Review: Rent the Runway

by Erin

A few of you have asked me about my Rent the Runway experiences after I have shared a bit about it on Twitter, so I decided to dedicate an entire post to it!


RTR has a revolving roster of over 200 top designers of the season’s best dresses and accessories. Upon visiting their website, you can search for your perfect dress based on many criteria: designer, price, length, style, rental date, occasion, or just check out what’s new. There’s also a section called “Our Runway” which filters dress reviews based on women who are similar in age and size. You can save dresses you like by clicking the little heart icon. My favorite part of the website is the reviews. Reading others’ experiences along with their body type, size, size worn and photo really helps with deciding on what dress and size to book.

Once you have found a dress you want to rent, they recommend scheduling it for 1–2 days before your event. You can book it for a 4-day or 8-day rental period and you can even add on a backup size for free! That way if you normally wear one size but reviews suggest going up a size, you can do so at no extra cost. There are also stylists ready to chat with you for any size or style questions you may have. But if none of the dresses end up fitting, contact them immediately and you will be refunded. In reviews I sometimes read about people who run into this problem but RTR overnights them other options! Thankfully I have not run into this problem yet, but it’s great to know in case I do.

You can even add on accessories to complete your look or essential extras like Fashion Tape. Need multiple dresses for an event-packed weekend? You can add on another dress of equal or lesser value for only $25. Your order will arrive by 8pm on your delivery date via UPS (or by courier in NYC). I have always scheduled mine for the day before I need to wear it and it has always arrived on time.


The dress(es) arrive on hangers inside of a garment bag that you get to keep. Any accessories are packaged in their own boxes, usually inside at the bottom of the garment bag. Included with every order I have received was a little goodie bag. Sometimes it had travel sized Q-tips, Dove body wash and a Magnum ice cream coupon. Other times it has been a sample of Neutrogena’s shine control powder, make up remover and a coupon for a can of spray tan. Apparently it has been a feature for all summer rentals.

After you enjoy the night, just send everything back in the easy pre-paid envelope provided by noon on your return date – they take care of the dry cleaning. If your return date lands on a postal holiday or Sunday, be sure to get it in the mail the following day.

A few of the items I have rented were hard to return. Not because of physically difficulty, but I wanted to keep them! But every now and then their styles will go on sale for purchase. Right now they have a clearance event going on with up to 90% off the retail price. As a bonus, you get rental credit for the things you buy from the sale. Unfortunately nothing I really wanted is available for purchase, but I will be watching out for the next time a sale comes around.

So what have I rented so far? The first thing I rented was the Parisian Cabaret Dress by Sachin & Babi for my cousin’s bachelorette party. I booked my usual size 4 and also the size 6 because the stylist and reviews recommended going up a size for backup. I was even able to ship it to the beach house where we were going to be staying that weekend – one less thing to pack! Upon arrival on Friday, I tried both on and the 4 fit perfectly and I instantly fell in love with the dress (one which I will buy if given the chance). The lace at the bottom was my favorite detail. Saturday we danced the night away, and then I had until Monday at noon to drop it off at UPS using the prepaid padded envelope. Couldn’t have been easier.


After my happy first experience, I went ahead and purchased a Summer Style Pass – 3 outfits, only $75 each. Each outfit contains a dress (up to $200) in 2 sizes & an accessory (up to $50) with free shipping and insurance. It was the perfect deal for all the wedding-related events I had this summer. Once I signed up, I was sent three codes to use when checking out. All I had to do was enter the codes to get the deal! After using all three, I have to admit that if they offer it again I would definitely do it.

The first thing I did with my Summer Style Pass was filter through the list of my favorite dresses for those that were $200 or less – I wanted to make sure I got the best deal! Sure enough, I was able to rent the Herve Ledger Watercolor Wish Dress along with Gold Shiva of India Earrings by Kendra Scott for Amber’s bachelorette party. Unfortunately the backup size was not available for the date I wanted it. Luckily the size I got fit, but if I rented this dress again I would like to try the next size up. Those bandage dresses are no joke! But the material is thicker so it smooths out rather than squeezes. And the earrings were awesome and another item I wouldn’t mind owning. I actually wore them twice before I had to return them!


The second outfit I booked for a more casual night with dinner at Hog & Hominy and seeing the movie Despicable Me 2 with Bob. I chose the Cotton Candy Mini by Gryphon and the Pave Pyramid Stud Bracelet by CC Skye. I booked this dress very last minute with only two days before the delivery date but it was no problem for RTR. Although since I waited until the last minute I again wasn’t able to receive the backup size I needed. This time the dress ended up being a bit too large on me. It would have fit much better with the next size down, but I improvised with a belt and was happy with the results. The bracelet also added the perfect amount of sparkle without being too over the top.


The final outfit all revolved around a particular necklace. Upon spotting the Pirate Treasure Necklace by RJ Graziano I knew I had to rent it, but first had to decide on the dress to wear with it. Yes I wore the dress with a necklace and not the other way around! I decided on the black Twist Of Fate Dress by Halston Heritage to wear for my cousin’s rehearsal dinner. After booking it, I actually had to change the date and shipment address but it was easily executed by their customer service.

For this dress, I booked my usual size and the next size up and ended up going with the larger size. The dress itself was quite stunning, but honestly the show was stolen by that necklace. It was a bit heavy but totally worth it because even my nephew was drawn to it. I am all over anything that makes him want to be near me.


Overall, I have been very pleased with my RTR experiences so far. I have even convinced a couple friends to sign up and one rented recently for a wedding she attended in California. Since she signed up through me, we both got a $20 rental credit which I plan to use for one of the other two upcoming wedding rehearsal dinners. I swear I am not addicted, it’s just a great deal O:-).

Wanna try out Rent the Runway? Sign up using my referral link – After you complete your first rental we will both receive a $20 credit. They also send e-mails out with discounts frequently so you can get an even better deal. Don’t forget to like them on Facebook – they have fan deals every Friday!

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post! I purchased this on my own. However, this post does contain referral links for new sign-ups that give you and I a $20 credit for a future rental.

Two years ago: Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwich with Au Jus


JPM June 1, 2016 - 6:40 pm

My wife used them for a recent wedding in NYC for the first and last time. Everything went very well until we returned the dresses. We stayed in an expensive boutique hotel and the day after our event I asked that the hotel arrange a UPS pickup. They agreed then immediately failed to do so. 9 days later we were notified by RTR that we have accrued $435 in late fees! I immediately contacted the hotel and resolved the issue then argued and eventually settled for them covering $200 of the total fee. RTR declined to reduce their fee to help with the other $235. My issue with Rent The Runway isn’t their dresses or their service or the fact that they charge late fees. My issue is that they waited 9 days and $435 before notifying us they didn’t have the dresses. That is unethical.

spiffycookie June 2, 2016 - 12:50 pm

OH MY GOSH! I don’t blame you that is ridiculous. Thankfully I use them all the time and have had no problems with late returns yet (knock on wood).

nk November 5, 2013 - 9:31 am

DO NOT USE!!! They are TERRIBLE!!! I rented a dress for a black tie affair. at 430pm on the day of the event AS I SAT IN THE CHAIR AT THE HAIR SALON, emailed me (which i only happened to check because I had a moment) that they were not going to be able to process the order and to please call if I wanted anything else!!! I has bought shoes accessories etc. for this particular dress. When I called.. SORRY THERES NO ONE AVAILABLE TO ANSWER YOUR CALL PLEASE SEND US AN EMAIL.

I had to run around looking for a full length gown with 45 min before I was being picked up.

They had no remorse and made no real effort to resolve the situation. To add salt to the wound THE NEXT DAY!! My doorman tells me they delivered the dress (A DAY LATE and after I told them to refund me and that I would NEVER do business with them again. Right after this I get an EMAIL saying “don’t forget to return it or theres a late fee”

I mean, REALLY???

Save yourself the aggravation DO NOT USE THIS COMPANY!!

spiffycookie November 5, 2013 - 9:51 am

Sorry to hear about your terrible experience with Rent the Runway! I’ve rented from them 5 times and have nothing but good things to say about my experience. It upsets me that your first experience did not work out. If you do give them another chance be sure reserve it for the day before you need it, which is also what they suggest to ensure you get it in time.

natalie@thesweetslife August 13, 2013 - 3:14 pm

i need to keep this in mind in the future! love the dresses you got!

Zainab| Blahnik Baker August 11, 2013 - 4:29 pm

You are gorgeous!! All these dresses look great and I am in love with that necklace. I sadly joined RTR ages ago when you needed an invitation but have not used them at all. I am looking at them for my next event. Thanks for the review!

spiffycookie August 12, 2013 - 4:26 pm

Thank you!! You really should get to it and use them.

Tracey August 10, 2013 - 6:24 pm

I seriously love all of the dresses, you look gorgeous in them! I need to remember to try RTR next time we have a wedding to attend.

spiffycookie August 12, 2013 - 4:26 pm

Yay thank you! I’ve already booked another dress for one of the two remaining wedding rehearsal dinners I have to attend. Debating getting two styles for the last one because we have a dinner and a brunch to attend! Dresses galore!

kita August 10, 2013 - 11:10 am

Freakin love that last necklace and now Im all mopy and sad that I dont have all these reasons to dress up! :D

spiffycookie August 10, 2013 - 2:39 pm

I know! It was awesome. And don’t be sad, you save a lot of money by not having weddings to go to ;-).

Caroline @ chocolate & carrots August 10, 2013 - 11:08 am

This is so smart and you look GORGEOUS! I’m going to have to try this for the next wedding I attend. :D

spiffycookie August 10, 2013 - 2:38 pm

Thanks so much! You definitely, should I love it.

Kayle (The Cooking Actress) August 10, 2013 - 9:15 am


spiffycookie August 10, 2013 - 2:38 pm

Aww thanks!!


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