There is nothing I love more than dress shopping.  Except BOOT shopping.  With someone else’s credit card(s).  Yes, sometimes plural.  CARD(S).There is nothing I loathe more than shopping with my children, on a deadline, for something super specific.  Like, say, for instance, a Little Black Dress (LBD): not too little, but little enough, maybe with sleeves, maybe with a little sparkle, but not too much sparkle, versatile enough for cocktails, a wedding, or a company event.  YOU try to do that with a double stroller, a bucket of goldfish crackers, and kids that never, ever have to pee at the same time, but always with in a 23 minute window.  I dare you.

This is seriously a dilemma.  It’s not like I have a billion hours of free time to wander around the mall.  And I’m not the best online shopper because 1) I hate not knowing how something’s going to fit my weird post-children-body (I can’t even call it post-baby-body anymore and that makes me sad.) AND 2) I end up filling up my virtual shopping basket with so.much.more.stuff.

So anyway, last December, I received a super awesome $100 credit to Rent the Runway* via my monthly Birch Box* subscription.  And amazingly, I actually had two events to attend, and I obviously had nothing to wear.  So I figured what the heck.

Here’s the deal with RTR.  It’s MEGA designer dresses, at MEGA discount rental prices ($700 gown for $120).  The rental period is 4 or 8 days.  The dresses arrive clean, pressed, and gently packed in a box.  You have to hang immediately to reduce wrinkles.  So you get the dress delivered a day or so before your event, you wear the dress, and you return the dress DIRTY.  You don’t even have to clean it.  Please.  You know that was it for me.  Return shipping is included with the rental: they provide you with a UPS pouch, you shove it place gently into the pouch, and drop the dress off in any UPS brown box, store, or regularly scheduled pick-up.  Seriously.

Rent the Runway Delivery.  At work.  I'm totally just your average everyday engineer.
Rent the Runway Delivery. At work. I’m totally just your average everyday engineer

Bonus points:
1) With your dress rental, you can select a second size for FREE.  Free, babies, FREE.
2) You can also select a second dress, a completely different, random dress for just $25.
3) Customers upload real life photos of themselves in the dresses and comment on the fit/color/whatever, so you know how it’s gonna look.
4) Their search function and fields allow you to really narrow down your dresses (color, size, length, date available, price, etc.)
5) You can favorite the dresses and ALWAYS have a few options available.

For me, it’s a no brainer – I don’t need to have an aresnal of dresses in my closet anymore, but when I need a dress, I want a GOOD dress.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a ton of pictures of me in the first two dresses I ordered and wore.  I wore this one to my girl Autumn’s “New Year’s at 9” party and it was adorable and comfortable and my girls loved that it was sparkly.  I wore this one to my company’s annual holiday party and thought that it was really beautiful and conservative, and the whole concept of RTR was a big hit amongst the ladies.

And then I rented this and this for my girls’ weekend in AC.

Twelfth Street Cynthia Vincent Black Romper - $60
Twelfth Street Cynthia Vincent Black Romper – $60

OMG.  The black romper was perfection.  I was so in love with it – so comfie, so appropriate, loved it. (And yes – I used J Lo fashion tape.  Thanks MZ for the Target run. ) The red dress was not my favorite, but it had pockets and was better than any of my other options.

I have had only great experiences with RTR and really love this service.

Have you used RTR for any events?  What did you wear?

(*Disclaimer: If you want a referral link to either website – leave me a comment & I’ll hook you up.)

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Also a transplant to New Jersey and Mercer County, Merritt McGlynn is walking a tightrope between career woman and devoted mother: hanging on for dear life with her dishpan hands. Merritt is a mom to two of the most adorable children in Jersey: a darling and spunky 4-year-old and a certifiably insane but heart-melting almost-3-year-old. Married to the always-working "Coach", Merritt tries to maintain some appearance of a work-life balance, and often finds that the scales are usually tipped in one direction or the other - but she’s still trying! In her spare time, if she ever gets any, Merritt would like to read books, travel with her husband, drink margaritas on the deck, and one day, if she’s really lucky, enjoy a phone conversation without interruptions. For now, she’ll settle for 20 minutes of an Audrey Hepburn movie and a diet coke.


  1. LOVE LOVE LOVE RTR. I’m not wresting with a double stroller or goldfish or potty breaks – but I still loathe shopping for something specific. And I adore online shopping. And designer dresses. I’m ashamed to admit how many dresses I’ve rented in the last year…but it’s just too perfect of a service. The comments/pictures by real people are usually so dead on for me…it really helps to select the dresses/sizes. I love seeing what you have worn – that romper was awesome!

    • Thanks Casey! I know – I think that we should all share photos when we rent the dresses. I need all the help I can get! The black romper was like, the best thing I’ve worn in YEARS. And honestly – I would have NEVER picked that off a rack in the mall. Happy renting!!


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