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How I Got Hooked on Rent the Runway

Thanks to our friends at Rent the Runway for partnering with us on this post

Today officially marks my 13th day at Something Navy. However, it is my 193rd day as a Rent the Runway girl.

In my previous role in the Fashion Office at a major retailer, every girl on the team was a Rent the Runway girl. Everyone from VP’s to assistants showed up in a different Proenza Schouler, Jason Wu or Ulla Johnson runway item every day, so I asked their secret: Rent the Runway. I was familiar with the brand’s original one-time-rental occasion-dressing business, which allows you to rent an item in two sizes (for fit flexibility) for a four or eight-day period. But I had somehow missed the boat on their Unlimited Subscription that launched four years ago: for $159/month you can rent four items at a time—and swap them as frequently as you like, or hold on to them until you’re ready for something new.

This was a game-changer for me, especially leading up to my wedding this past September. In planning a Wedding Weekend wardrobe, I had already made costlier purchases than my usual shopping habits, and needed to cut myself off when it came to my bachelorette in Bermuda. But I also wanted that look-at-my-new-outfit excitement for the trip. I signed up for RTR’s Unlimited Subscription, and five months later, it’s now part of my daily outfit-planning.

So when I showed up on my first day at Something Navy HQ and learned that Team SN had just joined the RTR movement, I was thrilled to show them the ropes. And suddenly, I’d become a poster child for the brand.

Here are the reasons I got hooked—and how to make the most of your shipment:

1. Cost-Effectiveness

The Rent the Runway Unlimited Subscription is already a cost-effective solution for everyday styling—I have attempted to calculate the cost-per-wear of each item I have rented, but my math skills are not good enough. Plus, Rent the Runway occasionally offers introductory promotions—if you know where to look. You can get an additional $200 off your 60-day trial if you use the code get “RTRSOMETHINGNAVY” and sign up for a Rent the Runway Subscription before midnight on Saturday, February 1.This is their best offer yet.

2. Speed & Convenience

If you live near one of the Rent the Runway stores or WeWork drop-off locations in New York, Chicago, L.A., San Francisco, Miami and D.C, you can literally drop off an item before 12PM, order a new one, and receive it by 10PM. I have a friend who will stop by a store on her way to an after-work exercise class, take her rental dress off of her body, change into workout clothes, and order an outfit to receive the following day.  Even if you’re outside of those cities, all items are delivered in shippable garment bags and include return labels (and zipper locks) that make swapping out with UPS seamless.

3. High-End Brands

As a fashion girl, I was impressed by the number of luxury and up-and-coming designers that are offered (in addition to mainstream brands). Some of my favorites, like Brock Collection, Prabal Gurung, and Marni are just pricey enough at full-price that I would only purchase items for very special occasions, like my bridal shower (or on sale.) But I rented this Brock Collection dress, which retails for $1,540, as part of my subscription and wore it for Christmas with my family.

4. Pinterest-Esque Heart Boards

You can “heart” each item you like—be it for a specific purpose in your life, an upcoming trip, or a specific event—and save it to a shortlist, à la Pinterest boards. It took some time on the front-end, but when I first signed up I went through all of my favorite designers and added items to boards that I labeled “Worky Things,” “Bachelorette,” and “Other People’s Weddings.” Now whenever I return an item, I just reference my “Worky Things” board, see which of the 505 items I’ve saved are available for delivery today, and wear one to work tomorrow—without needing closet space for an additional 505 items.

5. No More “Fast Fashion”

I generally don’t invest in fleeting trends, and opt for the fast-fashion route with inexpensive on-trend items from Zara or H&M. But Rent the Runway is both a more environmentally-friendly and economical alternative to that. 

6. No Dry Cleaning

Every single item is dry-cleaned once it returns to Rent the Runway—whether or not you wear it. Which 1) means you don’t have to dry-clean anything—something I was especially grateful for when emptying my suitcase after my honeymoon in French Polynesia. And 2) helps with the ick factor of wearing something someone else has worn. Which is kind of like vintage?  

7. Discounted Prices

In the event that you rent an item and fall in love with it, you can always buy it at a discount. The discounts vary depending on the age of the item, but I’ve ended up buying several high-end pieces at sample sale prices.

The big question that I get asked most is: Do I spend less money… Just in case my new husband reads this, I’ll never tell…

Now that Team SN has joined the Rent the Runway family, they’ve been wearing their rentals all over SN HQ. Check out their favorite picks below, and tune in for a special-edition of #OOTD on Friday to see how they style them. Are you hooked too? Remember to subscribe by Saturday 2/1 before midnight and use the code RTRSOMETHINGNAVY for $200 off.

PS: *These are editorially selected, but if you purchase, Something Navy may get something in return. Thanks.

By Lauren Bernstein

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