We’ve all heard of Web sites like HandbagEnvy.com and BagBorrowSteal.com, which let average-Janes rent designer handbags they could never dream of being able to afford. So I suppose it was really only a matter of time before someone came up with the idea to rent designer dresses.
And those someones were Jennifer Hyman and Jennifer Fleiss, co-founders of Rent The Runway.
The online membership-based service offers thousands of designer dresses and accessories that women can borrow for just 10 percent of their retail value. We’re talking everything from cocktail dresses to formal gowns from such well-known designers as Nicole Miller, Diane von Furstenberg, Vera Wang, Robert Rodriguez, Anna Sui and Christian Siriano.
There’s gotta be a catch, right?
Actually, not really. Having spent a great deal of time on the Website, I can assure you the company makes it as easy as they possibly can (deciding on a dress is the hard part).
You can narrow down your search by several different filters and hypothetically assemble your entire look as they also offer makeup and undergarments (for purchase, obviously). Once you’ve chosen your desired item(s), you can either have it shipped overnight or schedule an arrival date up to six months in advance. When your four days are up, all you have to do is shove the dress/accessories into the provided pre-paid envelope and drop it into the closest mailbox.
Oh, and don’t worry about the dress not fitting you—they send you two different sizes, at no additional cost. The site also has some really helpful user reviews, including photos of real girls wearing the dresses.
If there were a catch, I’d say it’s the prices. Unless you have a super-special occasion (like a prom), spending more than $50 on a dress you’re only going to wear once seems a little silly.
Then again, I suppose being able to tell someone you’re wearing a $1,200 Vera Wang gown is sorta priceless.
Tomorrow morning, RTR will be appearing in a segment on FOX29’s Good Day Philadelphia (at approx. 8:30 a.m.) and tonight, the company is hosting an exclusive event for press. Not only will my friend and I be attending, but we’ll both be donning some pretty impressive cocktail attire, compliments of the site (see below).
I will be wearing this little sequin number on the left by Badgley Mischka (retail: $495/rental: $85) along with the stunning Lauren Bacall-inspired earrings by Elizabeth Cole on the top (retail: $225/rental: $25). My friend will be rocking the coral one-shoulder sundress by Trina Turk (retail: $278/rental: $50), accentuated with the canary statement earrings from Kate Spade New York (retail: $98/rental: $20).
What’s it like to have your flesh draped in an original Badgley Mischka? I have no idea, but I’ll be sure to report back and let you know.
You can also expect plenty of glamor shots of my friend and I pretending to be a pair of red-carpet-walking Hollywood starlets—nip-slips and crotch shots not included.