I signed up for Rent the Runway yesterday. I like the concept, and it would have been really smart for my SIL’s wedding, although I’m not sure I would have taken the risk on renting a dress for that. I was actually disappointed, not by their selection, but by the prices. I get that the concept is to make it affordable to get designer clothes. But there is a group of smart, sassy, professional women out there who want to look good but could care less what the label says.
The thing about these women, us women, women like me, is that we do not want to pay $60 for a dress we will only wear once, whether we are renting it, buying it, or making it. My budget for a dress is usually $50. These days, it’s more like $25 or "I will make something I already own work." For a really fancy, important event, like my SIL’s wedding, I was willing to go up to $150. So why, when renting a dress for an occasion, would I pay $75? Sometimes, I do care about the label, because let’s be honest: designer clothes sometimes fit better or have a nicer design, but I can’t pay $400 for that, so RtR is great for that kind of thing, for special occasions, like the occasional ball or gala or black-tie wedding. (Oh man, RtR would have been great for Barrister’s Ball.) And, since I have no reason for a formal dress to gather dust in my closet, it will be great for anything formal in the future.
So what we need for us lower-class, less label-concerned ladies is Rent the Mall. A service through which we can rent dresses from Ann Taylor and The Limited and Express for a more reasonable price, like $20. This would allow those of us who already shop those stores to order from brands where we know our size, saving any fit concerns, and perhaps even tried on that same dress a few months ago, thinking, "if only I had somewhere to wear it" but can no longer get it in stores when suddenly the perfect occasion comes up.
How about it? Would you shop from Rent the Mall? Have you also been disappointed in Rent the Runway’s high rental prices?