Rent the Runway: Why It's the Best Wardrobe Rental Service According to Users
By Amy Lee
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Rent the Runway
If you haven't heard of Rent the Runway, many of its users are dying to tell you about it.
The clothing rental service (they also carry handbags, jewelry and sunglasses) is arguably the easiest, sustainable way to continuously update your wardrobe without buying new pieces. That's right, no more binge shopping at fast fashion stores and you get to wear designer goods sans paying the luxury prices.
Rent the Runway, as its name indicates, offers clothes and accessories from the biggest names in fashion, such as Prabal Gurung, Self-Portrait, Brock Collection, Celine, Stella McCartney and Tory Burch, in addition to affordable lines like Reformation, Nike and Splendid.
There are three subscription plans to choose from:
RTR Reserve: Pay per piece. A rental starts at $30 and ranges up to more than $250+. Rental period is four or eight days. Free returns, dry cleaning and backup size.
RTR Update: For first-time users, a trial month membership is $69 (regularly $89 per month). Rent four pieces per shipment and exchange for new pieces each month. Free shipping, dry cleaning and insurance.
RTR Unlimited: New members get $80 off the first two months (regularly $159 per month). Rent unlimited pieces on rotation. Swap anytime with no return dates. Free shipping, dry cleaning and insurance.
If you're not sold quite yet, let Rent the Runway members share their own experiences with the clothing rental service. ET Style reached out to five East Coast and West Coast women to dish on why they love Rent the Runway and what we need to know.
It's Perfect for Events & Special Occasions
"I have been using Rent the Runway for five years now and it has been a lifesaver for me both professionally and personally. As a TV host, I attend many events and I don't want to wear outfits multiple times, so having a revolving closet at my fingertips has been a saving grace, especially for my wallet! Not to mention, now that all my friends are getting married, I never have to stress over wedding [guest] dresses!" -- Cassie D., Los Angeles, CA
You Save Money on Designer Pieces
"The best part of Rent the Runway is always having something new, trendy, and high-end to wear. I'm able to wear new designer pieces weekly at a small fraction of the price. Last year, I wore $64,463 worth of designer clothing! Another bonus: I have virtually zero dry cleaning expenses (as RTR dry cleans everything for you), and I own way less clothing, which is a perk for someone living in New York with a tiny New York-sized closet. Lastly, as someone who cares about the environment, I also spend way less on (wasteful) fast fashion and feel good knowing the clothing I'm wearing is being shared among my fashionable peers (cutting down on waste!)." -- Kristin C., New York, NY
It Helps to Curb Shopping Habits
"With social media, you wear things a lot less and consume a lot more, so not only is it better for your wallet and closet to not constantly be buying things, but also the environment. I also think it’s pretty affordable when you think about people even shopping just once or twice a month at Zara. They are at least spending $150 and it’s not designer or amazing quality. Plus, they are stuck with only a few new pieces." -- Ashley F., Los Angeles, CA
It Saves Time
"Rent the Runway Unlimited is such a fun way to incorporate designer pieces into my wardrobe for a fraction of the cost. Not to mention it allows me to experiment with styles that may be outside my comfort zone and saves me so much time, and isn’t that what we all want? It’s my number one reason for subscribing." -- Katie T., Portland, ME
Delivery & Returns Are Convenient
"Rent the Runway is very convenient! Items are shipped to my location. I have many addresses saved in my RTR app with a return label. I try my choices on immediately and prepare any returns straight away, that way I maximize the number of items I receive per month. I have a UPS drop-off at my office, which makes returns even easier and I can always find a store nearby. I have also identified favorites in my RTR app, which allows me to make choices quickly depending on availability." -- Katie T., Portland, ME
Points for Improvement
"My only complaint is it does take a few days to ship and for them to receive returns, so it cuts into your rental time, but it’s still easy to do returns and you get a lot of great options for the price." -- Ashley F., Los Angeles, CA
"Sometimes they have shipping errors. They will either send the wrong item or shipping is delayed and you don't get the item in time as promised. This can cause anything from a minor annoyance if I was looking forward to wearing a certain dress to work or can cause a major crisis if I'm headed out of town for a black-tie wedding and the dress I ordered didn't arrive in time. These issues don't happen too often and it's a risk I'm willing to take in order to wear such beautiful (and expensive) clothing items I otherwise wouldn't be able to." -- Kristin C., New York, NY
"It's a bit of a chore to pop in and out of the store in order to refresh things as often as I like to, but that's definitely a 'champagne problem.'" -- Alison S., New York, NY
Each product has been selected, and each product’s style has been reviewed, by our editorial team; however, we may receive affiliate commissions from some links to products on this page. Prices listed are subject to change by the retailer.