and sometimes when I am at work too, even though that’s not an option). Despite all of this, I knew I needed something special, but I’m saving for a car and potentially a move, so dropping a few Bennies on a dress is not high on my list these days.

I’ve been getting Rent the Runway emails forevs. I signed up thinking I’d order a birthday dress in about 2010, but never did. This was it. I found this sparkling Badgley Mischka “5th Avenue Showstopper Dress.” It had good vibes. I read about a bazillion reviews from girls who were also between 5’4-5’6 and tried to find ones who wore an 8/10/12 or also could fit into about 5 different clothing sizes like a chameleon. I also haven’t been going to the gym (yay, me) so I’m in an “I hate clothes right now” phase.

What would this dress look like? Would I be able to zip it? Is it long enough? Are there pictures? Would my shipment get here on time?

Before it came, I actually had a pretty good idea. Many girls mentioned the bust was a little large on the dress, so I was nervous, because I have a large bust. Would I look like a porn star? There was a ton of uncertainty in my mind. You can order a second size for free with your first order, so I did. I ordered a size down to be safe. I got a 10 and a 12.

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The dresses came on time, two days before my event, like the site suggested I should have it delivered. It also came before work, which was great since a coworker had rifled through her closet and found a back-up dress for me just in case.

The dresses come in a very fancy garment bag and are cleaned, pristine and wrinkle-free. Inside the bag, is an instructions card, which tells you how to return everything. The instruction card has the return label on the back of it, and there’s a special plastic zipper lock you can use to secure the bag on its way back to them.

It worked. The 12 was perfect. I mean, PERFECT. It fit like a glove, hugged all the right curves and was stunning.

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I have tons of accessories, so I opted to skip the accessories service and paired it with vintage earrings, a jacket I snagged at the last minute when I heard it was going to be chilly, also, a last-minute bag and shoes from Amazon (also a first). I additionally wore pantyhose. I know, so Princess Kate, right? 

I have never gotten so many compliments on a dress in my life. People actually went out of their way at the wedding to tell me how much they liked it, which almost made me feel weird because Heather looked stunning and her dress was incredible. I got stopped in the park taking the pictures you see here by people who wanted to tell me they liked my dress.

I will tell you, it’s super low cut but I had read the reviews. I ended up safety pinning the best, just to keep the girls in check. This dress was also incredibly difficult to zip up because of the way the waist is sewn. There was plenty of fabric, but my dresser (thanks mom!) had a really hard time zipping it. I had no trouble getting it off at the end of the night, however. 

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Dress: Badgley Mischka via Rent the Runway, Jacket: Adrienne Vittadini via TJ Maxx (similar), Bag: TJ Maxx (similar), Shoes: Dream Pairs, Pantyhose: Silk Reflections in “Little Color” Earrings: Vintage

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So, I’d say it went well. I was definitely the “best dressed guest,” as they say. I would totally use Rent the Runway again. I don’t have an “unlimited” account, so I paid for shipping and insurance, but my total cost to rent the dress was only about $52. The “5th Avenue Showstopper Dress” is $750 retail, which is one of the less expensive dresses RTR offers. You can get some really crazy couture without paying very much, or worrying about how you’re paying all this money for something you’ll never wear again once you post the pictures … because let’s be honest, that’s usually how it goes for me.

Congrats to my pals, Matt & Heather! Thanks for having me on your special day. I love you both immensely.

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I’ll add dancing pictures as they become available!

Want to try a rental? Here’s your invite!

Have you ever used Rent the Runway or another clothing rental service? What was your experience like? Would you do it again?

4 comments

  1. Amanda says:

    Rent the Runway was my life saver this year. I had over 15 weddings that I needed to attend and for everyone I wasn’t in (Bridesmaid, MOH or Officiant) I rented my dress. I never wanted to re-wear a dress because I love taking pictures, and like the sassy girl I am, I didn’t want to be photographed in the same dress more than once. I also find that it is exciting to wear different looks to different weddings. Each wedding has its own feel, each friend has his or her own personality, and I wanted my dress to be able to match each wedding. Plus – as the professional wedding guest I am (just meaning that I go to way too many weddings) I wanted to make sure I felt my absolute best as I saw my best friends walk down the aisle. Weddings can be hard to sit through sometimes, so looking great helps out! I ALWAYS felt amazing in my Rent the Runway dresses and the process of renting was so freaking easy that I would be a fool not to do it. I am a Pro members so I get free shipping and insurance, and the few times I had problems (once my dress didn’t arrive and one time it had a ripped hem – nothing major at all) the customer service team is amazing. There are also codes for discounts (their $50 off birthday code allowed me to get a couple looks completely for free which was awesome) and I also would recommend renting bling for those looks where you want to look extra special.
    I LOVE renting from Rent the Runway and I am looking forward to this holiday season because I know I will look better than ever with all their exciting Thanksgiving, Christmas and NYE looks.
    Great article Erika! This is a fashion trend that I FULLY support!
    xo
    Amanda

    • Erika says:

      Amanda,
      This is such a great testimonial! I love to hear that you use RTR all the time and how dependable it’s been for you multiple times! And *15* weddings! That’s crazy. I can’t imagine buying that many dresses in one year, so what a great resource RTR is for you!

  2. Heather Castonguay says:

    Erika, this post is amazing and I can’t thank you enough for being the reason our special day even took place. You looked incredible in your rent the runway dress and I will definitely be trying this out for my next event! Love all of our kind words in this post and for the great fashion suggestion. Finally a way to look fashionable on a super friendly budget :)

    • Erika says:

      Heather, I was so honored to be there! I love you both so much and can’t say enough how excited I am that my little matchmaking setup worked so well! Now … if only I could matchmake myself with someone! ;)

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