Monday, September 26, 2016

Rent The Runway Review

I love Rent The Runway. It is one of my favourite websites/places to 'shop'. I love when I have a reason to dress up, and even if it's not a good reason, I will take it. I don't get to dress up all that much, and I hate wearing the same dress twice. I know that's so 'basic' of me, but whatever! I used to spend $100s (AUD!) on dresses that I only wore once, and where is the point in that? So when I moved to the US and found RTR, it was like a match made in heaven. Perfect for me, and maybe perfect for you!

Rent the Runway Review

I wanted to share my overall review of RTR and the dresses I have gotten. I didn't include prices because honestly, their prices have changed and what I paid is sometimes not what it is currently available for. No affiliate links were used, so feel free to click away.

Overall Review

Like I said, I love RTR so clearly this is going to be a good review. If you have not heard of them, basically you can rent designer dresses for like 4 or 8 days. This is great for weddings, special events, whatever you want. I can't afford designer dresses, and while it might seem silly to waste money on a dress you don't get to keep, I think it is better than spending money on a dress only to wear it once and have it sit in your closet. Plus, more often than not, the dresses I rent are way fancier and better quality than something I can find at TJ Maxx. Most of the time, anyway. When I went on my cruise, I wanted to use RTR but no dice - I was gone too long. So I found some cute dresses at Lulus and TJ Maxx that worked just fine.

My favourite thing about RTR is their customer service. It has changed a bit since I started renting from them, they used to overnight you a replacement for free if your dress didn't work out, now I think they charge you a fee. I mentioned it below, but I've had issues with sizing, quality, and cancelled events - RTR has been great in either shipping me a bigger size, giving me a discount or a credit. I think that is great service. I do think they should check their dresses before sending them out, or have better quality control because a few reviews mention things like broken straps/zippers or that the dress they received looked super worn..

Anyway, I think RTR has great reactions to things like that, they should just be more proactive about the quality of their dresses. Out of all my rentals, I have only had 2 items look like they needed to be retired, so that's not that bad at all.

The reviews that people leave are super helpful, especially when they supply their weight, height, etc and photos. Some dresses look crazy different on real people vs the models, not to mention you can find someone who looks similar to you body wise and get a good idea of how it would look on you. I always look for people over 5'8 and then check how short something is - because it's all good and well when someone who is 5'2 tells me it's the perfect length, I just want more.

You also get a backup size for free, which is great because sizing varies between designers just as much as it does at Target or Forever 21. Again, the reviews help immensely when choosing a size.

When I first started using RTR, the dresses would come inside a normal box, and in the box there was a fancy garment bag that you could keep - along with the coat hangers. My closet is full of RTR hangers ha. They also normally throw in samples of things, which I honestly don't normally look at. Also included was a UPS bag, which is how you shipped the dresses back. My last couple of rentals have arrived in a black bag that is both the garment bag and the parcel you ship it in, so they changed that. You still get the hangers though.

Rent the Runway - pro membership, pay one fee and then you don't have to pay insurance or shipping for a year!

I paid for the pro membership once or twice I think, and it gave me a year of free shipping and free insurance, and it's only $30. You also get a free birthday dress - meaning you get a $50 off code around your birthday to rent a dress, it doesn't have to be specifically for your birthday or anything (I used my most recent one for Oaks, I think). With the pro membership, the price you see is the price you pay. Without the pro membership, you pay for shipping and insurance.

Insurance is $5, and shipping is $10. You also have to pay taxes, but this is America and you should be used to that (unless you're in one of those cool states that doesn't pay taxes).

Speaking of insurance, a lot of people ask me the same question - what if I destroy the dress? What if it arrives damaged and they blame it on me? Well, if it arrives damaged, you should notify RTR immediately. They will send you a replacement, give you a credit or a discount for the next time. If you spill red wine or catch it on fire, the insurance you pay covers it. You probably shouldn't light it on fire though.

One more thing - when you rent a dress and you get the free back up size, you also have the opportunity to rent another dress for like $35 or something. This is great if you have multiple events within the same few days, or maybe you're going away for a weekend trip and want to dress up. You do not get the free back up size with the extra dress though.

Okay - I think that covers it all! I know it's a lot of information, and it's really not interesting unless you are considering using RTR. I hope I have helped answer any questions you might have had though!

Parker Floral Getaway Ruffle Maxi dress

My very first dress was this maxi dress for Oaks, which is the day before Derby. I loved this dress. So fun, fit so well. I got it in a long though, everyone else was complaining about it being too long and it was barely long enough for me. That's the tall-ish life, I guess.

Rent the Runway - Parker Floral Getaway Ruffle Maxi
Rent the Runway - Parker Floral Getaway Ruffle Maxi

Lilly Pulitzer Jordan dress

My next rental was wedding related for my bridal shower. I wasn't the biggest fan of this dress, and if I had known how amazing RTR's customer service was at the time, I would have definitely returned it. It was okay, it did the job. You can see in the (not great) picture with my mum at the bottom, it was just really stiff and awkward and sat weird. I was constantly smoothing it out. But it worked fine for Spice Girls poses, and what more can you ask for?

Rent the Runway - Lily Pulitzer Jordan dress
Rent the Runway - Lily Pulitzer Jordan dress
Rent the Runway - Lily Pulitzer Jordan dress

Mark & James by Badgley Mischka Hang Ten Maxi & Ali Ro Sweet Virginia Scoop dress

My next order was for our Chicago anniversary trip... which got cancelled because someone spent too much money in Australia. My bad. I was so upset and I contacted RTR and told them I'd be returning the dresses, not expecting anything, and they gave me a full credit back. Um, seriously? That is amazing. Our trip wasn't cancelled until the last minute, so I thought for sure I'd be missing out. I don't have the best photos of these dresses, but I liked them both. I don't think I would rent the orange one again, but I would definitely rent the maxi again (look how long it is! That is a 'long' size, so don't worry short people).

Also, one thing I mentioned above - you get a free back up, but then you can add another dress for an extra cost but it's still cheaper than getting that dress on its own, if that makes sense. But with that extra dress, you do not get the free back up size. I was worried about the length on the maxi and I didn't know RTR's amazing customer service then, so I asked them (before I cancelled) what would happen if it was too short, and they added a backup free of charge, which they obviously didn't have to do.

Rent the Runway -  Mark & James by Badgley Mischka Hang Ten Maxi & Ali Ro Sweet Virginia Scoop dress

Robert Rodriguez Sea Water shift

My next dress - and this is where I found out that RTR had even better customer service than I thought - was this gorgeous Robert Rodriguez Sea Water shift. I ordered my normal size, but because of my lovely hips and booty, it was so tight and did not look right on me at all. Neither did the size up. I was so upset. Plus, the size up was very worn and frayed, not cute at all. I contacted RTR and told them, they overnighted me the next size up, but they also offered me any dress in their selection if that wasn't a good solution - any dress regardless of price. Not bad, RTR, not bad. I also think they gave me a refund, but I don't remember. According to my post they did, so they must have.

Rent the Runway - Robert Rodriguez Sea Water shift
Rent the Runway - Robert Rodriguez Sea Water shift

Trina Turk Walk Like An Egyptian Dress

My next order was for our New England girls weekend trip. I got 2 dresses, one for a night out, and one for a day out on the town. I also got my first necklace, and it's the only necklace I've rented (twice) because it's not something I would own, but it added a fun pop of colour to the dresses.

The walk like an egyptian dress was one of my favourites. Totally my style and I knew as soon as I saw it that I'd love it. Again, perfect for Spice Girls poses (what, you don't do this with your friends?)

Rent the Runway - Trina Turk Walk Like An Egyptian Dress
Rent the Runway - Trina Turk Walk Like An Egyptian Dress
Rent the Runway - Trina Turk Walk Like An Egyptian Dress

Yumi Kim Pastel Paradise Maxi

This maxi was super fun and I totally didn't *need* to rent it, but again. Fun. This is a 'long' size, and you can see how long it is when I'm standing on the curb. Don't worry, there is a normal length, but for us tall-ish girls, it's nice to have options. I will say because of my small chest, it wasn't flattering when I slouched (when is anything flattering while slouching?) so I had to be careful about that.

Rent the Runway - Yumi Kim Pastel Paradise Maxi
Rent the Runway - Yumi Kim Pastel Paradise Maxi
Rent the Runway - Yumi Kim Pastel Paradise Maxi

Eva Franco Ora Dress

The next order was for our NYC trip, I got this cute bow dress. It was so cute and comfy, not to mention just plain fun. I love how it worked in a more wintery setting with the tights and boots. It was an absolute pain in the ass trying to find a UPS drop box in NYC though, I ended up begging a UPS driver to take it for me.

Rent the Runway - Eva Franco Ora Dress
Rent the Runway - Eva Franco Ora Dress

Shoshanna Judith Dress

Then for Derby last year, I got this dress. The colour reminded me of the shift I got above, but it was a fit and flare. Added the same necklace that I also got before, and it was a fun Derby outfit.

Rent the Runway - Shoshanna Judith Dress
Rent the Runway - Shoshanna Judith Dress

Trina Turk Pink Oahu Fan Dress

After that, I didn't rent again until Oaks this year. I chose this dress, then cancelled it, and then decided on this hot pink one. I was super nervous about it because it's not my normal style and pink isn't a colour I gravitate towards, but it worked out well, I think. It was definitely out of my comfort zone, very tight and I did have to pull it down after I walked a bunch, but that's my hips fault, not the dress.

Rent the Runway - Trina Turk Pink Oahu Fan Dress
Rent the Runway - Trina Turk Pink Oahu Fan Dress

Cynthia Rowley Midnight Lace Romper

Lastly, finally! I got this romper. I have been wanting a chance to rent this romper for years, I'm not kidding. I kept waiting for something that would warrant such a fun, 'sexy' outfit, and finally just said screw it and got it for a bachelorette party. It was everything I wanted it to be and super fun.

I requested my normal size and then a size up - I pretty much always size up when my hips are involved, and the normal size fit but was a bit tight. It was also insanely frayed and it looked like it had been worn through a tough mudder or something (slight exaggeration). I was super bummed and contacted RTR (their live chat is basically pointless, I'd avoid that if I were you) via email and they offered to send me a replacement. I thought the bigger size would make my hips look too big because of the pockets (something other reviews mentioned), so I was about to go with the replacement when I finally just tried on the bigger size and it fit like a glove. It didn't make my hips look any bigger than they already are (in my opinion) so I told RTR not to worry about it. After that, they did offer me a 15% off code for my next rental, which I thought was a nice touch.

It really was so pretty and one of my favourites, I think. It was not fun going to the bathroom though, which is what you get with a romper.

Rent the Runway -  Cynthia Rowley Midnight Lace Romper
Rent the Runway -  Cynthia Rowley Midnight Lace Romper
Rent the Runway -  Cynthia Rowley Midnight Lace Romper

Anyway, I know this is a lot of information and I am quite biased because of the great experience I've had with them, but I wouldn't continue to use them if I didn't like them. If you have something fun coming up and you are the kind of person that doesn't like to wear things twice, you should check out RTR. Why not, right?

This post is in no way shape of form sponsored - I have paid for every dress out of my own pocket, I get absolutely nothing if you join or click or anything. I am really just a huge fan of Rent the Runway, and wanted to share my many good experiences in case you were hesitant about trying them.

Have you used RTR? Is this something you would use, or do you think it's kind of silly to rent a dress?

53 comments:

  1. I have only used them once--maybe a year or two ago? I didn't like anything, so I still have a credit, hehe. But I would totally use them again.

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  2. I have come so close to using RTR for prom and other special occasions but my body sizing is so strange that I just couldn't risk it. I'm under 5 feet tall but not exactly a size zero either, so I have a very hard time finding dresses that fit. All of your picks for dresses are ADORABLE though, I seriously love the Egyptian print one.

    Danielle @ afloat on a full sea

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  3. I've heard of this but know nothing about it. Sounds like a win win situation! And so many gorgeous dresses!!!

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  4. seriously been wanting to do this for ages! but then again i re-wear dresses in my closet quite often. no shame in my game haha. mostly bc they are all black so i'm lazy :) but need to think about this maybe for my holiday party! i must try this. ALSO that romper tho - HOT

    xoxo cheshire kat

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  5. What an awesome, comprehensive review! I loved RTR the one time I used it. I upgraded to Pro thinking I would have more events because once you rent two dresses you've paid for PRO. But so far I haven't had a second one...eek. Hopefully for the holidays!!

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  6. Wow, really awesome how good their customer service is! :) I can't believe some of those situations that they gave you money back, that's incredible! :) I love so many of these outfits, that romper is FAB. I remember loving the bow one in your NYC recap! :) This is such a cool idea, and I will definitely have to look into it. Unfortunately being busty but a lot slimmer through the bottom makes it hard to find dresses that fit that aren't just like a tent.. :P So I don't know if it would work for me... but you never know! :) Great review!! XO - Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

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  7. I've never used RTR, mostly because I didn't understand it. Thanks to you, now I do! I definitely need to try this next time we have a dres-up event or vacation that warrants those styles. You've had so many great looks from them - I think the bow dress is my favorite!

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  8. I've been wanting to try RTR for weddings and events because I'm also basic in that I don't want to wear the same cocktail dress twice because you know first world problems. Every single dress you've received from them is absolutely fabulous! Especially loving the black lace <3
    Green Fashionista

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  9. I love all the dresses that you have rented with them and they have all looked great on you...but can we talk about how absolutely stunning you look in those romper pictures???? So pretty! I would consider using them if I had an event coming up and couldn't find an affordable dress for. I wonder if they do maternity clothes? I need a bridal shower dress and maternity shit is expensive!!!

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  10. You looks so great in all of these dresses! I've always wanted to try RTR, so your post was super helpful/informative. Maybe next time I need a dress I'll try it!

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  11. I rent dresses too - I mean, how often do you REALLY wear them? I love the idea.
    But that romper? GIRL - you need to own that - GORGEOUS!

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  12. I love the bow tie dress you wore in NYC and the romper- but all these dresses look great on you! It always makes me feel so good when a company has good customer service. It makes me feel totally ok with spending the money, too. Haha.
    I've never used RTR (although I'm thinking about it for an Oct. weeing we have), but I have recommended it to another person before! I sounds like a good solution!

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  13. I've always thought you have really fabulous dresses but I didn't realize you were using Rent the Runway! It looks like so much fun. I would love to try but can't even remember the last time I had an opportunity to seriously dress up.

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  14. Such a smart idea, especially for events where you are unlikely to re-wear the dress or what something really fabulous without the fabulous price tag. I've never used them but would definitely consider it. My biggest concern would be my height. I've got the opposite problem of you, so sizing has always been a bit of an issue for me, but hearing about their great customer service makes me less concerned. I love all the dresses you shared and my favorites are the romper, bow dress and the two maxi dresses. Thanks for sharing your experience!

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  15. I've used RTR a couple of times and really did like it. It's great that you get multiple sizes and the reviews from other users is fantastic! When we were in Vegas we went into the brick and mortar store and it was so cool to do a fitting there and then feel super fabulous in our designer dresses when we went out that night.

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  16. That trina turk and the lace romper you got are SUPER cute! I've only ever rented for big occassions like the big NYE event I had last year and a wedding. I should try and use it more often.

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  17. I've never, but I think I have to now just because I am completely in LOVE with that romper! I seriously love rompers to begin with, but that one is just amazing. All the dresses are so pretty. I don't generally mind wearing the same dress twice, but sometimes if I know I'm going to take (and then share) a lot of photos in one dress or outfit, I'm really careful about when I might wear it again. No one wants to look like they only have one or two dresses, right? I always forget about RTR but I have a wedding coming up that I think it might be perfect for.

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  18. Love all the dresses you have gotten through RTR! You look amazing in that romper (and I love your hair!), and that Trina Turk dress is so cute! :)

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  19. I've used RTR for two black tie events that I went to and it was perfect - everything arrived on time and in great condition

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  20. There was a period of about 3 years when I had weddings to go to like every other month. I wish I had known about Rent The Runway then. I would have saved so much money! I catch myself now browsing wishing I had an event to go to so I could rent a dress.

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  21. I've never rented a dress but I would if I had an occasion that called for it. Love all of your dresses from them, especially the pink one! I think it's awesome they let you get a backup size one as well, because different designers can fit so differently. I've definitely bought dresses for a specific occasion in the past only to be worn once and then thrown to the back of the closet never to see daylight again, so this would actually save in that regard! Very informative post, and great review!

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  22. You got some beautiful pieces over the years. That red dress looks amazing on you and I adore the lace romper but yes going to the bathroom is not fun!! The floral maxis are also very pretty and look fab on you!

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  23. I love RTR I got my New Years dress from there last year and got so many compliments. You look awesome in the black romper 💃.

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  24. Ok could you be anymore GORGEOUS in these pictures?? Love love lace romper on you. It's stunning. I have never used RTR but have heard all good things about them.

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  25. I was trying to convince my sister to do this for a couple of weddings she went to, because she won't rewear a dress if photos make it to Facebook, so if you're buying for a one-time event, why bother to spend 2 or 3 times as much just to own it? But she hates the concept of spending money to rent something, even though she's not going to wear it again, so she doesn't do it. I'm a simple creature who will happily rotate my 4 dresses, so I don't need it, but if I ever go to a formal occasion requiring a ballgown, I'll look into it!

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  26. I get all the way to the checkout for RTR and then back out / chicken out! I'm always so nervous that I wont like the dress!! One of our brides is using RTR for all her bridesmaids dresses - that's 6 girls and they only had to pay $30 to rent the dress- I think that is brilliant! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

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  27. I have not, but you may have convinced me for the next big shindig I have. LOVE all of your dresses, you have such style.

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  28. I just assumed we couldn't get RTR in the UK but I just googled and apparently we have a knock off called Girl Meets Dress. Do you have that one? Anyway, I'm definitely investigating this for my next dressy requirement (probably my work Christmas party, I don't get out much) as I'm trying to own less and this sounds like a great way to achieve that!

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  29. I have never used it, but you are making me want to. You look fabulous in all those dress, especially the romper and Trina Turk dresses!

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  30. Yayy so glad you finally posted this! I don't like wearing the same dress twice either- especially if you take photos or are with the same people. Not that it really matters, but getting a new dress is fun. It was so fun to see all the dresses you've rented over the years. I think the Yumi Kim maxi is my favorite, but the romper look amazing! Even after my slight fiasco with my dress not really looking the best on me, I'm just waiting for another excuse to rent a dress, it's so fun to pick them out!

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  31. What an awesome service! I loveeeee so many of these dresses! <3

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  32. I loved reading this post! I am definitely going to try RTR in the future- now I just need an event where a dress is required! :)

    Ps. You're gorgeous!

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  33. RTR intrigues me, but I've never tried it. Love seeing your review!

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  34. I still have yet to try it out but every time you post a review I really want to. I'll have to try to remember that in November for a friend's wedding.

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  35. I WANT RENT THE RUNWAY! Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!
    I love all of these for the occasions you wore them.

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  36. I've always wanted to try it out, and I think you've pushed me toward doing it. Also, you in that romper... HOT DAMN!! :)

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  37. I have been dying to try RTR but haven't had the right event yet. I love the romper on you though! That is gorgeous!!

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  38. This is incredibly helpful especially with all the gorgeous visuals. I always forget to look into this before I travel or attend an event. I'm glad to hear it's pretty seamless.

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  39. Oh my heavens- you are h-o-t! I adore RTR as well and only first used it back in June! I have 2 winter weddings coming up and plan on using them again fo' sho' !

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  40. Omg I'm in love with all the dresses you have rented! Especially that amazing floral maxi! I always forget about RTR I definitely need to try it!

    <3 Shannon
    Upbeat Soles

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  41. My life is super boring so I never really have events that I need something fancy for. Hopefully that will change as my kids get older and hopefully RTR will still be around then? I LOVE companies that have such great customer service. That kind of thing makes a loyal customer out of me for sure.

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  42. I've used it a couple times and loved it. I'm with you - I used to buy a new dress for every wedding and then never wear them again. This lets me wear nicer dresses one time and then pick something else out the next time :) You have a couple that I love (the bow dress is my favorite.)

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  43. I don't know why I totally forgot about RTR when I was searching through our storage unit for boxes of dresses recently! Gah! I love the convenience of RTR! I'm like you, I don't like to wear dresses for nice occasions more than once. :)

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  44. I haven't used it, but enjoyed reading about it. I think you've had a lot of success with it and fabulous choices. I would probably use it in the future. Why not!

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  45. I have always wondered how RTR works and if it's good! Thanks so much for sharing the ins and outs. I love that so many dresses are tall-friendly! I will definitely look into this program!
    Evelina @ Fortunate House

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  46. I signed up for Rent the Runway but have yet to actually use it. I wanted to use it for a wedding last May but I the timing didn't work. I didn't need it for 8 days and 4 was too short since it was a weekend trip. But I have a friends bridal shower to go to in November so I think I'm gonna try it out then!

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  47. You look lovely in every outfit you're pictured in. I've thought about using Rent the Runway. I know people who have and they liked it. I especially like the fact that you get a couple of sizes in case one doesn't work out. Might have to try that one of these days.

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  48. love this review! I have used RTR a handful of times in the past and have always had good experiences. you look bomb.com in that romper! so cute and so fun!

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  49. I think this is such an awesome service! I hate buying dresses now that I know I will only wear once. And I especially hate doing that when I'm at a weight I'm not comfortable with or a weight I don't feel is my normal. And I don't get very many opportunities to dress up lately it seems, so it's definitely no fun to wear the same dress again! ;)

    And isn't good customer service the best?! I know it sounds so obvious, but the little things companies do really matter and make a difference. I recently ordered a pair of toms of of Zulily and the shoes were two different sizes (although marked correctly) and overall, way too big for a 7.5. I called, thinking I was for sure out of luck, especially considering I live in Canada and would probably have to pay a fortune to send them back, but she credited me the return, gave me a $20 store credit AND told me to just donate the shoes! No questions asked.

    Anyway, I would totally use a service like this if we had one ;)

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  50. You look so great in every single one of these dresses! Seriously! Love it! And you pulled that romper off marvelously! I have such a long torso that rompers don't fit me. Like... it's painful to see how bad they look on me. But I think they are so fun and this one looks GREAT on you! So glad you've had so many good experiences with RTR!

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  51. OMG - you truly do look like a model in those pics . . . your smile is gorgeous! This was awesome - I have a wedding in December and this might do the trick if I can't find something in the stores!!!

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  52. That lace romper is all sorts of amazing on you! I really want to try Rent the Runway, but I have yet to really have a need for it. Thank you motherhood!

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  53. I've heard of RTR but have never used it. I like the concept, but doubt that I ever use their services. I really like the egyptian dress and you look fantastic in that romper.

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