One of my latest obsessions is Rent the Runway. It’s perfect if, like me, you really love taking a lot of photos at special occasions and won’t be wearing that dress again anytime soon. It’s also a lifesaver if you live in a big city with limited real estate in your closet. I’ve stopped buying very expensive dresses I won’t want to wear to events too close together since it frankly takes up too much space in my closet when considering the return.
If you haven’t found that right something for NYE, it’s not quite too late (there are even in-person RTR options for select locations). Here are some things to keep in mind if you haven’t used Rent the Runway before.
- Know what you want going in. The easiest way to sift through all of the options on the Rent the Runway site is to know any preferences you have going in. Do you want sequins? Long or short gown? How formal is the event?
- Opt for the 4 day rental and give yourself a buffer. This has been helpful to me in two ways. One, the start date of the window only guarantees your rental will be there by 8pm on that day. Give yourself some room. Two, you want that room to give you some time should you need to order what I call an “emergency dress” – something I’ve successfully done in the past.
- Do the math. I have occasionally noticed rental price tags that were on the higher side considering the designer and the full retail price (which is included on each rental). Sometimes it might not make sense to rent (or at least to rent that particular dress). Just something to keep in mind.
- Look at the “real people” photos. Don’t just take a look at the model photos. Take a minute and click through the user photos. How does it look on them? Sometimes the verdict is not so good. No photos or only a few? That may be a sign. Also look for people with your body type and that are close to your age. One of my rentals last year had user photos mostly of high school and early college-aged women. I shouldn’t have been surprised when it was a complete disaster on me.
- Always have back-up options. In the event that the first dress doesn’t work, they will ask you for back-up options. Take note of some other dresses you like when you first choose your order. I’ve had them successfully pick some for me in the past, but that can feel a bit hectic and isn’t always the best experience. This time around for New Year’s, I actually started a “back-up” shortlist on the RTR site – so I wasn’t entirely panicked when they told me my main size on my selected dress was returned damaged and wasn’t coming my way.