Rent the Runway Review

I have always been intrigued by Rent the Runway.  I think the concept is genius.  I cant tell you how many dresses I have in my closet that I bought for an event and have only worn once. Renting is a great plan.  I have visited the website, scoped out dresses and found promotional codes but in the end I just couldn’t pull the trigger.  I pictured myself the day of an event, too short/tight/big/long dress in hand, sobbing and I just couldn’t take the risk.  I am tall (5’10” to be exact) and I have big boobs.  I need to try things on.  

Recently I was invited to an event for InStyle Magazine.  I was confused on how to dress though.  It was being held at a nice space in NYC but it was on a Tuesday night from 6-9.  Then I looked more into it and I saw that there were bloggers and vendors flying in from California and Texas to attend.  Plus, it is InStyle Magazine so I needed to be fashionable.  I couldn’t get a handle on how fancy/trendy I should be though.  

I learned soon after that that Rent the Runway now has two stores in New York City and saw this as the perfect opportunity to try it out.  I made my appointment for the day before my event at the location in the Flatiron District.  


 In order to visit the store you must pay $25 at the time you make your appointment.  This is non-refundable.  It is to secure your reservation and also for a stylist that will work with you one on one for 45 minutes.  I was okay with that fee as I was still so unsure about how fancy I wanted to go and I figured a stylist could help me.  

When I arrived at RTR my stylist greeted me and brought me to a changing room in the back.  I explained to her my concerns, gave her information on what I was looking for and described the event I was attending.  She left to go pull dresses for me and I went into the front showroom to pick dresses myself.  There is not a huge amount of merchandise in the store.  I consider that one of the biggest drawbacks.  Also, there are not a lot of sizes.  I would find a lot of dresses and show them to my stylist and she would advise that that was the only one they had in stock and since it was too big or small I had to put it back.  I found that disappointing.    

I didn’t love any of the items that my stylist pulled.  Not even one.  I don’t think we had great chemistry or similar taste.  I wound up finding three dresses myself that fit and I chose one of them for the event.  I was also not blown away by the whole experience.  It might have just been an off day or if I had a different stylist I might have liked it better.  I’m not sure.  I am not faulting her and actually I found her to be very nice but I did leave the store feeling disappointed.  

I should note that my husband and daughter adore the dress that I did pick and cant understand my hesitation.  

Here were my three top choices.  I am not going to tell you what I chose.  You will have to wait and see but I am interested in hearing your thoughts.  Which one is your favorite and also have any of you ever rented a dress from RTR?  What was your experience like?

Kate Spade 1 Kate Spade 2 Purple Black 2 Purple Black Purple Peplum 1 Purple Peplum 2

19 thoughts on “Rent the Runway Review

  1. lkn106

    I hope you went with #3 because that is my fave and shows off your fierce figure! Seriously, I need your diet/meal plan! I have never used RTR but I did sit next to one of the founders at a wedding right before they launched and remembering guzzling champagne and telling him how amazing I thought the idea was 😉 The fact that there weren’t tons of sizes or dress options in the store definitely means they need to step up their game because that has so much lost potential right there.

  2. Biana

    Sorry to hear you weren’t 100% thrilled with the experience, I’m sure the brick and mortar store isn’t going to do as well as their online stuff!! I think that the concept is brilliant and I was going to use it for the wedding I just attended, but I think I’d opt to use it for a more formal affair since I’m less likely to wear a full length gown again!! I really like #1 – so flattering on you, but then again all three look amazing on you!!

  3. Leslie Lukens Martin

    Ooooh! These all look great on you! I rented a gown for a formal wedding earlier this year, and it turned out perfect! The one thing about renting them online is that they send you two sizes…and if neither work, you can send them back within 24 hours and not be charged. That does require you to have a back-up plan though.

  4. Bri

    Bummer that your experience wasn’t that great. That would be disappointing, especially when you pay a stylist to help. I have to say #3 looks great in you!

  5. jillian (@cornflakedreams)

    bummer that you didnt have a good in store experience — i like the last dress tho. i rented a dress once for a wedding and i loved it! i got a ton of compliments and it was the type of dress you only wear once or twice so it totally made sense to rent vs. buy!

  6. B @ The Sequin Notebook

    Well obviously I know which one you ended up with since we attended this fabulous event together, but I think all three look fantastic! You know that I love RTR but am not a huge fan of the store…try ordering online next time (after all, you do get 2 sizes and can return within 24 hours) and see how it goes!

  7. Nadine

    That stinks that the experience wasn’t super awesome. All three dresses look good on you….but I love love LOVE #1!!!! It is so flattering on you and absolutely beautiful!

  8. Kristen

    that first one is gorgeous and I have seen it on RTRs website a thousand times and wanted to get it. I love RTR, you know that, but I have never been to the store and I think the concept of the store is silly – because they can’t hold every size and whatnot, why bother? I would be so mad if I found the perfect dress and it didn’t come in my size, or they didn’t have the one online. Like what’s the point, i’ll just use online!

  9. Ashley

    I have never heard of this store..sounds like it has the potential to be a great venture but sometimes I would prefer to do just some shopping alone. Or maybe they should do something like Stitch Fix where you fill out a questionnaire first about your style- I think that would help a lot. But I really like the first and third one!

  10. Kari

    They all look great on you! I really love #1 and #2. But the first one definitely seems more fun and that’s what I think of when I think of InStyle. I walked past the store on my way home the other day, and wondered what it was like. It’s upsetting to hear it’s not as expected. The brick and mortar exterior looks so chic!

  11. Tanya

    First of all I’m so mad I didn’t make it to the event because we could’ve met in person! I was invited BUT hubby wanted to watch Giants game at a friend’s house so I was on baby duty. You look great but I agree that the choices were ummmm not so great. I love the idea of Rent the Runway but somehow it just doesn’t ever work out.

  12. Pamela

    I had no idea RTR had a store! Crazy! I almost ordered a dress from them for my bday but ended up going with something else because like you I wasn’t sure what I really wanted. You look amazing in all of those dresses but I think I like the navy fit and flare one the best!

    <3, Pamela

  13. Charlotte

    Awww, I’m so sorry you didn’t have the greatest experience at RTR, BUT for the record, I thought you looked beautiful that night 🙂 I’ve always wanted to try this out b/c I have a hard time myself choosing just the right outfit to wear (and never know if what I plan on wearing is over the top or not dressy enough. Also I, too, suffer from the big boob problem. They get in the way of every cute outfit ever!!

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