An Honest Review of Rent the Runway Unlimited

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Rent the Runway is a company that you are probably familiar with for the service of renting dresses for special occasions. (At least that is how I always thought of them!) While Rent the Runway does have a reserve service where you can rent an item for a specific occassion and pay only for that item, they also have two different subcription services. The first is Rent the Runway Unlimited, which is $99 for your first month of unlimited rentals where you get 4 pieces at a time. The second is Rent the Runway Update, which is about $70 for your first month where you get 4 pieces to keep for a whole month. I have actually tried both but today I'll be reviewing Rent the Runway Unlimited. If you sign up under my link for Rent the Runway you will get $30 off your first order as well as I will receive a credit to Rent the Runway.

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The details: I decided to sign up for Rent the Runway Unlimited back in April as I had a lot of special events I wanted outfits for. In April I had a baby sprinkle, went to the ballet, celebrated our 3 year wedding anniversary, and attended two weddings. As I'm sure most of you can relate, I wanted something fun and new to wear, but didn't want to buy a new outfit for every single event. When I saw an ad for Rent the Runway Unlimited for $99 for your first month (it goes up to $159 after your first month) I decided that it would be a great month to try out the service! $99 was cheaper than buying just two new dresses for the weddings so it was a no-brainer. (I would definitely recommend you try out the service during a month of fun events so that you can have something new and fun to wear to your events!) Another reason I decided to try out this service was that I recently read the book Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion which made me really want to be thoughtful with my purchases, rather than purchasing more "junk". (If you haven't read this book yet, add it to your list ASAP. It will really make you think about how you are shopping!)
The Pros: 
  • Super fun way to expand your wardrobe and get unique pieces for events
  • Great way to try out new designers, especially ones who you may not be able to afford otherwise
  • Not adding more clutter to your closet 
  • Have something new to wear to events without having to purchase each piece individually
  • Better for the environment 
  • Have the option to wear better quality clothing
  • Keeps you from getting bored with your wardrobe or feeling like you have nothing to wear -- get to wear new outfits all the time! 
  • Items included in the unlimited options could be $80 (for example) on their own for a rental for 4 days. For that price it's worth it to a month of unlimited and get more clothing throughout the month!
  • All of the items I rented during my RTR Unlimited membership are linked in the widget below if you would like to see what all I got during my month!

The Cons:
  • As soon as you are done with an item, you can mail it back using a prepaid label. However, you are not able to order your replacement item(s) until Rent the Runway receives it. While I understand why they do this, it is really unfortunate the amount of time you lose to shipping. If I dropped off a package for mail on Thursday, I wasn't able to order my new items usually until late Monday/Tuesday. From there it took another two days to get my new pieces, so altogether the return/pick out new items process took about a week. When you hear unlimited you think you'll be able to get new items constantly and it's really not the case. My hope would be that in the future you are able to mark the items you've returned online so that as soon as your return is dropped off, you can place an order for your new items. 
    • If you live in a city where there is a RTR location, you can do this whole process in store so you save on the shipping times! 
  • If an item doesn't fit, you're out of luck. While yes, you can return it and pick out a new item, this takes 7 days. 
  • Because of the return length, sometimes I wore items I didn't really like just to get some wear out of them.
  • You have to fill all 4 of your rental slots, which means that if you return two items as soon as RTR receives them, you can place your next order. However, if only 1 item is available that you really want you can't just order that 1 item. So, you can risk waiting an extra day to see if item 2 you want comes in, but then you may lost out on item 1. Or, you go ahead and order the 1 item you really want and something else random just to get the order to go through. This was frustrating as I was holding out for 2 dresses to come in stock for the weddings we had to attend. One showed up and I wanted to order it to reserve it, but wait a day or two to see if the second dress became available. This wasn't an option, so I just ordered the dress that I wanted that was available and picked something else that was OK but not my first pick. 
  • You can return 1, 2, 3, or 4 items at a time. While this is nice as soon as you make the return you don't have the garment bag anymore to return in. you have to wait for your next items to arrive before you can return the rest of the items. So if you return two items on a Wednesday and then by Sunday you are ready to return the next two, you have to hold on to them until your next order arrives.   
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So, would I recommend it? I get why they have most of these policies that I listed as a con. If I could rent/ship items individually then that is a high shipping cost for them and they have to see what you have returned before you can choose your next items. In my opinion it makes the $159 fee not worth it. That being said, it is definitely worth it for $99 for your first month. and I would recommend you sign up for it during a month that you have a lot of fun activities (or a vacation planned) to get the most out of your new pieces. It is a great way to try out new designers and trends, and to wear some more luxurious clothing than you may normally wear. They also do have an "update" service instead which I have also tried and LOVED. Review of that coming soon! :)

Like I mentioned above, if you sign up under my link for Rent the Runway you will get $30 off your first order as well as I will receive a credit to Rent the Runway. This post is not sponsored and is my honest opinions. If you have any questions, please leave a comment or send me an email!

All of the items I was able to rent during my month of unlimited are linked in the widget below.

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7 thoughts

  1. Thank you for this. Next time I have several events in one month I will do the trial, but that is it.

    1. The trial is definitely worth it! Hope you enjoy the service whenever you try it out!!

  2. I love to hear your thoughts on this! I'm fortunate to live in a city where there's a store, but I can see how it'd be frustrating otherwise.

    Sincerely, Jennie

    1. Ah that is so awesome! If I lived in a city where it was there it would be sooo dangerous haha. Do you use the unlimited service now??

  3. I have been curious about this service! Thanks for the honest review!

    xx Leah /

  4. I have emailed them for a return shipping label for an individual item and they have provided it to me. I had to provide the packaging and getting in the mail, but that wasn't a big deal... I suggested that they make this shipping label available every time you order so that you can ship back just a single item.

    1. That's a good idea! Did you have to also pay shipping fees or just find a box/bag to ship it in?


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