My Thoughts On Rent The Runway
This is a question that I get as a stylist ALL the time: What are your thoughts on Rent The Runway? Well, I have a few.
Let me start by saying that I am not at all affiliated with Rent The Runway, they don’t pay me or send me free stuff (but here’s to hopin!). I first learned about Rent The Runway from a friend of a friend a few years ago. I’m Egyptian, and as you may or may not know, we are a fancy people. When it comes to weddings, engagement parties, etc. no expense is spared, and the expectation is that you will come dressed to impress. I always laugh when I hear friends ask “What does black tie optional mean? I have to wear a tie???”. More often than not, black tie is not an option for a typical middle eastern event, it’s an expectation. Again, we’re fancy.
Having said that, the average middle easterner can attend anywhere from 2-6 weddings in a SINLGE summer. Yes, you heard me, a single summer. That doesn’t include engagement parties, baby showers, bridal showers and the like. So, getting dressed can be pretty expensive, especially with social media at EVERY corner. You cannot blow your nose or sneak up to the buffet for a second plate without someone snapping a photo (and posting it, no less).
So, what does all this have to do with Rent The Runway? Well, to put it plainly, it’s become my saving grace. As a personal stylist my M-O is that the idea isn’t to spend a million bucks on your clothes, but to look and FEEL like a million bucks IN your clothes; and that’s really what Rent the Runway does.
Cocktail dresses and evening gowns are not cheap. A great dress for an event can cost anywhere from $300 - $1000 no problem. Do the math on that? If I’m planning to wear a dress only 1 time because I’ll inevitably be photographed in it (which most days, I don’t really care about, especially if I’m looking great, I’ll write about that too) I certainly don’t want to be dropping that kind of cash more than once a summer (much less several times).
Rent The Runway gives you the option to wear so many gorgeous dresses (I don’t know how they do it!) for literally a fraction of the cost. You can rent a $1000 Monique Lhullier dress for $150, you can rent a $1100 Marchesa Notte dress for $165, a $900 Theia for $135 or $500 BCBG for $70. The fact is, Rent The Runway gives us access to dresses we regularly could only dream of wearing, and where else are you going to find a designer dress that you feel great in for that price? I have the answer, you won’t.
I know what some of you may be thinking: “Candace, darling, $165 isn’t cheap!”. To that I would say, you’re right, it isn’t. But I will also say is that you must consider your CPW (Cost Per Wear). Cost Per Wear is exactly what it sounds like. So let’s do the math. Say you actually go out and purchase a gown for $500. Maybe you wear it 3 times (if you’re brave and don’t really care about being photographed). $500 (total cost) / 3 (total wears) = $167 CPW. If you rent a dress for the same cost, your CPW is the same. The difference is, you can rent 3 different fabulous dresses that you’ll LOVE wearing, as opposed to wearing the same dress that you’ve purchased 3 times.
The fact is, when people get married, nobody wins. Wait – no, I mean, when big events happen, they’re going to cost us, that’s just a fact of life. So why not spend the money wisely on something that’s going to make you feel your absolute best for that night? Not to mention Rent The Runway will send you a second size for free, shipping and returns are really easy, and the customer service (in my own personal experience) has been really superb. I don’t endorse a lot of things, but they really do things the right way!
In conclusion, if you are a fancy person and attend many fancy events a year…and even if you don’t, Rent The Runway is a great (not to mention really fun) option.