My Rent the Runway Review

Rent the Runway Review featured by top US fashion blogger Alicia Tenise; Image of a woman wearing THE FIFTH LABEL WINE QUARTER COAT.

** This Rent the Runway Review was Updated: 4/15/19

I’ve received so many messages and DMs about Rent the Runway over the past few years. While I’ve shared my looks with RTR on the blog, I don’t think I’ve gone into detail about how it works, the best way to find a piece that will fit, and what’s the absolute worst-case scenario. So I decided to share a full Rent The Runway review with you, my friends!

I figured I’d break the process down for everyone who’s interested in trying the service in a single post. I like RTR because let’s face it: I’m a fashion blogger, and I tend to wear things only once. And with Rent the Runway, wearing things once is perfectly ok. It’s more economical (and environmentally friendly!) to rent clothes rather than continually buying new pieces for your closet!

While I’ve worked with Rent the Runway before for the blog, this is a straight-up honest Rent the Runway review of the service. While there are many pros, I have had a few bumps in the road with renting, so I’m going to lay out the good AND the bad in this post. Plus, stay tuned for an exclusive discount code! 
 
Rent the Runway Review featured by top US fashion blogger Alicia Tenise; Image of a woman wearing coral jumpsuit.

Rent the Runway Review:

What I Use It For

Ok, so typically people think of Rent the Runway being good for fancier dresses, right? Wrong! Rent the Runway has it all: casual outfits, work ensembles, gowns, jumpsuits, coats, bags, jewelry — you name it, you can probably rent it! I love using RTR at Fashion Week, and while I’m traveling, in addition to the weddings and black tie galas I get invited to. 

Rent the Runway Review featured by top US fashion blogger Alicia Tenise; Image of a woman wearing yellow sundress.
Rent the Runway Review featured by top US fashion blogger Alicia Tenise; Image of a woman wearing Privacy Please Plaza Kimono Dress.
Pick Out a Plan

The coolest thing about RTR is that you can pick out plans tailored to what you need. I’ve been enrolled in their Unlimited program off and on for a little over a year now (I mainly pause it in dead months like January when I don’t have a real reason to leave the house, hah!)

Rent the Runway Unlimited is a monthly subscription where you can rent four items at a time. The best part? You can return and order new items as many times as you like in the month. Sometimes I’ll order a dress for the weekend and return it on Monday, and sometimes I rent a great bag that I’ll keep for weeks. It’s totally up to you how long you want to keep an item for!

I love this plan because since I’m in front of the camera a lot, it helps that I don’t have to repeat any items 

Before I had Unlimited, I had a “PRO” membership, which pays for itself if you anticipate renting at least two items/year. It is $29.95/year to waive all shipping and insurance fees on 4 or 8-day rentals for the entire year. You also get a complimentary birthday credit every year with the PRO membership, which is pretty awesome. Shipping and insurance cost $14.95 per order, so if you rent more than two times a year, the pro membership will save you money!


 
Use the code ‘CHEW50’ for $200 off your 60-day trial of Unlimited!

Rent the Runway Review featured by top US fashion blogger Alicia Tenise; Image of a woman wearing Kate Spade Geo Border Pleated Dress.

Selecting the Right Item

So: how can you be sure something will fit you properly? For starters, I always read the reviews section of pieces I’m interested in renting. Anyone who rents an item can leave a review and upload photos of themselves wearing the piece. You can also get an idea if an item runs large, small or true to size. If you’re renting a piece from the new arrivals section, there might not be any reviews available yet.

If you’re doing a 4 or 8-day rental, you have the option to pick out a backup size — I always look at the reviews to see if I should size up or down with my backup item. You can also add on a second style for $35 if you’re unsure about a certain item. I usually pick brands that I’ve shopped previously so that I can avoid any issues with the fit — Free People, Alexis, Kate Spade, Milly, and Nicholas are my go-to brands on the website.

Rent the Runway Review featured by top US fashion blogger Alicia Tenise; Image of a woman wearing floral dress.
Rent the Runway Review featured by top US fashion blogger Alicia Tenise; Image of a woman wearing tropical vacation dress.
Go to a Store if Possible

If I have a special occasion coming up and I need something to fit perfectly, I’ll pop in one of the physical stores in either D.C. or New York so I can try on the different options before renting. You can do same day rentals, or try on dresses in-store and reserve the item for a later date. If you’re unfamiliar with some brands, it’s great to try on the pieces to get an idea of fit before renting. For example, I love renting Nicholas pieces, but I quickly learned during a try on session that those pieces run pretty small — so I always size up when ordering that brand!

Rent the Runway Review featured by top US fashion blogger Alicia Tenise; Image of a woman wearing pink lace dress and carrying balloons.

When to Rent

It is best to have your items shipped two days before your event starts. For example, if my event is on Saturday, I set my items to ship on a Thursday. If for some reason your item doesn’t fit or if you don’t love what you picked out,  you’ll have enough time to call RTR customer service and swap out the item and have another piece overnighted in time for your event. 

Rent the Runway Review featured by top US fashion blogger Alicia Tenise; Image of a woman wearing Show Me Your Mumu Val Jumpsuit.
Rent the Runway Review featured by top US fashion blogger Alicia Tenise; Image of a woman wearing purple dress.
The Worst Case Scenario

I’ve had a 95% success rate with Rent the Runway, but I have had some major issues with a couple of my orders in the last three years. Sometimes, people return their rentals late or in poor condition, and you find out last minute that RTR will put in a replacement item in its place. To be candid, the “replacement items” never are really what I’m looking for, and I’ve had to swap those out the two times that has happened to me. Rent the Runway is pretty good at letting you swap out a replacement item if you don’t love it.

One time, I was going to a wedding, I had to get a replacement item replaced…and they shipped my dress to the wrong location. Luckily, I have pretty great friends who were able to go to FedEx and drive an hour to deliver the dress to me, and I got the dress about 10 minutes before the wedding started. Needless to say, it was pretty stressful.

While this is only the second time I’ve had an issue that significant in the three years I’ve been using them, I would always have a plan B in place because you never know what will happen!

Rent the Runway Review featured by top US fashion blogger Alicia Tenise; Image of a woman wearing Plaid Coat from RTR.

The Overall Verdict

Overall, I’d recommend the service with confidence for anyone who wants to try it. Just make sure to read reviews on fit, always pick out a backup size and second style, and keep in mind that there’s a very, very small chance that your order might not work out!

The pieces I rent are beyond stunning — often times, I get depressed that I have to give my rentals back. Sometimes I love my rentals so much that I’ll comb through retail stores to see if the pieces I’ve rented are available for sale anywhere (cough cough, like with this dress) so I can own it forever. Alternatively, if you have Unlimited and love a piece, most of the time you can buy the item from RTR at a discounted rate! 

Shop my Favorite RTR Rentals
 


 
Use the code ‘CHEW50’ for $200 off your 60-day trial of Unlimited!

20 Comments

  1. Kaylee wrote:

    I have never heard of Rent the Runway but it would make life so much easier for events. I love the pieces you chose, you look stunning!

    Posted 10.30.17
  2. Asia Fogle wrote:

    I love the varies of outfits. Full of color & life.

    Posted 10.30.17
  3. autum wrote:

    i’ve been waiting for a special event so I can try out RTR. I don’t really wear dresses so I don’t buy them. Don’t Judge lol so this is perfect for someone like me!!

    Posted 10.30.17
  4. Kay R. wrote:

    That leopard print dress is amazing on you. I would totally try RTR but that wedding scenario you spoke of is literally my worst nightmare lol

    Posted 10.30.17
  5. Cristina wrote:

    Thanks for the review, I also write a blog about fashion and I have been thinking about, but I have never known of anyone using the service, so it is great to hear it from you!!
    I must say that you are looking stunning in all the outfit, I live the colourful polka dots dress!!

    Posted 10.30.17
  6. Holly wrote:

    I’m so glad I saw this post! I’ve always wanted to try RTR, but I wasn’t sure exactly how it’d work or if it’d be worth it. Thanks for the honest review! xx

    http://hollyhabeck.com

    Posted 10.30.17
  7. You look stunning in all of these looks! I’ve used them a few times but honestly need to more. I love everything they’ve curated!

    Xx Taylor
    http://lightscameracatwalk.com/

    Posted 10.30.17
  8. Chloe wrote:

    Thanks for sharing! I always wondered how Rent the Runway worked. I’ll definitely need to try it out! 🙂

    xo, Chloe // https://funinthecloset.com/skye-footwear-sneakers/

    Posted 10.30.17
  9. I’ve always wondered how Rent the Runway works! Thanks for such a detailed post! Love all the outfits here!

    Belle | One Awesome Momma

    Posted 10.30.17
  10. MADELINE MAKOUL wrote:

    I’ve always wanted to try Rent the Runway but have been worried about some of the things you explained, so this post is extremely helpful! I didn’t realize that they had more casual items as well, I’ll definitely have to check that out! Love this post!
    xx
    Madeline
    http://www.wearweroam.com

    Posted 10.30.17
  11. Sharon Glascoe wrote:

    I’ve done RTR once and it went smoothly but I am still nervous about the next time because I only ever use RTR for important events. I love how they have casual outfits, though! I’ll definitely get some for the next vacation!

    Posted 10.30.17
  12. Brittany Daoud wrote:

    This was a really helpful post! I love that yellow dress you rented, so cute! I’ve been thinking of giving this a try! xo, Brittany | http://www.theblistblog.com

    Posted 10.30.17
  13. Such a helpful post! I love that last dress on you- absolutely beautiful!

    Posted 10.30.17
  14. Crystal Marie wrote:

    Thanks for sharing. I’ve always been curious about RTR. I’d love to use it for a dress or bag to wear at a wedding or special event.

    Posted 10.30.17
  15. Jenny wrote:

    I’ve actually only used RTR for fancier occasions (i.e the two weddings I have coming up back to back in December) but I’d love to use it more often for regular outfits.

    Posted 10.30.17
  16. Patricia Conte wrote:

    So many great pieces, and I’m sooooo in love with the short pink dress at the end of the post! You’re right – I assumed RTR was only for high-end dresses. Love that they have such an array of pieces!

    Posted 10.30.17
  17. Megan Anne wrote:

    All these outfits are really nice! I love that it’s affordable but still super cute!

    Posted 10.31.17
  18. This was a really great review! I want to seriously experience this service first hand! I love everything about your looks! You have exceptional style! xo

    Posted 10.31.17
  19. Lauren wrote:

    Great review! Maybe I’ll consider using them one day!

    Posted 10.31.17
  20. Suzanne wrote:

    Love Rent The Runway! Such an easy way to be stylish. (And I’m loving your white bag!)

    Posted 11.4.17

Comments are closed.