I Haven't Spent More Than $150 on Clothing in Six Months—Here's How I Did It

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(Image credit: Christian Vierig/Getty Images; @fashionwithjazz)

Let's play a little numbers game; how much more clothing do you think the average person owns now compared to 15 years ago? Five percent? Twenty-five? Sixty percent? Hate to break it to you, but it's the latter. We're not only buying more clothing than previous generations, but we're wearing it less too. It's a terrifying thought, especially considering fast fashion's negative impacts on the world. From contributing the highest carbon emissions globally to causing micro-plastic pollution in the ocean, the effects are endless.

I think about it often, especially as someone in the industry's trenches who has to grapple with the knowledge of this impact while also deeply loving fashion. I can't say I possess some moral high ground, but I will say I've made subtle shifts to be more sustainably minded in my own life. Part of that shift has come from prioritizing investing in staples and shopping from eco-friendly brands, but the other half has come from using the designer clothing rental service, Rent The Runway. 

Since the start of the year, I've been using the clothing rental service to curb my spending and lessen my environmental impact. And while it's not necessarily a solution to the larger issues that plague the industry—I'm one person, after all! Nevertheless, Rent the Runway has changed how we view fashion by destigmatizing second-hand clothing and creating a subculture that rewards re-wearing garments. It's changing both the industry and individual closets, and to prove that point, I did an in-depth review of the clothing rental service.

In the first half of this story, you'll hear from Sarah Tam, Rent the Runway's chief merchant, about how the service works, her tips for renting clothing, and how the team has expanded its merchandising to include some of the coolest labels. In the latter half of the story, I've included a run-down of 10 looks I tried on from the service, the pros and cons of the platform, and my full review of the service overall. Without further ado...

About Rent The Runway

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(Image credit: Courtesy of Sarah Tam)

How did you decide you wanted to pursue a career in fashion? 

I always had an interest in fashion. Growing up, I obsessively read every single issue of Vogue. I followed that interest throughout college by applying to internships in the industry, looking for anything that would expose me to the world of retail and fashion. My first internship was at Saks Fifth Avenue, which was a dream. I worked in the store and got to observe the trend lifecycle from the ground up, seeing how customers react to merchandising and trends in real time. I knew I wanted to be part of that process, and I actually ended up working at Saks for nearly 20 years post-grad across the buying and planning teams.

What led you to your role as Chief Merchant at Rent The Runway? 

I was connected to Jenn Hyman, Rent the Runway’s co-founder, through one of my mentors. She was active in the planning stages for what is now RTR’s subscription program and needed a partner to bring her idea for the Closet in the Cloud to life and define what that would mean for our merchandising strategy. I fell in love with her vision—I knew she was building something so innovative and unlike anything else in the industry that I wanted to be a part of, something that would benefit both designers and customers in a totally new way. I’ve been with the company now since 2015.

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(Image credit: Courtesy of Rent The Runway)

How would you describe Rent the Runway to those that have never used the platform? And what should people know about the service? 

Rent the Runway is the world’s first and largest designer rental platform—think of it like borrowing from your chicest friends’ closet! We started in 2009 with one-time occasion rentals, giving customers access to designer dresses for events and weddings. Over the years, we saw that customers were actually "hacking” our one-time rentals: they’d rent something lower formality for an event and then throw a blazer over it on a Monday to wear to an important meeting. So that informed the launch of our subscription business. 

What should people know about the rental service? 

We now have a completely customizable subscription offering with monthly plans ranging from 5, 10, to 20 items on rotation to serve our customers’ everyday needs. Today, we’re the only platform where you can rent items a-la-carte, subscribe to fashion monthly, and buy resale from our 700+ designer brands. Our Closet in the Cloud is constantly evolving. We have thousands of items for every occasion, from evening wear and accessories to ready-to-wear, workwear, denim, casual, maternity, outerwear, blouses, knitwear, loungewear, jewelry, handbags, activewear, skiwear, and more.

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(Image credit: Courtesy of Rent The Runway; WEARING: Ciao Lucia Dress )

We’ve seen a slow shift towards eco-conscious within the fashion industry and among consumers—in what ways do you think Rent the Runway has contributed to this change? And how does the company continue to push for a more sustainable future? 

When Rent the Runway launched 10+ years ago, secondhand clothing was often considered taboo. Think about it this way; there was an actual "ick” factor to renting your clothes in 2009 when we launched. So we really spent the first decade of Rent the Runway convincing people about the merits of secondhand. Now, not only is wearing secondhand normal, it’s cool. Rent the Runway was one of the first brands to make secondhand aspirational. Our mission is to encourage access to fashion over excess. We’ve set out to fundamentally change how women utilize their closets by democratizing fashion access and asking them to buy less but wear even more through rental. 

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(Image credit: Courtesy of Rent The Runway; WEARING: Yuzefi Bag)

While we’ve seen so many strides toward sustainability in the industry, there’s still a lot of stigma around clothing that’s not "new.” As a seasoned expert, what common misconceptions do you think should be debunked?

We’ve definitely made strides in reducing the stigma around rented or secondhand clothing, as evidenced by the demand we see now across the industry for pre-loved products. Our incredibly talented garment science program keeps our items in rentable condition for as long as possible. Thousands of items cycle through our two warehouses every single day. Upon return, our inventory is sorted into dozens of different cleaning methods, and 100% of those items are then passed through quality control, so we can deliver everything clean and ready to wear.

What do you think is the long-term effect of a platform like Rent The Runway on society’s relationship with shopping? 

We’re fundamentally changing our customers’ relationships with fashion. In fact, the vast majority of our customers say they buy less fast fashion since using Rent the Runway. While fast fashion continues to be pervasive in our industry, our goal is to provide value and variety in our customers’ wardrobes so they can still have fun with fashion but in a less wasteful way.

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(Image credit: Courtesy of Rent The Runway; WEARING: Stine Goya Charlotta Top ($69) and Shorts; Yuzefi Grape Mini Woven Basket Bag ($69))

One thing that’s really leveled up the platform is the curation of brands available to rent now. There’s everything from Coperni to Tory Burch. How has your role directly contributed to expanding the brands available? And how does the team decide which brands or merch should be added to the platform? 

My team scours the market to unearth the best-emerging brands, and we ultimately decide which brands we’ll launch and grow every season. When we go to market, we’re looking for the trends that are percolating, the trends that are here to stay, and the trends we know our customers will be interested in. From there, we decide which brands fit into those buckets and curate our seasonal assortments. We’re also an incredibly data-driven team, so we always consider feedback from our customers to make these decisions. We look at what brands and styles they love, evaluate the feedback provided by our customers, and analyze "hearting” behavior as leading indicators to inform our buy. 

What are some of the benefits of choosing to rent clothing in your mind? 

Rental is an opportunity to have fun and experiment with fashion, so we look at this process through a totally different lens than traditional retailers. Our customers want to experiment and discover new designers and trends. We aim to provide them with access to pieces that evoke joy, confidence, and versatility so they can mix and match them with the wardrobe staples they already own.

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(Image credit: Courtesy of Rent The Runway; WEARING: Favorite Daughter Suits You Blazer ($52) and The Agnes Pants ($30))

Of the brands offered on the platform, are there any the merchandising team is super excited about right now? Alternatively, are there any brands that are the most-rented among users? 

We carry over 700 designers in our Closet in the Cloud and add more every single season. There are a few new designers to RTR this year that I’m really excited about. I love the sleek minimalism of By Malene Birger, the oversized tailoring of Anine Bing, and the directional take of Coperni—and our customers love them too! Some of our long-time customer favorite brands include labels like Veronica Beard, Ulla Johnson, A.L.C., Sandro, Vince, and Staud, so we’re always adding new pieces from those brands.

We’ve officially entered the time of year when people are traveling or attending weddings—are there any specific pieces you feel are a must-rent for the season?

There are a few must-rent summer essentials on our list this season...

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1. Matching Sets
(Image credit: Courtesy of Rent The Runway; WEARING: Charo Ruiz Nardo Top ($50) and Cisa Skirt ($52))

Our first must-rent for the summer is matching sets. Sets are great for travel or vacation because you can wear them as one head-to-toe look or mix and match them with other items in your suitcase. Rent the Runway has a ton of versatile sets that will be on rotation all summer long.

Rent the summer essential:

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2.Linen Pieces
(Image credit: Courtesy of Rent The Runway; WEARING:
Soko Dash Hinge Wrap Choker ($30); Donni. Silky Tube Top ($30); Simkhai Reese Pants ($69))

Linen is a classic summer staple. It's such a versatile fabric—you could wear it to the farmers market during the day or dress it up with heels and some sleek jewelry for nighttime.

Rent the summer essential:

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3. Maxi Hemlines
(Image credit: Courtesy of Rent The Runway; WEARING: Rachel Rachel Roy Lively Ombre Maxi Dress ($69))

Lastly, maxi hemlines are definitely taking center stage this season. It’s an ultra-flattering silhouette that works for various occasions, including weddings, vacations, date-night, and beyond. 

Rent the summer essential:

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(Image credit: Courtesy of Rent The Runway)

With so many different pieces available for rental, do you have any hacks you would give newer users to navigate the service? Or tips for finding the best things? 

My first tip is to shift your thinking – renting is totally different than the shopping you’re used to. It’s about how you want to express yourself today versus what you want to own forever so that you can have more fun with it. On Rent the Runway, you’re able to "heart” items and sort them into shortlists (for work, weddings, etc.), and the more items you like, the more our algorithm can get to know you and make personalized recommendations. We have thousands of styles on site, so we really work to serve our customers a curated assortment based on what they love. Lastly, I highly recommend reading the reviews! The women on our platform share their height, weight, body type, and pictures of themselves to help others find the right fit. It’s hugely helpful when deciding what items you want to add to your shipment. 

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(Image credit: Courtesy of Rent The Runway; WEARING: Hofmann Copenhagen Carrie Top ($34) and Elina Skirt ($30); Tanya Taylor Ebba Top ($55) and Jade Skirt ($69).)

Finally, from your perspective, whats the most exciting thing about what the Rent the Runway team is doing right now? And what can we expect from the service in the future? 

This year we’re really taking our dream closet to the next level. We just introduced updated subscription plans that all come with an extra item at no extra cost, so our members are now receiving even more value than before and have more spots in their shipments to experiment with fashion. We’re also focused on making the services as seamless and delightful as possible by introducing features that make it easier to find the inventory you love on RTR. We just introduced one of our most requested tools, Rent the Look, so you can shop a head-to-toe outfit exactly as we’ve styled it on-site—from clothes to accessories like handbags, jewelry, and sunglasses. Think of it like having a personal stylist on call!

My Review of Rent The Runway

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(Image credit: Christian Vierig/Getty Images; @fashionwithjazz)

Ok, so you've made it this far in the story, and by now, you hopefully feel like you've got a great deal of information about how Rent the Runway works, some of the brands offered by the subscription service, and how it's changing how we view sustainable fashion. But you still might be thinking: Is it worth trying? And that, my dear friends, is where I come in to give you a full review of the service. 

For context, I've been using Rent the Runway since the beginning of the year. Before January, I had never used the service and admittedly wasn't keen on trying it because I had heard mixed reviews. However, after continuously running into editors at events donning pieces from the platform, I began to warm up to the idea of clothing rental services. And once the fabulous Rent the Runway press team reached out, I knew I had to give it a trial run—spoiler: I'm so happy I did.

I've been smitten with the service that even after my trial, I've continued paying for it because it was a great way to test new trends, pull brands for quality checks, and dress up for events I have to attend as an editor. But if you're still on the fence about signing up for a clothing subscription service, you'll want to keep reading. Ahead, I'm sharing 10 looks from Rent the Runway that I wore over the past six months. I've broken down occasions you can rent clothing for, included my reviews for each piece I rented, and included some of the pros and cons of using the clothing rental service in general. Let's get into it...

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Pros and Cons of Rent the Runway
(Image credit: @fashionwithjazz)

Pros:

• Great brand curation, including luxury and contemporary labels. 

• A wide selection of sizes from 00-22. 

• Flexible Rental Options—e.g., one-time rental or monthly subscriptions. 

• Ability to swap items if something doesn't fit or you want a new piece for the month.

• Subscriptions come in three price tiers, making it more budget-conscious: 5 Items for $69 a month, 10 Items for $99 a month, and 15 items for $149 a month. 

• The entire shipping process is covered through UPS, so there are no additional shipping fees.

At-home pickup is offered for 34 cities in the United States. 

Cons: 

• Specific subscription tiers can impact what items you're allowed to rent and if you can make swaps for other merchandise. 

• Sizing can be tricky for each brand, so always check reviews.

• You have to factor in shipping time for items, so there's no last-minute pulling together of a look. 

• Return times can sneak up quickly, so if you're a bit busy (like me), it can be hard to remember when you need to return your items. 

Keep scrolling to see what pieces I ended up loving...

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Look #1
(Image credit: @fashionwithjazz; WEARING: Jacquemus Earrings; Staud Lydie Coat ($330); Thebe Magugu Keyhole Handkerchief Hem Dress ($79); Simon Miller Boots)

WHERE: Copenhagen Fashion Week

WHAT FOR: A chilly night out 

WEAR: Thebe Magugu Keyhole Handkerchief Hem Dress 

My Review: Earlier in the year, I knew I would be traveling for CIFF and Copenhagen Fashion Week, so I knew I needed to pack outfits that were both fashion-forward but also equipped to handle the frigid Nordic winters. Rather than buying new looks, I decided to rent a few new items. Admittedly, I was worried I was putting too much faith in Rent the Runway to provide me with the perfect look for such a huge event. However, I found the offering they had mid-winter was great. In fact, I had been looking at buying this Thebe Magugu Keyhole Handkerchief Hem Dress for months, but because it's a small South African brand, it was already sold out at all my favorite retailers, but just so happened to be available to rent!

I was so excited to get to try this piece out before potentially buying it, and honestly, it was a huge pro for me that Rent the Runway allows you to do just that. I got it in a size medium and found it fit so well. Despite being a knit material, it was clear that the garment was well-maintained throughout the rental process as it didn't lose any of its form. In fact, after wearing it to an evening show at CPHFW, I decided I couldn't live without this dress, so I ended up buying it at a discounted rate. For only being my first look, the experience was shaping up well already. 

Re-create the look:

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Look #2
(Image credit: Christian Vierig/Getty Images; @fashionwithjazz; WEARING: Poppy Lissiman Chesko Sunglasses ($130); Jenny Bird Tome Hoops ($130); Staud Lydie Coat ($330) and boots; Rixo Teresa Dress ($31); Themoirè Weaved Black Bios Bag ($496))

WHERE: Copenhagen Fashion Week

WHAT FOR: Chilly Winter Day

WEAR: Rixo Teresa Dress 

My Review: For the second look that I tried (and loved) from Rent the Runway, I landed on this knitted Rixo Teresa Dress. It was another piece I rented for my trip to Copenhagen. Packing, in general, is a hassle, but even more so when you know you're going to an ultra-cold climate and will likely be walking around the city to get from one fashion show to the next, all while trying to look chic. Luckily this dress was up for the task. Since I was planning outfits on the fly, I had to order this Rixo dress in size small (I wear a medium) as it was the only one available at the time— a downside to Rent the Runway is that sometimes stock is limited, so you have to take a risk with sizing.

But the package came faster than I anticipated, and the sizing worked out as the dress silhouette was roomy enough to layer Uniqlo HeatTech garments underneath. Of everything I wore on my trip, this dress was by far my favorite; it was not only super-comfortable and ultra-flattering, but it even caught the attention of street-style photographers! Being able to rent this dress not only saved me in a crunch when I was trying to figure out what to pack, but it gave me a chance to try out Rixo's iconic dresses for myself—let's say I'm a part of the fan girl club now.

Re-create the look:

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Look #4
(Image credit: @fashionwithjazz; WEARING: Jenny Bird Nouveaux Puff Earrings ($120) and Collar; Poppy Lissiman Chesko Sunglasses ($130); I.AM.GIA Leather Coat; Marina Moscone Collective Red Fringe Dress ($31); Themoirè Weaved Black Bios Bag ($496); Schutz Asya Mirror Up Nubuck Boot ($238))

WHERE: New York Fashion Week

WHAT FOR: Dinner Out

WEAR: Marina Moscone Collective Red Fringe Dress 

My Review: Once I returned from Copenhagen, I had to turn back around and start planning outfits for New York Fashion Week. I think the rental service shines when you've got a calendar filled with events because it makes getting the perfect outfit a breeze. The only thing I found difficult in the swapping process wasn't the actual logistical shipping (you can drop it off at a local UPS or arrange for pickup) but rather choosing what to rent next. There's so much inventory on Rent the Runway that it can sometimes be overwhelming. But I quickly learned to sort things out by searching for my favorite brands and turning to their curations. The latter option led me to discover (and rent) this Marina Moscone Collective Red Fringe dress. I loved that I stumbled upon this knitted frock because of the site's curation of rising brands—it added an element of serendipity that sometimes feels lost on other retailers. 

In terms of the dress itself, I tried it in a medium—the size fit perfectly. I ended up pairing it with knee-high boots, a leather trench, and my beloved Themoirè clutch bag for fashion week. With this piece, I felt like I got to experience Rent the Runway's merchandising team's push to bring cooler brands onto the platform while also being able to experience first-hand what it would be like to incorporate it into my closet. 

Re-create the look:

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Look #3
(Image credit: @fashionwithjazz; WEARING: Jenny Bird Nouveaux Puff Earrings ($120); Poppy Lissiman Chesko Sunglasses ($130); Banana Republic Button-Up; Kallmeyer Tie; Luar Trench Coat; Sandy Liang Alper Skirt ($69); Steve Madden Astor Boots ($170); Puppets and Puppets Cookie Bag ($575))

WHERE: New York Fashion Week 

WHAT FOR: Exploring the city 

WEAR: Sandy Liang Alper Skirt

My Review: Unless you're shopping in person or have shopped directly from a brand before, it can be hard to figure out your sizing—which was the case for me with Sandy Liang's clothing. I've loved the brand for a while but had not had the chance to try out any of the pieces until my Rent The Runway trial. One of the benefits I learned first-hand from trying brands through a rental service is it allows you to test out the sizing from the comfort of your own home, and you get to try pieces you may not have immediately gravitated towards buying. Or at least, that was the case for me with this Sandy Liang Alper Skirt. At first, I had ordered a Sandy Liang dress that was too small for me, so I swapped it for this skirt (in size 8). I found the fact I could easily swap things out if they didn't fit a super-comforting part of the process. 

It also allowed me to branch out a bit. For example, I didn't expect to love this skirt so much. But I found that it was one of the first Items I rented from the platform that I styled for a special event (in my case, it was for New York Fashion Week) and wound up re-wearing it multiple times. I held onto it for a few months—a great bonus of the platform—until I finally caved and decided to buy it to make it a part of my forever wardrobe. I don't think I would have ever thought to buy this skirt before having the chance to rent it, but now I can't imagine not having it in my life. 

Re-create the look:

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Look #5
(Image credit: @fashionwithjazz; WEARING: Jenny Bird Nouveaux Puff Earrings ($120); Poppy Lissiman Chesko Sunglasses ($130); Aritzia Trench Coat; Uniqlo Turtleneck; Thebe Magugu Sisterhood Bandana Skirt ($69); Staud Bag and Boots )

WHAT FOR: Transitional weather

WEAR: Thebe Magugu Sisterhood Bandana Skirt

My Review: Once I fell in love with the Sandy Liang skirt, it fully clicked for me that the platform was a great way to explore new brands, trends, and even the boundaries of your style without having the incur high costs to your checking account or the environment. So I began to choose pieces I thought would make great long-term additions to my closet—like this Thebe Magugu Sisterhood Bandana Skirt. I'm a sucker for a good skirt, and since I had already rented (and ended up purchasing) another Thebe Magugu piece from Rent the Runway, I figured I'd give this piece a whirl.

Based on availability, the skirt was only available to rent in a large (again, I typically wear a medium), so the waistband was a bit bigger than I would have liked. Still, the skirt was stunning. I styled it with a thick Uniqlo turtleneck, an Aritzia leather jacket, and knee-high boots from Staud to compensate for the fit. It allowed me to get some wear out of the skirt while also being perfect for transitional weather in the city. It also made me realize that renting through the service allowed me to try it and send it back without the hassle of dealing with final sales return policies or exchanges, so that's a win in my books! 

Re-create the look:

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Look #6
(Image credit: @fashionwithjazz; WEARING: Cult Gaia Earrings; 
Avec Les Filles Sculpted Blazer($84); Astr Miranda Dress ($30); Mark Cross Frame XL Clutch ($1490); BY FAR Heels)

WHAT FOR: Office Hours to Happy Hour 

WEAR: ASTR Miranda Dress 

My Review: Not to sound like a broken record, but I came to love that my Rent the Runway subscription allowed me to try brands or pieces I had been converting forever without committing fully. For example, I had been considering buying this ASTR Miranda Dress after spotting it on Shopbop, but instead, I chose to rent it—honestly, great call on my end. I ordered the piece in a size medium, and the fit was incredible and super-flattering. But honestly, I wasn't as obsessed with it as I was with other pieces I tried through the service.

As an editor and general fashion enthusiast, it can get easy to get swept up in trends or an idea about a particular piece of clothing only to realize that when you own said thing, it doesn't actually speak to your soul. Something which was very much the case for me with this dress. It's ideal for renting if you want something that will transition from day to evening earlier—the cutout details and faux leather fabrication are just spicy enough. But I found that I was okay with knowing I got to wear it once and swap it out, hoping to find another piece that might spark a bit more joy. 

More items worth renting:

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Look #7
(Image credit: @fashionwithjazz; WEARING: Jenny Bird Nouveaux Puff Earrings ($120) and Gia Bangle ($140); Poppy Lissiman Chesko Sunglasses ($130); Marina Moscone Sarong Dress ($165); Little Liffner Blue MacCheroni Mini Bag ($90); Vintage Givenchy Heels)

WHAT FOR: Casual Cocktail Attire 

WEAR: Marina Moscone Sarong Dress and Little Liffner Blue MacCheroni Mini Bag

My Review: Through my experience of using Rent the Runway, I realized that finding great pieces on the platform requires a level of curiosity. You have to be willing to try new brands or silhouettes that you haven't before, and you have to be okay with the fact that some items will flop (maybe they won't fit or aren't as exciting as you anticipated) while others will change your entire life. With this Marina Moscone Sarong Dress and Little Liffner Blue MacCheroni Mini Bag, it was the latter experience.

I have been obsessed with Marina Moscone for a while, so I freaked out when I realized the rental service stock-listed the brand. It was hard to choose what piece I wanted to rent, but I landed on this black sarong dress as it felt like the perfect piece to wear to the office or a more casual cocktail event. I'm not exaggerating when I tell you I have never loved a dress more than when I put this one on. It's so flattering because of the draping around the shoulders and drop-waist detail. I low-key cried when I had to ship it back, so it's safe to say I will buy it shortly. 

I might have messed around by not buying the Marina Moscone dress immediately, but when it came to the Little Liffner Blue MacCheroni Mini Bag, I didn't play. I was dubious about the quality of bags on Rent the Runway, but I had wanted to test out a bag from the contemporary label Little Liffner, so it was a no-brainer to rent this little baguette. Any previous skepticism I may have had melted once I got my hands on this bag. First, it's so well-made—the lizard embossed leather is so luxurious, the color is divine, and the hardware is so elegant. Secondly, the shape is compact, so it transitions from day to night with ease. Plus, it fits comfortably over the shoulder. I was so impressed that I ended up buying the bag, which is a huge deal since I'm so picky about purses. Let's say I'm fully convinced that Rent the Runway's bag offering is top-tier. 

Re-create the look:

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Look #8
(Image credit: @fashionwithjazz; WEARING: Jenny Bird The Cateye ($178); Tory Burch Earrings; Published By Phil's Third Eye Bag ($773); Bibhu Mohapatra Collective Purple Pleated Panel Dress ($90); Vince Camuto Sandals)

WHAT FOR: Heat-Proof Office Look

WEAR: Bibhu Mohapatra Collective Purple Pleated Panel Dress

My Review: Besides their accessory and formal-wear offerings, one thing I learned about Rent the Runway is that their workwear pieces are just as solid. While there's an endless array of work staples you can rent, with summer in full swing, I knew I wanted to rent a modest dress that could be worn to the office but still packed a punch. I landed on renting this multi-color Bibhu Mohapatra Collective Purple Pleated Panel Dress in size 6. What's great about this dress is that with the right styling, it can be worn to just about any setting—work, weddings, baby showers, vacations, and so on.

I landed on wearing it to the office on a balmy summer day and styled it with simple sandals, Jenny Bird bangles, and a sculptural clutch bag from Published By. While the versatility of this dress is a great selling point, it's the details that did it for me. Everything about this dress is sublime, from the high neckline that makes it work apropos to the subtle nipped-in waist (that's ultra-comfy) to the asymmetrical hemline to the colorful pleats. The fact I could even rent a dress this well-made solidified me as a Rent the Runway stan girl for life. 

R-ecreate the look:

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Look #9
(Image credit: @fashionwithjazz; WEARING: Cult Gaia Earrings; Derek Lam Collective Pink One Shoulder Dress ($85); Miu Miu Satin Ballerinas ($950))

WHAT FOR: Weekend Brunch 

WEAR: Derek Lam Collective Pink One Shoulder Dress

My Review: As aforementioned, there are so many things you can find on Rent the Runway—staples, jewelry, bags, etc.—but after using the service for an extended period, I can safely say their dress offering can't be beaten. Need to go to a summer wedding? There's a dress for that. Are you going to a work conference? They've got something for that too. There are so many dresses that I can spend hours debating what to include in my new batch of shipments. Except for this Derek Lam Collective Pink One Shoulder Dress, which I decoded on sight, I had to rent it. 

What initially drew me to this dress is that it has a bunch of trends—i.e., bubble hemlines, drop waists, and bright pink—wrapped up into one single item. For me, it was a prime example of being able to rent something trend-forward for brunch with the girlies or a baby shower without having to buy something new. And it ended up being just as great as my expectations as it fits true-to-size (I tried a medium), was flattering on my body, and was easy to style. 

Re-create the look:

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Look #10
(Image credit: @fashionwithjazz; WEARING: Poppy Lissiman Chesko Sunglasses ($130); Jacquemus Earrings; Tory Burch Variegated Stripe Poplin Dress ($135); Cult Gaia Bag; Vince Camuto Sandals)

WHAT FOR: Vacation Grams

WEAR: Tory Burch Variegated Stripe Poplin Dress 

My Review: One of the best things about Rent the Runway is that you can rent extravagant pieces for a special occasion or vacation. I knew my final look had to bring the drama—and boy, did this Tory Burch Variegated Stripe Poplin Dress do just that. As a die-hard stan for Tory Burch, I was in literal shambles when this dress was released as a part of its S/S 22 collection. So, you better believe that when I found this dress on Rent the Runway, I was obsessively stalking it until it was available to rent in my size.

The wait was well worth it, as I've never had a dress fit me off-the-rack as well as this one. I'm busty (I wear a 34DD bra), but the halter on this dress is super spacious, while the waistline is tapered in perfectly so that your waist looks snatched. And I would be remiss if I did not mention the pockets on this dress—which dart out to create the most striking silhouette! It's the best piece I had the privilege of trying from Rent the Runway and proved why this service is worth using.

I honestly would have never tried on this dress out of fear of falling in love with it and not being able to afford it, but Rent the Runway has given me a chance to try it out in a way that's a bit more attainable to my current budget. Of course, it's going to be heartwrenching to send it back, but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it. In the interim, I will re-wear it as much as possible and save up to buy it. 

Re-create the look:

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Closing thoughts
(Image credit: @fashionwithjazz)

Closing thoughts: After using Rent the Runway for six months, I can safely say I became a stan for clothing subscriptions. Admittedly, it took me some time to ditch my preconceived notions that this service was purely for consumers looking to rent one-off pieces for special occasions, but once I got past that, I found joy in using the service. Even when you work in fashion, it isn't always an option to have access to designer labels or try designer pieces without strings attached. Rent the Runway makes that an option for everyone. And while, at first glance, the subscription pricing may seem steep compared to a quick purchase from an affordable retailer considering the value of items you can pull and the ability to return things makes it all worthwhile.

Renting clothing may not be for everyone, but if you're open to trying a subscription service, it will change the way you relate to buying clothing. The process is about shopping less and speaking from my own experience, I became a better consumer through this process. Because I could try pieces from luxury, contemporary, and affordable labels, I could learn further what works for my body, style, and budget. It's taught me how to be more intentional about what I buy, and while that doesn't mean I'm always spending less on individual items, it does mean I'm only buying things I know I'll wear.

I now ask myself: Would I re-rent this again? Can I live without it? Or does it need to be a part of my forever wardrobe? If the answer is yes, I know it is meant to be. But if not, I know I can save my money and return it to Rent the Runway sans guilt. And that, my friends, is how you save yourself time, cash, and the planet in the long term. 

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