Red lace, FTW

Red lace, FTW

If you’re like me, you’ve got an Instagram feed full of bachelorette party group shots and ‘how-did-they-think-of-that’ wedding hashtags. And between all the bachelorette parties, bridal showers and destination weddings, you’re probably looking at your calendar from May through October realizing that you only have 2 free weekends til 2018.

…oh wait, you just refreshed your newsfeed and saw another engagement announcement? Make that 1 weekend to yourself this summer!

But if you’re also like me, you’re probably trying to make it in a city that’s way too expensive for your salary (#YOLO). There’s no way I can afford a new dress for each wedding/shower/bachelorette party AND afford my acai bowl on Monday morning when I get back to work.

So, friends, let me tell you about my secret weapon. My super power that lets me try out my new favorite trends, while still allowing me the financial flexibility to maintain an appropriate level of acai bowl basicness. It’s called Rent the Runway Unlimited, and it has legit changed my life.

This past weekend my family and I kicked off wedding season at our friends’ nuptials in downtown Boston. When it came time to find my dress, I was so excited to see that RTR was carrying this lace midi dress after I saw my favorite blogger babe, Jacey Duprey of Damsel In Dior, wearing it on her Instagram a few weeks before. So I snatched it up in my Unlimited picks for the week and oh-my-gosh was it perfect. The fit, the comfort, the color, the lace…I was obsessed, and not to mention super comfortable at the wedding (and all the way to the dance floor at the after party).

As a huge RTR fan, I’ve rounded up the tips I always give friends and family when I recommend they try it out…whether you go for the Unlimited monthly option or just need a dress for one occasion.

How it works

I pay a monthly fee of $139/month (includes shipping) and get 3 articles (dresses, bags, jackets, jewelry, skirts, pants, etc.) at one time and I can keep any item for as long as I want. Once I’ve had enough, I send whatever I don’t want anymore back, make my next picks and wait for the new items to arrive. I always explain it to friends/family/anyone who will listen as the “original Netflix model”: keep what you like for as long as you want it (and if you have an attention span like mine that means 1-2 weeks). Best part? You can get more than just one style to wear for the weekend. Need a new bag to go with the dress? Want to wear a cute top to the welcome party the night before the wedding celebrations? You’re totally and completely hooked up with Unlimited!

Here’s some of my tips & tricks to get your rental right…

1. Have something in mind.

Ever walk into a huge retail store without an intention of buying anything specific? Is there anything more overwhelming? Same feeling happens when you log onto RTR without even a thought in the world about the look you want to go for. Do some research and make some decisions yourself before searching, so you can refine the results right away and start to find what will make you happiest. I always search by trend (lace, floral pattern, off the shoulder) or length (mini, midi, maxi), which helps you narrow by the dress code of your specific occasion. Going to a black tie wedding? Don’t even consider a mini cocktail dress and just go right to searching by maxi gowns.

2. Look at the customer photos.

This is the ultimate game changer in online shopping and Rent the Runway does it perfectly. You can refine the results by body type (apple, athletic, bump friendly, etc.) and then browse through the customer photos to compare your height/weight with the girl in the photo. Obviously, take everything with a grain of salt…but there’s nothing more honest than seeing the dress that looks like a mini-length on the 6′ tall model compared to the same dress falling below the knees on a girl that’s 5’3” like me.

3. Push your comfort zone, while still owning your comfort zone.

I love RTR because it allows me to test new dresses/clothes/accessories that I might not ever try if I was purchasing it for good. Recently, I’ve pushed my own comfort zone by trying to find items with more color than I usually choose to wear (i.e., this red lace number). But you also have to be honest with yourself…if you don’t like wearing tight clothes, then the body-con slimming dress probably isn’t your best pick and it’s likely that you won’t be happy with your experience. Push your boundaries, but always be true to yourself and your style.

I can’t wait to show you guys what I end up picking for my upcoming batch of items from RTR, and make sure to be on the lookout for the next wedding outfit I’ve got planned. Have you tried Rent the Runway? Let me know in the comments.

And tag me in your social media pics if you end up trying out RTR because of this post!

Dress: Jill Jill Stuart on Rent the Runway

Shoes: Steve Madden Carrson Sandal

Sunglasses: Ray Ban Gatsby II