Clothes & Pizza

My Experience with Rent The Runway Unlimited

Last month I partnered with West Elm and Rent The Runway on their latest collaboration: rentable decor bundles. I received the Gramercy Bedding Bundle, which included 2 pillow shams, a quilt, and a decorative pillow. I loved how easy it was to change up the look of our bedroom. And, I can just send them back when I’m done! Nothing to store, throw away, or donate when we are done.

Part of my collaboration included a one month trial of Rent The Runway’s Unlimited Package. I have always been curious to try RTR, especially since I looooove a fab dress for any and all occasions. I’ve reviewed the details of my experience below, but here are the brass tacks:

  • Cost: $159 per month. But they have promos all the time. Right now they are offering $80 off your first 2 months with code “SOSMART”
  • You Get: You order 4 items at a time, and you can swap out for new styles as soon as your send them back. So the faster you wear them and return them, the more items you can try. There is no limit on how many items you can try per month (but you only get 4 at a time). RTR offers way more than just occasion dresses these days — you can order anything from jeans to sweaters to handbags.
  • Shipping/Returns: Shipping and return shipping are included in the price. When you receive your RTR items, they come with a return box and prepaid return shipping label.

 

Pros

  • New clothing all the time. This is probably the biggest benefit of RTR Unlimited. You essentially get 4 new clothing items, as often as you can wear them. The sooner you wear them and send them back, the sooner you get something new again. It’s kind of awesome.
  • No need to launder anything. RTR takes care of all washing and dry cleaning. So all you have to do is pop the item back in the bag and send it back. You new pieces also arrive freshly cleaned (you may need to steam or press them at home depending on the material).
  • Ability to try ‘spensive designer pieces. Designer pieces are swanky — nice materials, high end construction, superior fit. It’s special to be able to wear designer pieces without the designer price tag. I also just noticed that they have a bridal section (dresses, jewelry, and accessories) — this is a game changer if you’re a bride on a budget.
  • A more sustainable way to “shop.” Women only wear 20% of the clothes in their closet regularly, the rest of it just sits there unworn, until it gets thrown away or donated. Rather than waste money on clothing that will likely end up in a landfill, you can freshen up your closet without the extra waste.
  • If you rent an item and fall in love with it, you can keep it, forever. RTR makes it easy to buy anything that you rent. And you get a members only discount on the pieces.
  • Simple returns (in eco friendly re-useable packaging). Your pieces arrive on your doorstep in a re-useable cloth garment bag that folds down and zips closed. Once you’re ready to return, you just zip your items back into the garment bag, insert the pre-printed return label in the outer pocket, and drop off the package.

Cons

  • It is somewhat difficult to shop if you don’t have an “average” body type. If you’re short (like me) or plus size, you don’t has as many options than if you have a more “average” body type. I noticed that many styles were not offered in XS small sizes or XL sizes. Although you can filter items by clothing size and body type (tall, pear shape, petite, etc) which is nice. *I just discovered that you can also filter by maternity, which is awesome if you’re pregnant and looking for more clothing options.
  • Because you can’t try the clothing on IRL before you order, and the huge variance in sizing between brands, even if you do order your correct size, things might not fit. The customer photos and reviews are helpful in figuring out sizing, and helping you see the item on a non-model body. And RTR does give you the option to add a backup size on some of their items, but I believe this is only for regular rentals (the rental option where you choose 1 item for an event), and “occasion” dresses, not all items in the Unlimited Package. I will admit that of all the items I chose to order, only about half of them fit and were wearable. It is definitely a bit of a learning curve to know what your size is (realistically) and the best things to order for your body type.
  • There’s a possibility you may receive something with a small stain or snag. Because many of the pieces have been worn by other people, you likely won’t receive anything in mint condition. Every item is professionally cleaned in between rentals, but there is a potential for quality control issues.
  • Shipping complications: while RTR makes it as easy as possible to receive and return your pieces, they can’t control everything. If you live in a building where receiving packages is difficult, or don’t have a convenient place to drop off your return package, this can add extra frustration and logistical issues.

I’d love to know if you’ve tried Rent the Runway — either for a one time rental, or the Unlimited Plan. What did you think of the experience?

Pink Dress: Parker Roxanne Gown  |  Red Dress: Likely Aurora Gown  |  Floral Dress: See by Chloe

This blog post was not sponsored by Rent the Runway, but I did receive one month of RTR’s Unlimited service gratis.

About Abby


Bay Area-based UX designer by day, clothes horse by night.

Say hello: clothesandpizza@gmail.com

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