Renting pieces can be such a great option to maximize yet still simplify your wardrobe. There are tons of rental programs available now a days making this option for your wardrobe almost mainstream. From Nuuly, to Rent the Runway, to FashionPass, and more for clothing and even more available to rent accessories like Vivrelle, Wardrobe, Switch. I know renting isn't for everyone, but wanted to share more about when to consider renting and my recent rental experience with Rent the Runway one of the most tried and true (and also one of the oldest/most mature) rental programs out there.
When to consider renting:
If you have a special occasion -- especially trips, events, etc. where packing & travel is required and you need to curate looks but not pack your whole wardrobe
It's like a pretty affordable trial period...and can be a great bet if you are not sure about a piece given the style, size, color, brand, etc. Rentals can be a great way to just try things out especially with the option to purchase (and typically at a discount!)
If you are contemplating the purchase of an item that you are pretty certain you might only wear once (i.e. bolder color, statement item)
When wanting to play with a trendy piece that might go out of style and you may only wear a couple times
If you are in-between sizes (i.e. maternity, weight gain/loss) and don't want to invest in items long term
If you know you are going to get something dirty and have to dry clean / wash anyway... (hint hint festival/concert goers and new moms)
Into the capsule wardrobe / staple pieces / wardrobe essentials only? Great! Use rentals around your key pieces to play with different styles but still keep your wardrobe streamlined
My recent experience with RTR & rental hacks
I recently used Rent the Runway or "RTR" and their one-time rental option for a wedding weekend in NYC. It took me some time (several hours to be honest) to scan through the different options filtering on when the pieces were available for me to rent, what was in stock in my size, colors, styles, and the look I was going for. I ultimately landed on my cart that consisted of a pink jumpsuit for the rehearsal dinner an an event I had beforehand, plus a floral midi number for the wedding reception. After wearing and loving both, I contemplated purchasing (which is a great option to have) but decided to return as I was not sure I would wear either again...and that is the beauty of rentals! Sharing more on my hacks to make your rental experience seamless for you, I loved mine with RTR!
Opt for getting 2 different sizes in the item. Great option if it's available to ensure it fits to your liking! There is no additional charge and this can can be a great bet if you are not sure your size in general or for a particular brand/designer. I got the pink jumpsuit in 2 sizes just in case and was glad I did.
Ship to your location. I shipped to my hotel so I wouldn't have to pack and could have them for the full weekend period I needed. It was too easy to pick up my items at the front desk when I arrived.
Simplify packing with neutral accessories. I packed neutral heels and a clutch - nude/beige which I knew I could pair with both of these options and so I didn't have to overpack (which I am always guilty of).
Try Prept! If you want some help curating looks considering items you can rent and/or buy to let a personal stylist save you on the time/stress of curation (some people love it, some might want their time back!)
Did you know that you can check out rental sites for new or like new items at a discount? Very worth checking out if you do not want to pay full price. Will round up some favorite rental pieces for you all this week in our app!
Check for discounts on memberships/packages or get someone to refer you for a discount so you get a deal (usually widely available)
Check out this post where we also share more on rentals to keep reading on this topic!