It was seriously perfect.
My cousin's wedding was less than a month away and I still had nothing to wear. It was my first black-tie only event and I was totally out of my element.
Sure, I could go buy some $500 dress at Macy's and call it a day, but my budget would never forgive me. Also, I wasn't looking forward to spending hours browsing and trying things on.
Staring at the prom dress in my closet that hasn't fit since freshman year of college, I called my best friend to see if I could borrow something.
She told me she doesn't even own any dresses anymore - she let me in on a secret of hers called Rent The Runway, a company that rents out designer fashion at a fraction of the retail price.
Um, I was not convinced. "How would I know what size to get? How much does it cost? Aren't designer clothes really expensive? What kinds of designers? Is it weird to wear clothes that have been worn before?"
I bombarded my friend with these questions, and she told me to stop panicking - I'd be fine. She said it's definitely worth a try because she's loved everything she's ordered.
My cousin's wedding drew closer and closer and I still hadn't found a dress I liked, so I decided to check it out.
Entering their site felt like going to DisneyWorld for the first time. There were so many beautiful dresses I wanted to wear.
They offered a "Reserve" option which lets you rent a dress for 4 or 8 days, starting as low as $30 a dress. I took a simple quiz and selected the date of the wedding, and they suggested hundreds of gorgeous dresses that fit the dress code.
A red Badgley Mishka full-length cocktail dress immediately caught my eye. It was perfect for this wedding, and even though it was a $525 dress, I got it for only $90. And with shipping and dry cleaning included, it was a really great deal all said.
Next up, figuring out my size, which was surprisingly easy thanks to Rent the Runway's photo reviews. Women who've rented the dress before can put up reviews, pictures, and tips (I could even filter the reviews by my body type).
I was super relieved to see that dry cleaning and insurance are included, so I never have to worry if I accidentally spill my latte on a beautiful Marni day dress! Plus, shipping is free!
The women described how the dress fit, what they loved about it, and even got into details like whether you needed to wear a bra or not. After reading through them, I was pretty confident about the size I selected, but on top of that, Rent the Runway lets you order a second size at no additional cost just in case the one I picked didn't fit.
When it arrived, the first size I tried on was a little looser than I expected. Luckily, I had the backup size and it fit like a glove. My cousin's wedding was so beautiful; I felt so confident in a dress that I couldn't justify for one occasion without Rent the Runway.
Since then, I've rented a cocktail dress for a work event, a sequined jumpsuit for a holiday party, and a beautiful coat for my birthday dinner.
I wish I had known I had access to the closet of my dreams years ago. With Rent the Runway's closet in the cloud I don't need to waste money or time on dresses I'll only wear once. (Because as everyone knows, Instagram never forgets!)
Use promo code: RENT30
Canadian artist Lailien, aka Brad Shubat, releases "Fly With You," a track from his forthcoming LP, TA-DA!
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The actor's leadership is inspiring.
In a viral clip posted to Twitter by NBC News reporter Gadi Schwartz, actress Keke Palmer is seen pleading with members of the National Guard to "join the revolution" during a Los Angeles protest that took place Tuesday in the wake of the police murder of George Floyd.
"You have a president that's talking about the second amendment as a use for people to use firearms against the people that are protesting," she says passionately. She continued, "You have to pay attention to what is going on. We have a president that's trying to incite a race war."