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Honest Review: Rent the Runway

Wedding season is here! We have SO many great friends and family members getting married this year, it's wild! We have 1-2 weddings a month, and every single one is in a different state. From weddings on the beach to weddings in breweries, we've got a little bit of everything! I'm so excited for all of them.

There are a few things that I can guarantee will happen for each of these weddings:

1. I'll cry tears of joy. I love love.

2. I'll eat too much.

3. I will FREAK OUT the week before the wedding because I won't know what to wear.

For me, the only stressful part of any event is deciding what to wear. I love dressing up, but I can never find dresses that I like (or that I can afford.) I also don't like wearing the same dress to multiple weddings (and I know many people feel the same way I do!)

When I get dressed up, it feels more special if I'm wearing something new and fun that I've never worn before. That's another reason why I don't like buying dresses - I wear them one time, and then I never want to wear them again. It's annoying, but I can't help it. I'm the worst.

I hope you love the products I recommend! Just so you know, My Ocean State of Mind may collect a share of sales from the links on this page.

I discovered this service about four years ago before my own wedding. I was trying to decide what to wear to my own bachelorette party. Somewhere in my online searching, I came across Rent the Runway. Within minutes of browsing the site, I found 5 or 6 dress that I loooooved. That never happens to me! And the cost to rent was MUCH better than I could have ever dreamed. So, I gave it a whirl. This is the very first dress I ever rented:

It was comfortable and adorable, and exactly what I was hoping for. I even rented the necklace worn by the model to complete the look! The dress was only $30 to rent, and I used a referral credit from a friend to get $30 off my first rental, so I got that dress for FREE!! I've been hooked on RTR ever since!

BTW, here's my referral link to get $30 off your first rental:

Once you join, you'll get your own referral link so you'll get $30 for every $30 you give! Trust me, once your friends see the dresses you wear, they'll want in.

Here is everything to know about RTR, and what I wish I'd known before my first rental:

  1. Renting is easy.

Just pick the dress you want, pick your size(s), and pick the dates you need the dress for. The dress arrives on the date you specify, and it's always dry cleaned and ready to wear right away. It comes in a nice cloth bag that you can then use to send the garment back. It also comes with a prepaid label, so you don't have to do any printing/paying for shipping to send it back. Just pack it up, attach the label, and drop it at your closest UPS drop box or store.

  1. You get TWO dresses for the price of one

Yes, that's right. This fact alone convinced me to try renting for the first time. Here's what I mean: You pick a dress you want to rent, and pick the size you want to rent it in. Then, you pick ANOTHER size of the same dress that they'll send you for free! You can select one size up or down as a back up in case the dress doesn't fit how you expect it to. This has saved me on a few of occasions where I thought I was smaller than I actually am :)

  1. Reading the reviews is KEY.

This is one of the best parts of RTR, truly. So many people leave excellent reviews *with* photos after they rent a dress on the site. These reviews are SOOOO helpful when it comes time to choose a dress. You can even filter the reviews so you can see only reviews from women who are the same height/weight as you. This always helps me determine which size to rent, and I can decide if it's the look I'm going for based on the photos these lovely ladies post. I wish this was the case on every single website! It makes it so much easier to choose a dress because you really know what you're getting.

  1. You can rent for 4 or 8 days, depending on your needs.

I usually go with a 4 day rental for weddings, but 8 days would be a great option for a dress you rent for vacation!

  1. If you don't like the dress you receive, don't panic!

I always try to schedule my rental to arrive 2 days before the even I need it on. I try it on as soon as I can the day it arrives, and if it doesn't fit or if I don't like it, I contact RTR. They'll either help me find a new dress (and I just have to pay $12.95 to have it shipped) or they'll give me a credit for my next rental and I can ship the dress back. They call this their "Love Your Look Promise." There has only be one occasion where I didn't like the dress I recieved, and they shipped me a gorgeous replacement dress in plenty of time for the wedding I was going to.

  1. You can rent complete looks from RTR

Don't have a clutch to match your dress? What about earrings, or a necklace? No problem! Once you select a dress, RTR will recommend accessories that pair well with what you chose. It's just like having your own personal stylist for your event!

  1. They have more than just dresses!

Important business meeting? Job interview? First date? Fun night out with your girlfriends? Check out the selection of tops, pants, skirts and more that RTR has. You can pick out some incredible designer clothes at a FRACTION of the price. Wear them when you need them, then ship them back so they aren't cluttering up your closet! They even have maternity clothes and dresses now, which is amazing.

  1. Pro is worth it (sometimes.)

PRO is an annual recurring subscription program for $29.95 that gives you free standard shipping, free insurance on every rental, and a $30 coupon to use towards a dress during your Birthday. I say PRO is totally worth it, but only if you plan to rent at least two or more dresses over the course of a year. Shipping is normally $9.99, and insurance is $5, so you'll make up for that $29.95 after your first two rentals. After those first two, you'll save $15 per rental!

A few of my favorite rentals:

Things I was worried about before my first rental:

  • The dress arriving dirty/wrinkled/damaged - This has never happened to me, and I've rented 10+ dresses from them. The dress always arrives in perfect condition - I haven't even needed to steam it. There was one dress that looked a little tired when I received it (fuzzy, with some strings hanging off, and a slight cigarette smell) but I contacted RTR and they overnighted me a replacement dress for free. The replacement dress was perfect!

  • Damaging the dress myself - RTR charges a $5 insurance fee, which covers minor stains and damage. This gave me peace of mind, since I have a "drinking problem" in that I always spill drinks down the front of whatever I'm wearing. However, according to their site "significant damage and theft aren't covered under the insurance. If the item is damaged beyond repair, the fee is the retail price of the item. If the item is never returned, the fee is double the retail price of the item." This makes sense to me. There has to be some sort of repercussion if a dress is destroyed. And honestly, how often does that happen? Just take care of the dress like you would any other expensive clothing, and you'll have no issue.

  • Not being able to find a place to ship it back- The first time I rented a dress I had to do a google search to find a UPS drop box near my hotel. I was freaking out because my I had done a 4 day rental Friday-Sunday, and none of the UPS stores were open. I ended up finding a drop box, but I came to find out later that if you are due to return your dress on a Sunday, you technically have until Monday to return it (since UPS doesn't ship on Sundays!) Now, I always rent my dress so that it's delivered on a Thursday, and due back on a Sunday. It gives me extra time to make sure the dress fits before the weekend, and an extra day to return it!

There you have it! That's everything I know and love about Rent the Runway. Give it a try, it's worth it!

To get $30 off your first rental, use my referral link:

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