Dec 11, 2013

Why Buy The Cow...?

Why buy the cow dress, when you can have the milk wear it for free less?

Okay, that's not a direct application of the concept. But it asks the same question, why invest more when you can get the benefits for less?

With designer dresses, there are several reasons, ranging from the ability to reuse them to the value of having the garments in your closet and being able to sell them (soon, or to try to hold on to them until they're vintage designer dresses and worth a fortune - but whether that happens is a gamble).

Still, the reality is that most of us just can't afford to fill our closets with stunning Versace gowns and Herve Leger wrap dresses. It just isn't feasible on a student's budget, nor on the budget of most young professionals.

Also, take it from a girl who's big sister owns upwards of fifty party dresses - most girls don't want to rewear their dresses to formals and big parties. Something new tends to be more fun.

cute, dress, funny, gif, green
Sadly, you can't always count on your neighborhood fairytale princess to whip one up.
Rent the Runway is an online designer dud rental shop that allows you to order designer dresses and accessories for a fraction of their retail cost. You pick your dress, they ship it to you, you ship it back, and done!

I've never used Rent the Runway, but I've heard really great things from a lot of my friends. How else can you be the stunner at your House Formal (it's a Harvard thing, but other schools and businesses also tend to have formal dances or parties at this time of year) without using up next semester's book budget?

The dresses still aren't cheap (most rentals seem to be between $50 and $250, with some real stunners costing even more) but being able to rent a $1250 Herve Leger signature bandage dress for $150 is great for those of us who couldn't justify the retail price tag.

Here are some of my favorite looks for winter parties!

Pamela Roland Declaration of Love Gown

This eye-catching red gown retails at $1925 and rents for $260. Customers say "the back sash is as dramatic as the red color" and enjoyed wearing it to a Christmas Day wedding, for one proud mom, and an engagement photo session, for the female half of a happy couple.

Badgley Mischka Glitz Gown

This dress, retailing at $650 and renting for $160, is a personal favorite. It's like a waterfall of sequins! You can peruse a whopping 565 customer photos on the dress's page, so you're almost certain to find someone with a similar figure to you and be able to imagine how it will look on you!

Catherine Deane Patricia Gown

This elegant number, a real trans-generational gown, retails at $1540 and rents for $300. It's elegant, classic, and looks just as good on older women as on spring chickens.

Um, yeah. Is my southern showing?

Nicole Miller Arctic Mist Gown

This slinky number retails for $750 and rents for $145. It's a perfect winter formal or ice ball dress! Customers say that it's "very comfortable," "true to size," and "looked and felt great!" One note is that it's pretty long and shorter girls cautioned that you'll either need to figure something out to handle the length or get a really tall pair of heels to wear with it.

Caroline Herrara Take My Breath Away Gown

This retails for a whopping $3690 and rents for a still staggering $475. Maybe the price tag is what takes your breath away?

All jokes aside, however, this really is a one-of-a-kind gown and if you have a big budget and/or a once-in-a-lifetime occasion, it's hard to top this classic beauty. All eyes will definitely be on you!

Robert Rodriguez Black Label Berry Wild Lace Gown

This breathtaking dress retails for $795, but rents for $125. Customers caution that the slit on the side is higher than expected (so be careful if you're thinking of wearing this to a company party!) but say that it's "magnificent," "gorgeous," and one even said that it made her feel "like a Grecian goddess."

Raoul Ruffle Waisted Peplum Gown

This gown is for the more daring fashion friends. It's retails for $660, but rents for $135. If you lack curves, the fun detail at the middle creates shape. I would say this is best for a tall and straight figure, however, as a short hourglass figure would be cut oddly by the bustle at the waist.

As you can tell, I LOVE long dresses. So glitz, so glam!

One touch that I really like from Rent the Runway are that the dress pages include customer reviews and photographs of how real people wore the dresses! The photos come with the size of the dress and height, weight, age, and bust size of the woman wearing it, so it's really helpful in trying to figure out how a particular dress will look on you rather than on a 6'0" blond Amazon.

Have you used Rent the Runway?

Do you re-wear party dresses?

Do you prefer long, short, or midi dresses for formals?


  1. I haven't used Rent the Runway yet, but I look at all the dresses and reviews pretty much all the time! I love the idea of being ale to rent a designer dress (I too don't like re-wearing dresses for big events). I'm just waiting for the right occasion to justify a rental. I do have a friend that has used it a lot and seems to love it.

    1. I have a Gala in January that I'm planning to use it for - I'm looking forward to it!

  2. Just stumbled on your blog! Thank you for the comment on mine. You are so inspiring -- I've always wanted to write a book myself. I was a lit journalism major in college and definitely did a lot of writing, but more reporting than anything. How did you get about it writing yours? And how old were you? I'd really love to read it!

    1. Thanks! I've been writing stories of varying lengths (a page to hundreds of pages) since I could write, so there wasn't really a moment that started this - I've written so many! I was in middle school when I wrote this one, I believe. Or high school? I'd love for you to read it, too! It's on Amazon,, please do let me know if you end up deciding to read it!!

  3. I always had one issue with RTR. I find it to be really expensive to rent, and then I only get the dress for a few days, and then in the end, I have to ship if off...

    I found out that oftentimes, buying the dress lightly pre-owned is just as affordable as renting! For instance, your Herve Leger example. You can rent it for $200 or you can buy it from someone on a site like Lollipuff (they guarantee authenticity, btw) for about the same cost. And, I like things to be MINE... lol.


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