I have a wedding coming up this Saturday and as of right now I have no dress for it (and no shoes!), but I am not worried, and actually I'm pretty confident I'll be ok. And this is why:
A) I've been in touch with the folks at Rent the Runway, and I was able to obtain a free rental in exchange for a review of their service.
So far these are my first observations:
1) The idea behind Rent the Runway is great: renting a beautiful designer dress for only $50-$200 and feel like a princess for a day, without having to spend a lot more money only to have that dress rot in the closet (let's be honest, we love to wear a new dress for every new occasion).
2) RtR lets you rent the same dress in two different sizes for no additional cost, to make sure you get the size that will fit just right. This is an excellent idea, but unfortunately based on my experience it doesn't always work out since a lot of the dresses I liked didn't have both a size 0 and a size 2 (they had one or the other, sometimes neither).
And this is the one of the two issues I've found with Rent the Runway, not enough sizes, and what makes the issue more annoying is the fact that at times it waits for you to have the dress in the shopping cart to let you know that the size you had picked is no longer available, which can be a bit of a waste of time.
But I do understand that RtR is a new business and they might be still working out the kinks.
The other issue I had, which I believe can be easily fixed, was not enough "winter wedding" choices.
The website let's you narrow down the choices of dresses by selecting the occasion which can be a "date night", a "beach vacation", or a "corporate chic", or "prom", or "black tie affair" and a few others, but in reality, so far, the choices are mostly "short dresses" not formal enough for weddings nor black tie affairs.
Again, this can easily be fixed by adding fancier dresses in different lengths.
After much thinking, sorting and debating I was able to pick a few dresses that would be appropriate for the occasion:
One of the first dresses I liked was this one from DvF. It was the right color and the right length. Unfortunately, they didn't have it in my size. :(
I also loved this dress from Christian Siriano except the color would have made me look too pale.
I finally settled on these two dresses:
I am not one to wear leopard prints, and maybe that is why (for a change of pace) I picked this one from Tuleh. There is something about the cut of this dress that is just adorable.
But I also picked a safer choice in case I don't like how the leopard will look: this royal blue dress from Nicole Miller.
B) As in back-up plan.
Yesterday I stopped by Ann Taylor and found a dress I loved online and even more at the store. I couldn't buy it because I forgot my credit card at home (age and a little baby will do that to you!), but I asked the sales girl to put it aside for me. I also bought the shoes from this picture, which are simply gorgeous and comfortable, so I think I am set no matter what. :)
The dresses are scheduled to arrive on Thursday March 18th...
The package arrived on time on Thursday as I had scheduled and the dresses came neatly packed inside a garment bag.
On my first post I had commented how some of the dresses seemed a bit on the plain side, but after I took out the blue dress, the first thing I noticed was the quality of it.
So even if it might have looked plain in the picture, once I had it in my hands, the beautiful royal blue color, the intricacy of the folds and the weight of the material, all changed my mind pretty quickly: I loved this dress.
Unfortunately the size 2 I had ordered was too small for me.
Here is where I want to make sure this point comes across: Rent the Runway lets you pick a dress in two sizes to make sure it will fit you, and this is so important for you to take advantage of, since you won't know how the dress will fit you until you receive it in the mail.
What I did instead was gambling: I picked two different dresses, in two different sizes.
The second dress I had picked was the leopard print one.
This dress already looked adorable in the picture, there was something about it that I really liked even though I am not one to wear exotic animal prints.
When I took this dress out I was praying. Praying that it would fit me. It was even more beautiful in person (in dress?), silky and with ruffled straps and the cutest skirt. It really looked and felt luxurious.
I had ordered this one in size 4, so I should have no problems fitting in it, right? Wrong.
This dress was a bit tight, to the point that a size 6 would have worked better for me, but the wedding was two days away and there was no time to return it and get a new one.
So I decided to eat less for the next two days, and I wore my leopard print dress to the wedding!
The dress felt great on, of course it looks a little better on the model, but I am sure she didn't just have a baby eight months ago! ;)
I will definitely look into Rent the Runway for special occasions in the future, and if they add more "gowns" to their inventory, I might not have to buy any more dresses, ever!