The subscription box of fashion, Rent the Runway has been bombarding my social feeds with amazing ads for “renting” your wardrobe. The latest offer is their RTR Unlimited subscription which allows for unlimited rentals (4 items in rotation or at a time) for a monthly fee of $139 and no returns dates.
Seems like a good plan, right?
I thought so too. After all, why should I buy completely new outfits for special occasions or business meetings when I can simply rent them?
Consumerism makes Rent the Runway make sense
Here’s the thing about our modern day consumer consumption: it’s awful. We’re making fast fashion the new norm. Bloggers and influencers are shilling out expensive dress after expensive dress. They are #goals and encourages others to loop into consumer consumption. Renting your wardrobe is ACTUALLY not a bad idea, environmental wise. Also, it’s a pretty great idea if you have a small closet and not a huge budget.
So using a subscription model like RTR unlimited, makes complete sense.
But is it worth it? That’s what I sought to find out, here’s what happened next.
Items Go “Missing”
For research purposes, I bought a subscription (not sponsored, entirely out of pocket) to the Unlimited option. On the website, I chose 4 dresses to wear for several upcoming engagements.
Two days later, I received a notification from my post carrier saying my packages was delivered. That was incredibly fast and I was very excited to see my rented dresses.
The package was sustainable – a clothing canvas that you could zip up and carry and hang! I was impressed….until I opened the package.
Out of the 4 dresses, only 1 had arrived. The hanger? Broken in half. The dress, despite being a promised size 0, fit like a 2. (Before everyone get’s up in arms about me being a size 0, I am 4’11, born premie with low birth weight, and also suffer from a chronic illness, being a size 0 is out of my control).
I thought it was a bit odd, shared my opinion on Instagram stories, and the lovely social media team at RTR did reach out to try to make it better! So I do give them that….their response was quick and they apologized. Apparently, the package was shipped out with 4 dresses (at least that’s what the order I placed said – but of course it would).
I’m not saying it’s their fault. After all, perhaps someone at the mailing facility could have opened it up and taken them? So I was told to “watch” for the rest of the package to show up.
It never did….
Alright Rent the Runway, let’s try again
As a make up for the missing items, I was allowed to choose 5 new items to rent. I happily chose 5 other dresses, as it was nearing time for the events. this time, the package took about a week to get to me, with 2 events already occurred (I chose to wear dresses I already had).
A week later, the newest package was delivered. This time, the items were wrapped in plastic and shipped out in a cardboard box. So not very environmentally friendly.
I had one day left till the next event. I eagerly tried on all my dresses.
None of them fit. At all.
One dress fit like a 00 instead of a 0. One dress fit like a 4. All were listed as 0’s. I quickly realized I could not wear any of them to the event the next day and opted out for rewearing another dress I had worn the previous week.
All in all, the rental service was a failure for me.
At least there’s another good thing to say…
While the service itself was kind of disappointing, I do have to say the people that make RTR happen are very kind.
Two months later, my subscription was about to renew when I decided to cancel. However, I wouldn’t be able to return my items for about another week. That past month, I had been bed bound with a bad illness (you can read more here) and after getting the dresses, I couldn’t even walk to the post office to return my packages.
I called them to ask for a return extension and they generously told me “when you feel better” which is so kind! I thankfully got well within a week and returned my dresses, no fuss, no extra charge for the delay.
Overall, I’m sad it didn’t work out rental wise, but I do appreciate RTR’s help.
Should you use Rent the Runway?
My answer is: perhaps.
Here’s why I’m not going to totally discourage anyone from using this service: I am not you and you are not me. Our experiences might be different. They might be the same.
Likewise, what did not fit me might fit you.
I would say, try it out with maybe 1-2 rental items. Don’t use the unlimited option until you know the sizing is right and that you have no issues with renting and returns.
Ultimately you have to make this decision for yourself but I hope my review offers some perspective that you don’t often hear about. So many bloggers and influencers are paid to promote this brand. Some use it consistently, others obviously don’t. That’s why before you purchase anything, review review review. Not just from influencers (who can provide accurate reviews), but from everyday people.
Ask your friends, ask google. Read reviews, negative and positive. And then form a judgement yourself.
Hope this was helpful! Do you have any questions about my review? Have you any positive or negative experiences with Rent the Runway? I’d love to hear from you if you do. Simply leave a comment below.