Dress: Nicole Miller via Rent the Runway| Earrings: Nicole Miller (Nicole does it again!)| Shoes: Vince Camuto |Clutch: Marc Jacobs (no longer avail, but linked similar affordable options here and here) | Lip Stain: Revlon
I’ve had a few experiences with Rent the Runway, some great, and some… well, not so much. But I won’t belabor the past, today I’m talking about my recent experience renting a black tie gown for a gala I was lucky enough to attend for a work function.
I’ll admit, this is the first time I have ever rented a black tie gown or gone to a black tie occasion – all of the weddings and galas I’ve attended in the past were more cocktail attire. However, when I had about 2 weeks notice for this gala, I was worried because I didn’t exactly want to pay for a black tie gown, but I also was worried if I rented something, I wouldn’t find anything that fit me properly considering I’m only 5’0. That’s when I learned that Rent the Runway (RTR) actually sells petite gowns! While they don’t have as many of them, and you have to really search for them online (there’s not really a filter that includes petite, tall, etc., or at least one I could find), they do have them there!
Considering I only had two weeks to go, I knew I needed to make a decision quickly, which honestly wasn’t very hard to do considering A) there aren’t a ton of petite options and B) many dresses were already spoken for since ya know, #weddingseason.
I chose a classic off-the-shoulder Nicole Miller rouched black gown that had me feeling very Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman and when I saw that I could get earrings for another $5, I scooped them right up!
I decided that instead of shipping to my house (it’s Chicago – people steal packages) or work, I’d go to the RTR store-front. I figured this would allow me to try on the dress with my shoes and make sure it fit me, and I guess I just thought that if it didn’t, they would find something for me — not sure if that’s entirely true, haha but one can hope. If you do know this, leave me a comment below cause I’m super curious now! Also, I figured then I wouldn’t have to carry two dresses home. Honestly, having gone to the store, I’d say the only actual plus side of picking up in store if you order online is that they’ll steam your dress for you – but then you still have to get it home. I’d stick to ordering online, that is unless you want to try on dresses in store, then by all means, go crazy!
Luckily, my original size fit me almost perfectly, although I could’ve gone a size smaller. Side bar – I thought it was kinda strange how the stylist who worked there said I should go a size smaller, then asked what my backup size which was two bigger than the one he previously suggested and then said maybe that one would fit me better… umm what? I will say, I could’ve used another inch or two on my heels, but it honestly wasn’t that noticeable and I actually kind of enjoyed holding up my dress – made me feel a little more black tie official – I know, I’m weird! The dress hugged me in all the right places and the ruching was placed expertly -that Nicole Miller really knows what she’s doing! 😉
As far as styling, I used this opportunity to practice on my own hair since we’re all doing our own this upcoming weekend for my friend’s wedding and swiped on my cheapy lip stain (it’s literally like $6 and I constantly find myself going back to it, even with all of my fancy lip products!). I have to say, the hair actually turned out pretty good and I hope I can recreate it next week. I must have been so proud of the job I did that I almost forgot to put on the earrings, but once I did, I really feel like it brought it up another level. I topped it off with my Marc Jacobs gold clutch that I got a few years back.
All in all, I’d say it was a pretty good experience and RTR redeemed my first experience with them back in the day, and I’d definitely consider using them again if I had a black tie affair.
Have you ever used RTR before? What was your experience like?