You know how when you love something and you talk about for years, tag them all the time and then the company recognizes your obsession and puts you in their 2+million person newsletter? Right, that doesn’t actually ever happen, except with Rent the Runway.
After being an Unlimited Member since forever, it’s really an honor to be recognized and an ambassador for Rent the Runway. The majority of my TV, events, weddings, hosting, panels, and everyday outfits are from them. I have so much pride and appreciation for how much this membership saved my bank account and changed my life.
Over the years so many of you had questions about how Rent the Runway works and how to maximize your account. Below are all my hack!
First the facts… on the average I borrow $6,228 in designer brands a month using their Unlimited 4 items/month plan. It’s a $159/month plan (which includes all the dry cleaning and shipping costs). That might seem impossible but just look at the designers from the newsletter: I wore outfits from brands including Marni, Tonya Taylor, Badgley Michka and more! (I’m literally wearing a $1200 romper from Christian Siriano to an award ceremony!), it’s insane the value a membership like this can offer. It gives me the Carrie Bradshaw wardrobe to match the lifestyle.
With the plan I’m able to stretch about 12-20+ outfits/month depending on how diligent I am and how much I’m traveling.
Here are my tips to maximize your Unlimited account. PS my promo code ($100 off 2 months of Unlimited with code: RTRLARA):
- When you order your first 4 items, immediately try them on to see what you like whatever doesn’t make the cut, mail back or drop off to the store same day.
- It’s 4 pieces at a time, they don’t need to all be rented/returned at the same time. I like to have 2 at home and 2 in transit at all time. This way it’s a constant flow.
- Return immediately after you wear. Don’t wait to return everything together. When you’re done with 1-2 items send it back so you can open new spots. And thus, reorder new things. If you want to do all 4 at the same time you lose time since you have to wait a few days for them to get back to the warehouse and for the spots to open up on your app.
- Order to the store (you just change the shipping address from your apt/work to the store address). This is especially good if you’re in NYC. Not every city has a store but with NYC’s it gets me my items same day if I order in the AM or do so the night before for a guaranteed next day pick up. If I use my apartment address it takes 2-3 days and also there is room for delays and errors. With the store I like to order the night before and then pick it up the next day. Another perk of ordering to the store is you can try it on there and return anything that doesn’t fit instantly and then either replace them with items in the store or start ordering new things on the site.
- You might wonder why not just always shop in store. I like to order pieces to the store instead of assuming I’ll find something because the assortment online is far greater. Also I find they are limited in sizing so the store makes a great backup or place to look when I’m not shopping for a specific look/occasion. I sometimes get lucky and find 4 amazing pieces in the store, and other times just 1. Putting in a pre-order online just gives me more options since I’m heading there anyways to rent.
- If you travel a lot here are 3 tips: 1) have the clothes sent to your destination so you don’t have to carry it and/or return it from your destination in the bag (or ask them for an envelope), this way you don’t have to pack it and save luggage space. NOTE: ship times can take longer depending on which city you return from. Lastly, know your stores. I’m based in NY but I’ve returned/swapped out clothes in DC and LA for trips there. When a city has a store it means I need to pack less since I can swap out my outfits for new ones.
- If this is your first time signing up for Unlimited, never pay full price your first month! I have the code LARA50, which offers $100 off your first two months, and I also encourage you to check their promo page since they are always changing the promotions – currently they have one for $80 off your first two months so you’re better off with my promo, but always check before spending full price!
- Nervous about signing up? Wait until a big month, like when you have a wedding and a graduation and need multiple outfits. That’s always a great way to kick off and use the discount. If you find it doesn’t work for you, cancel. At least you got a discount and outfits for your big events.
NOTE: RTR does have other plans, but I find the value of Unlimited to be the best if you’re looking to make a lifestyle change. You can rent individual pieces without a membership or do the 4 piece total/month plan that’s $x. Just consider per rental that comes down to $x/rental. If you’re like me and stretch to 12-20 outfits, that’s $13-$8/per piece.
As a small business owner I can’t afford the wardrobe I want, and quite frankly even if I could, I’m know I wouldn’t drop $6k on clothes a month or buy 90% of the items I rent. That’s what makes it so fun! I get to explore possibly the world’s biggest closet and most of it I only want to wear once. Since joining I’ve become a more mindful consumer – investing in quality basics, like jeans, white tees, black blazers, Stuart Weitzman boots, things I know I’ll wear a million times, and the rent everything else.
Unlimited has helped me balance my distaste for fast fashion and love of a big wardrobe. I’m able to wear everything I want thought wasting money or harming the environment. It’s no secret I’m trying to be as sustainable as possible and talk about it a lot on my page. Being in the fashion/beauty industry I have a HUGE carbon footprint that I’m really working on reversing. This model literally represents what I’m all about, living a fashionable and quality lifestyle but not at the expense of the environment. It’s the prime example of my @insteadofmovement platform.
Going back to the note about RTR dry cleaning all their clothes… just a random note but I haven’t had to dry clean anything in over a year since most of the cocktail/wedding/evening attire clothes I wear I borrow from them, which is also a huge money saver.
On the sustainable front since some of you have asked, Rent the Runway does wrap their clothes in plastic and hangers when shipping, it’s because they dry clean and also it protects garments from the weather/damage potential during transit. BUT there are ways to cut down the waste:
- Shop in store
- Return the plastic and hangers so they can reuse/recycle
- I use the plastic bags for my recycling and garbage to extend their life. I just tie a knot at the bottom and I’m covered. All of my office, and apartment trashes are their bags. I’ll cut them and use them for the bathroom or leave full size for the kitchen.
I hope this article is helpful. Head to renttherunway.com to learn more and if you have any questions DM me @prettyconnected or drop a comment. We have a promo code for $100 off 2 months of Unlimited is: RTRLARA). xxLara