Posted 10/12/12 by Amy Willsey in Fashion

Always Find the Perfect Dress: Rent the Runway is a Girl’s (new) BFF



“Cinderella Dreams, Shoestring Budget? No problem.” – The Wall Street Journal

Ladies, I recently found a website that may just change your life. I kid you not.

For all you Greek ladies, we have fraternity formals and sorority semi-formals around the corner. Non Greek ladies, you might have some military formals and, strangely enough, a few weddings to attend – and please tell me I’m not the only single girl with several friends getting engaged in recent months? Regardless of the occasion, us girls will either be shopping or borrowing from one of our friends closets in the hunt for the perfect dress. Always stressful.

Now, here is what might just change your life and open a new world of opportunities. What if you could borrow from the closet of your favorite designers? Wait no longer, fellow fashionistas.

Photo from Womanista

Let me introduce you to Rent the Runway. A company that allows you to do as its name states. RTR is an amazing online website that lets girls shop and find the most perfect dress. It has even been called, “The Netflix of fashion.”

Girls of any age have the opportunity to pick from 160 designer’s dresses to feel like “Cinderella” for the night. Although RTR was launched in 2009, it has truly gotten underway in recent months. This company allows its customers to borrow a designer dress for a fraction of the price.

Alicia Wagner, a junior at the University of Missouri, is one of 1,000 RTR reprentatives at 20 schools nationwide. She not only reps RTR, she is always showing up to Alpha Phi formals with the cutest dresses and accessories.

“I have rented dresses about 10 times since freshman year for all kinds of events, from formals to graduations to a night out,” Wagner says.

And because RTR knows that dresses may fit differently depending on brands and material – the CEOs are girls afterall – the company allows each customer to pick a dress in two different sizes. RTR calls it a back-up size; how innovative. Additionally, you can talk to a stylist through RTR to see what they think about a dress’s style on your body type. I like dresses that flatter my figure, and avoid any uneccessary awkward fits, as you do as well… I’ve had some fashion faux paus I don’t plan on repeating; check my Facebook photos. Woof. So the personal stylist really comes in handy.

Photo from Rent the Runway

Another perk is that RTR ships the dress for the day of your event so you’ll receive it that morning. Say you know you have a wedding to attend or are one of the lucky ones that has a boyfriend to know in advance the day of his formal, you can order dresses up to six months in advance.

Plus returning the dress is just as simple as picking one out. Just drop the prepaid envelope, which comes with the dress shipment, in a blue mailbox with the dress inside and send it back. The company takes care of the dry cleaning and everything else.

“I love that I have the opportunity to wear something I would normally never be able to afford, and it’s pretty cool to be watching a red carpet event and see a celebrity in the same designer dress that you wore for something,” says Wagner.

Benefits of being a representative include putting a kickass company on your resume, receiving compensation with store credit and there are some rewards along the way for how well you do in getting member and customer referrals. It’s like the ultimate sales job. Sounds like a nice gig, huh?

Have you ever used Rent the Runway? What do you think about this idea?

Amy Willsey

I'm a junior magazine journalism major and business minor at the University of Missouri. I came from the lovely Kansas City and am a die hard Royals and Chiefs fan. I enjoy long-distance runs, alliteration and I spend my free time finding the fraternities with the cutest puppies. Carry on, all you pretty people, carry on.