Rent the Runway Review: Wedding attire

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What’s Rent the Runway?
A rental service for dresses, accessories, and outfits. They carry a ton of different designers from Kate Spade, Badgley Mischka, and everyone in between. When you rent a dress, you’re allowed to choose two sizes, at no extra cost, so you can try the dresses on at home and make sure you get the right fit for you.

I had been meaning to try them out for a couple of years, but after college I didn’t have many events that called for a fancy dress. This past year however, the wedding invitations poured in and my boyfriend suggested I finally give it a try. We had a mutual high school friend’s wedding this past fall so I decided to go for it. I found a great dress and was super pumped to see how it would look, but that’s where the excitement ended.

My dress was scheduled to arrive two days before we left, I had a UPS tracking number and it showed everything was looking good. I should note, I live in the same town as the Rent the Runway factory where they ship all the dresses out. I assumed the whole rental was going to be easy peasy and everything would go smoothly, but boy was I wrong. UPS showed my dress was out for delivery by 8pm (our complex is the last stop for UPS as we’re also in the same town as the UPS shipping center). 8pm came and went, as did 9pm. I started to freak out.

My boyfriend called UPS and said we would pick up the dress in person the following morning when they opened up.The next day we went to UPS and the man at the front desk said they didn’t have the package. Apparently Rent the Runway was (or maybe still is) known for not placing labels on packages securely. They mentioned that this was a frequent occurrence where the labels would fall off and the delivery person wouldn’t know which package was which so they would just bring the clothes back to Rent the Runway. We then spent the next day calling Rent the Runway, emailing, and tweeting them. No one answered. Twitter showed a lot of people were also missing their dresses. We even offered to go to the warehouse to pick up the dress in person (they have a store where you can buy the worn dresses from them as well – I’ll do a review one of these days) but they said that they wouldn’t be able to give us my rental dress. I was crushed, and luckily had a backup option. Rent the Runway gave me a coupon code for my next rental and refunded my purchase after a few days of harassing them.

Flash forward a few months and I decided I would put that coupon code to use and try once more to see if Rent the Runway could come through for a wedding. Everything started to play out just like last time. The dress was “out for delivery” for hours and it was starting to look like another failure. Eventually, I got an email from the front desk that I had a delivery. I was expecting to get my hopes up again, fearing I couldn’t trust RtR, but success, my dresses arrived! Now onto what I ordered:

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The wedding was in April so I figured a cute brightly colored dress would be perfect, and lo and behold I found this Kate Spade Mint Bow Back Dress. I chose the 4 day rental, crossed my fingers that the dress would fit and look appropriate. Shortly after placing my rental order I realized the back, which appeared fairly low in pictures, along with the inward facing straps might call for a strapless bra. I didn’t have anything great on hand, except a neon pink one, so I zapped my way over to Zappos and ordered a nude strapless bra, which came before the dress 🙂

As I opened the garment bag I started to get really nervous. Is the dress going to fit me? I chose to order a second size (for free) just to be safe, and I also found the dress being sold at a department store online and checked out the size guide there so I felt I had a fairly decent idea of what size would work best. Thankfully, both dresses fit (the bigger size was a little too roomy so I opted for the smaller size).

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That weekend, I got nothing but complements on the dress. Everyone loved the color and thought the cut and fit was absolutely perfect. No one could believe I rented it! With my coupon code for RtR’s previous blunder, and the Pro account I bought (covers insurance and shipping) I got the dress for $35! That’s a steal when the dress itself costs $348 at retail.

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Would I use Rent the Runway again?
Yes, but always with apprehension. I suggest that you always have a backup on hand because you never know what might happen. The dresses I received were in perfect condition, so I definitely trust the quality. If you can get away with it, try the 8 day rental option for your first order so that if something does go wrong, you might be able to get through to customer service in time for a new dress.

Have you rented from Rent the Runway?

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Stitch Fix Review – April 2016

IMG_4247Stitch fix – a mixed bag, or should I say box?

Quick intro to what stitch fix is: A subscription (or whenever you want to order a box) service for clothes and accessories. When you sign up you answer a few questions on your sizes, preferences, colors, and fill out a little note about yourself and your style. From there, you’re paired with a stylist – you never actually get to interact with this person 1 on 1 – who fills up a box with 5 items and sends it your way. You are given an opportunity to write a little note to your stylist requesting or suggesting items, each time you schedule a fix.

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Once you get the box, you try on the items, and send back whatever you don’t want within 3 days. A $20 styling fee is applied per box that you order. If you purchase anything, you’ll get that $20 off your “fix” total. If you find yourself in love with your fix and purchase all 5 items, you’ll get a 25% discount off your total bill. Most items I’ve received are between $40-100 (you can control how much you want to spend per item, but I’ve found most of my items tend to be on the pricer end). When you go to checkout you leave feedback for each item, helping your stylist improve for next time.

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A couple of weeks ago I  received my 4th fix. I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while, but work got in the way. For this fix I asked for no accessories. Last time I received a massive clutch, bigger than my head (I’m not a clutch person), and from there on I decided I was going to veto accessories and get clothes, which I care more about. This time around I asked for 3 tops, 1 bottom, and 1 dress, providing a link to a brand new Pinterest board (Review Board) I created specifically for my stylist. For my previous 3 fixes I left everything up to the stylist, simply suggesting I wanted stuff I could wear to work and to go out with friends in the evening, but this time I wanted to show her pieces I’m interested in.

Before I go further, I wanted to mention that my Pinterest board is mostly pins of clothes that Stitch Fix actually ships out to customers. There’s this handy dandy Facebook group where a bunch of ladies post pictures of the clothes they received. You can even trade, buy, or sell your Stitch Fix goodies in the group. Searching Pinterest I found a lot of the group members posted these pictures to Pinterest as well, so I just use those as inspiration.

I was really hoping I would get some of the amazing tops I pinned, but alas, not a single item from my board was shipped my way. Out of the 5 items I received, 2 were keepers. I didn’t take pictures of them all individually because some fit really poorly. What I did end up keeping was a pair of Margaret M Felicity Printed Short, and a James Laser Cut Dress bright blue lightweight summery dress by Brixon Ivy.

When I first pulled out the shorts I wasn’t sure about the length. I couldn’t tell where they should hit me so I took to Google to see if I could find a picture of someone in them, no real luck there. So, for all your Stitchers receiving these pants, I figured I would post a picture myself so you can get an idea of how they look.

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Margaret M – Felicity Printed Shorts

Now for the dress. The fabric is really interesting feeling and very lightweight. The only thing I can really compare it to is sports mesh like material, but it’s not that! I think this would be perfect for the office or for going out to see a show and dinner in the city.

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Brixon Ivy – James Laser Cut Dress

Next time I’m going to explicitly call out certain Stitch Fix items I want by name, hopefully that will do the trick!

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