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Where are my outfit repeaters of the world? I am a self-diagnosed outfit repeater. My shopping cycle consists of buying something, loving it hard and wanting to wear it all the time. Then just as quickly as I fell in love, I fall out of love and retire the piece towards the back half of my closet. This cycle is tiring, frustrating, guilt filled and always leaves me disappointing. I was in desperate need of a shopping solution and love designer clothes, but I don’t have the budget for them. I love the joy and excitement of having something new that I’m really excited to wear out that day.
And then, I found it. Rent The Runway Unlimited.
Most of are already familiar with traditional Rent The Runway and probably even past customers. We’ve all relied on their handy service to save a buck but look like a million for a wedding, reunion (basically insert any event you want to look amazing at or might see an ex). But while all of us are familiar with how awesome it feels to rent a $400 designer dress that fits you like a glove, few of us know about the new best-kept secret of Rent The Runway Unlimited.
Have you ever scrolled through Instagram and wondered how all those fashion bloggers seem to have a never-ending closet of this seasons designer threads? Rent The Runway Unlimited is exactly how they do it! Earlier this year you had to be on a waitlist to join Rent The Runway Unlimited. Seriously, it’s that good! But just recently they have opened it up for any and everyone to join with just a click of a button. If you’re looking to elevate your style (and possibly even save a lot of money in the process) read on to see exactly how Rent The Runway Unlimited works.
Initially, I thought it was just a service to rent multiple “guest of a wedding” dresses, I was totally wrong. It’s a service that lets you rent designer everything. Dresses, skirts, jumpsuits, rompers, jackets, tanks, blouses, handbags, jewelry and more.
How To Have Success “Renting” Designer Clothes – Everything You Need To Know Before Signing Up For Rent The Runway Unlimited
Rent the Runway Unlimited is basically like walking into Neiman Marcus and having someone tell you to go pick out your favorite four things without even thinking about price. Dresses, tops, jackets, handbags, whatever you want – 4 at a time, your choice, unlimited! If you are doing quick calculations in your head realizing that this might replace/fulfill your dream of having a fashion bloggers closet, keep reading because the details are not too good to be true and I’m going to break down everything you need to know about Rent the Runway Unlimited.
Price: $159 a month, no contract
What is it: Subscription-based clothing rentals.
What You Get: 4 designers pieces at a time with unlimited exchanges for new pieces.
Is It Just Renting Dresses: NO! Dresses are just the tip of the iceberg in the RTR unlimited closet. Jackets, coats, handbags, blouses, skirts pants, you name it!
Do I have to exchange all three pieces at once: No. You can exchange them back one by one if you want.
What’s their contract like: Month to month, no extra charges for shipping, dry cleaning or insurance.
Do I have to buy anything or pay a fee if I don’t: Nope, you can strictly rent the clothes but have the option to buy if you end up loving them. They can be as much as 80% retail which is a huge savings.
Do you have to buy the products: Only if you want to, no fee if you don’t.
Do you have to wash the products: No, they launder everything.
How is the customer support: You get a designated concierge, they have live chat support, and phone support.
Who Is It Good For, Anyone who:
- Is the type to wear something new over and over and over but then completely tire of it when they fall in love with something else.
- Is still learning their perfect style and finds themselves shopping and coming home with things that you only wear a few times before feeling like they aren’t a good fit.
- Works a 9-5 and is tired of your wardrobe being stuck on repeat but only wants to shop for fun non-work clothes.
- Wants to slash their shopping expenses but still have amazing clothes.
- Needs the better fit of designer clothes and knows they really are probably too old to keep shopping at some of the stores they frequent.
- Has tried another clothing subscription service and been underwhelmed.
- Hates the mall, laundry, cheap clothes, and the feeling of looking at their closet and seeing they have thousands of dollars wasted and nothing to wear.
- Already uses RentheRunway (it’s like your gateway drug to Unlimited)
Why I Signed Up and What I Rented
I first tried Rent the Runway Unlimited in May when I was talking a girls trip to New York. As a Southern California, work mostly at home, mom of two; my regular rotation of clothes is no match for the Big Apple. Like most women do before a trip I started online shopping. I wanted new boots, I wanted a really warm but stylish Jacket, I wanted a sportier jacket – all the sudden I had a $1,000 shopping cart filled with items that would be great for the big city but probably get little wear again. Not to mention that left me negative room to do any shopping while in New York. That’s when I remembered Rent the Runway Unlimited and shifted gears.
Instead of spending a ton of money on clothes that I really only need for my trip, I rented them. A gorgeous leather piped wool coat, a stylish light wear jacket for hustling around the city, and a beautiful blush blazer for leisurely lunches. If you read on about the “city perks” you’ll see how to doubled my rental that week by exchanges the items I wore the first few days with brand new designer pieces for the second half of the trip. It only took a few days but I knew I was going to be hooked on this fashion lovers dream service.
Details You’ll Only Know If You Tried It
What You Get:
4 piece that are completely your choice. Unlike other services, you get to completely customize your order rather than having the order customized for you. From start to finish you decide everything in the delivery. If you want 3 dresses, you pick the three dresses and you pick the 3 sizes. If you want a Kate Spade bag, a Free People skirt and a DVF dress, just pick them out, select the sizes and they will be mailed straight to your doorstep. You don’t have to go to the trouble of “swapping” items that they put in there for you. You get to chose exactly what comes and when it comes.
Order & Delivery:
The website is RenttheRunway and they also have a mobile app by the same name. Both are very well laid out and it’s easy to filter by style, occasion or even trend. Everything ships Two Day Air. Once you pick your items expect them to arrive on your doorstep in two business days. The Same timeline applies when you return shipments. I’m in San Diego and they ship from New Jersey so for east coast people the timeline could be even shorter. Shipping and insurance are free. You get to keep the hangars and can just return the clothes inside the blue carrying bag that comes with a pre-printed UPS label.
Top Secret Hack to Get More Styles out of Unlimited
Your first order will ship in one easy to use fabric bag with a pre-addressed label for returning shipping (in the same fabric bag). If you get your first 4 pieces and simply don’t like one; you can just package it up and return it by itself while you keep the other three pieces. But, you’ll have two days in transit to RTR and then two days back in transit to be returned to you. So it’s 4 days until you can do your next exchange.
If I am going to the expense to have a 4 item unlimited subscription I want to be able to get as many pieces a month as I can out of the subscription and the downtime in transit almost made me quit a couple months back. But there is an amazing hack that was a game changer for me. When you first start to return one item in a box, with shipping that you pay (instead of the prepaid shipping) – you’ll keep the fabric bag and your pre-addressed return label for future use. Once RTR received the item you returned at your own ground shipping expense, they’ll intake it, you’ll pick a replacement piece and they will ship it out in another fabric bag. Now you have 4 pieces, two fabric shipping bags and two prepaid return address labels.
This simple hack of paying the return shipping one time gives you significantly more flexibility with your exchanges and the ability to get more styles each month with less downtime and little/no waiting on shipments.
What’s the Difference Between Rent The Runway Update and Rent The Runway Unlimited
The main difference between Rent The Runway Update and Rent The Runway Unlimited is the volume of new item you can borrow from their closet each month. With Rent The Runway Update you will pay only $89 a month and will get 4 self-selected pieces to keep for the month. With Rent The Runway Unlimited, you will pay $159 and get the same initial 4 pieces but you have the ability to swap out those 4 items as many times as you want.
RTR Update: $89 a month / 4 pieces: $22.25 rental fee per piece for the month.
RTR Unlimited: $159 a month / 4 pieces, exchanged 3 times, total pieces rented – 12: $13.25 rent fee per piece for the month
The equations above illustrate that even though Rent The Runway Unlimited is more expensive than Rent The Runway Update you will actually get a better value out of the subscription that allows you to borrow more. If Rent the Runway Unlimited is too cost prohibitive then start with Rent the Runway Update (you can always upgrade up to Unlimited if you want more).
Why I Think This Is Better Than the Other Services
1. Designer Clothes That Look As Beautiful On You As They Do Online
What sets Rent The Runway Unlimited apart from the competition is the product and the selection. You have access to Saks and Neiman Marcus designer brands that for most of us are unaffordable. A common shopping dilemma I have is that I fall in love with styles online and in magazines that are just too expensive for my budget. I take my caviar dreams and champagne budget over to H&M, Forever21, and Nordstrom Rack to try and find a well-priced alternative to what I really wish I was buying. I end up with cheap poly blend alternatives that I’ll only keep for a season and never be as satisfied with as the designer version. Now with Rent The Runway unlimited I have access to an endless closet of the clothes I really want but can’t afford.
If you are going to rent clothes you want them to be stand out pieces that don’t look like just another basic I already own. With other clothing subscriptions, I felt like I was just getting Marshall’s quality clothes that underwhelmed me online and then again when they arrived. If I’m going to be renting clothes, I want styles that are unobtainable to buy with my current budget.
2. The Selection is Really Endless
Seriously, I dare you to try and not find something you want to rent.
Here is a really important tip that you’ll only know if you are like me and have tried multiple clothing rental subscriptions. The inventory of clothes that is available with Rent The Runway is probably 5-10x greater than the competitors. This is a really important feature that matters a lot when you are in month 2 or 3 or trying to rent around the holidays.
When I used a different subscription company I would go to fill my cart and realize that there was really only 20 tops available to chose from, maybe 40 accessories but no handbags just jewelry.
In contrast, Rent The Runway unlimited has an incredibly robust selection of clothes. There are new arrivals weekly in addition to the thousands of dresses, clothes and accessories (+ designer handbags and clutches). While some other subscriptions might be less expensive, does it really matter if you can’t find anything you like from their limited selection?
3. You Look Like a Million Bucks But Aren’t Going Broke
While most women hear endless closet of designer clothes and instantly sign up, there is another benefit outside of elevating your style game. Savings! This isn’t talked about as much because it’s hard to quantify across all people.
Regardless of your clothing budget, I recommend to everyone that they sign up for the first month to see if they even like the service and process. After that month, they you want to look at how to work it into your budget. In my case, I have only bought 6 new clothing items for myself since I started Rent the Runway Unlimited in May. I’ve bought a pair of sneakers, a Patagonia hat, 2 new bikinis, and a new pair of wunderunders. I don’t feel the need to go and shop for new things that aren’t essentials because I have an endless closet of designer clothes at my fingertips.
If I didn’t have Rent The Runway my shopping cycle would look like this: spend hours online putting things in shopping carts that I can’t afford… maybe buying some of them, returning half, keeping half…. wishing I hadn’t taken the tags off two pieces and tiring of them after a few weeks of wearing them hard and hoping no one catches me outfit repeating….. spending god knows how much at Target because the clothes are there an accessible and I just want something “this season”…… still starting at my closet on date night thinking I have nothing to wear.
The Bottom Line
I’ve tried almost every clothing subscription out there and this one is by far (like a mile) my absolute favorite. I’ve been signed up for over 6 months straight with no interest in canceling anytime soon. If you are like me and comfortable with your closet basics but always wishing you had the perfect outfit for the party, date night, or even a work day, definitely give Rent the Runway Unlimited a try. Your wallet and your sense of style might even thank you for it!