My Experience with Rent the Runway and the Most Embarrassing Night of my LIFE!
We’ve all heard of Rent the Runway at this point.
It’s an awesome concept! Borrow designer dresses you’re only going to wear once for a fraction of the cost, return them in one week. With the option to get a free backup size, what’s not to love!
So when we had our wedding to attend in St. Louis at the end of April, I thought it would be an awesome time to test out a cool concept and share for you all what I thought.
Well, my experience was horrible and not a single part of it was the fault of Rent the Runway.
While I haven’t really talked about my weight gain the last year and a half, I haven’t been doing anything to hide it. Maybe that’s another post but long story short, because meds are weird and metabolism slows with age, I’ve put on thirty pounds. Which isn’t a bad thing but it means I have new sizes now. And that’s taking me some getting used to.
I think you can see where this is heading.
I ordered an amazing hot pink number with thick straps that crossed in the front, went to about mid-thigh, and had a kick pleat at the back. From the second I saw it online, I was in LOVE. I grabbed what was one size up from what I previously wore. Then for a backup size, just to err on the side of caution, I went one size up from that.
Numbers for you: I used to be a 4. I ordered a 6 with an 8 as a backup.
Since it was my first time ordering with them, I got a bonus deal to pick a free secondary style. Heck yes that sounded awesome! Found this cute collared shirt dress by Draper James that I also immediately loved. It wasn’t quite wedding attire but it was certainly cute and would make an awesome brunch outfit. Count me in!
Impatient wouldn’t really even put a dent in my level of excitement as I waited for the week of the trip to come so my dresses would arrive. As soon as they got in, I tried on the Draper James dress right at work. It was a little snug but if I didn’t move too much, it was fine. I chalked it up to the dress running small and didn’t bother to try on the pink dress until we got to St. Louis.
That was the biggest mistake I could have ever made.
Wedding day arrives and I’m starting to get ready. I held up the pink dresses and, just looking at them, immediately went with the larger size. Even that was a tight squeeze but I figured as long as I didn’t get too low while dancing it would be fine. I normally don’t wear much under tight dresses to avoid panty lines and this was no exception. Mistake #2.
We get to the ceremony and it’s absolutely beautiful. Lots of happiness, congratulating Tao and Lulu, all the typical wedding happiness.
And then I went to the bathroom.
Remember that kickpleat? As I hiked up the dress to pee, I heard a tear. The seam had started to come apart at the kickpleat! I was wearing… well, let’s just say I wasn’t going to be able to leave the bathroom without come cover. So I texted Ari and she came to the rescue sharing the shorts from underneath her dress.
The phrase “date a woman, double your wardrobe” has never been more relevant or necessary.
So fine, I’m covered, it’s not that high of a tear, it will be fine. Until I went to sit down to dinner and then I heard another tear. The dress had ripped all the way up to the base of the zipper. At this point, I’m mortified and have resigned myself to sitting at our table the entire night.
Except that dinner was a buffet.
After dinner and speeches, the wedding planner herself sneaks over to me and asks if I knew the back of my dress is ripped. Hello of course I know! But I just nodded and said “I have shorts, it’s fine. Weird but fine.” She says she’ll be right back.
Ten minutes later, she waves me over to a private sot where she’s wrangled up a needle and thread. This wonderful woman literally sewed my butt back into this dress. Bless.
Everyone thought we were in the clear. Dress resewn, shorts underneath, all good.
The second I stood up for dancing it ripped again.
I wish I were kidding.
At that point, I was done trying to make this work. We were staying close enough to the venue that, borrowing a friend’s suit jacket (Thanks, Gavin!), and walking quickly, I made it back to our AirBnB to change into a romper that, while not ceremony appropriate, worked just fine for the dancing portion of the evening.
Somehow, when I sent the dresses back, Rent the Runway didn’t say anything so that was nice. I hadn’t written the post until now because of how mortified I was. And Rent the Runway seemed to know it was one hell of a night. So major credit to them for just letting it be.
That being said, I don’t know that I’ll rent from them again until I even out a little bit more and can actually figure out what size I am. For both my own sake and the sake of whomever had the unfortunate task of repairing that dress.
Have you ever tried Rent the Runway? What was your experience like?