Rent the Runway Unlimited Subscription Review
This past April, I tried Rent the Runway’s Unlimited Subscription feature. I had never used Rent the Runway at all, but I read a Marie Claire article about this service and was intrigued. For a flat fee of $139 each month, you can rent up to 3 items at a time. The available inventory includes dresses, tops, skirts, purses, hats, jewelry, sunglasses – basically everything except shoes. It’s the exact model that Netflix originally used – you send back 1, 2, or 3 things at a time using the pre-paid UPS envelope and then you receive your next queue items to replace what you’ve returned.
This appealed to me for a number of reasons:
- Dry cleaning my nicer clothes is costly – there’s something appealing about the ease of being able to wear something and just send it back.
- I get tired of my clothes after a certain number of wears and I’m constantly selling things on eBay I no longer want.
- I don’t like to spend a lot of money on trendier pieces, so this would give me the option to try different things without committing or let me rent a fancy dress for a special occasion without having to really splurge.
- I just flat out could never afford some of the designers they have on the site, so I thought it would be cool to try them out.
Over the course of the month, I rented a total of 11 things: 1 romper, 1 pair of sunglasses, 4 dresses, 3 skirts, and 2 tops. Of that, I really only liked 3 things – the others either didn’t fit me well or were just underwhelming in person.
- Rent the Runway customer service is really helpful and responsive.
- The 3 items that I did like – the dress I’m wearing above, this crop top which I loved, and this dress – were awesome. If I knew more about what size I am in different brands, I’m sure I could’ve done a better job knowing what to order.
- For the average price point of the items they offer, I think $139/month is pretty reasonable – although I realize that’s not cheap by any means. It’s also cheaper than renting out just 1-2 items from the site (for example, one of the dresses I got was $70 to rent for just a few days, but I could keep it as long as I wanted with the Unlimited membership.)
- It takes 2 business days to return an order and 2 business days for you to receive your next order, so timing can be tricky.
- As I said above, many items didn’t fit me because I wasn’t sure about brand sizing or they just didn’t look that great in person.
- Items in your queue may be rented to other people, so you can’t always tell what’s going to be available when it’s time to pick your next shipment. This can be frustrating if you really wanted a certain item on a particular date.
Overall, I think this service could be useful, especially in a month when you have a lot of events to go to and want to freshen up your wardrobe without buying a bunch of new outfits. I would like to see them offer a wider selection of casual pieces and brands like For Love and Lemons and Mink Pink. They’ve got a lot of more upscale, dressy options and my lifestyle doesn’t usually call for that.
The verdict: I decided not to continue with it for a number of reasons; overall, it just didn’t work that well with my lifestyle. I’ve also realized there’s something cool about the experience of actually owning an item of clothing and being able to experiment with it and wear it in different ways over time.
Do you want to try this subscription or the standard rental service? You can use this link to save $30 on your first month or order: http://refer.renttherunway.com/x/0yy80N
All photos by Trevor Mark.