Rent The Runway: Netflix For Designer Dresses

Who wants to spend $500 on a dress that you’ll be too fat for the next time you use it? Enter Rent The Runway, the Netflix of online dress rental.

Here’s how it works:

1. Pick out your dress designed by folks like Diane Von Furstenberg, Hervé Léger and Proenza Schouler
2. Pay $50-$200 for a 4-night loan
3. Dress gets shipped to your door
4. Wear it and have fun
5. Put it in the pre-paid envelope and drop it in the mailbox

The site appears to be in some sort of beta mode where you have to request to be added to a wait list, but it seems like a good idea.

Commenter pecan 3.14159265 got on a chat with their customer service and reports back with their current list of designers whose dresses they carry:

ADAM
Alice + Olivia
Badgley Mischka
Brian Reyes
Catherine Malandrino
Christian Cota
Christian Siriano
Diane von Furstenberg
Doo Ri
Foley + Corinna
Giambattista Valli
Gryphon
Haute Hippie
Helmut Lang
Hervé Léger
Just Cavalli
Lela Rose
Matthew Williamson
Moschino Cheap And Chic
Pencey
Peter Soronen
Philosophy Di Alberta Ferretti
Proenza Schouler
Rebecca Taylor
Richard Chai
Robert Rodriguez Black Label
Robert Rodriguez Collection
Tibi
Tracy Reese
Tuleh
Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent
Yigal Azrouël

A Netflix Model for Haute Couture [NYT] (Thanks to c-side!)

Comments

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  1. gStein_*|bringing starpipe back|* says:

    why hasn’t this been done before?
    i mean, guys rent tuxes all the time (how many guys out there own their own tux vs. rent one as needed?)

  2. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    This could be soo cool, but also kinda icky. They wash them right?

  3. roguemarvel says:

    I wish this was available just a few months ago when I got married. I love my dress and I got a great deal, but I’m never going to wear it again and I would have loved to have worn a designer dress and save a few hundred dollars.

  4. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    I got on chat with one of their customer service reps. This is the entire list of designers whose dresses they carry for rent:

    ADAM
    Alice + Olivia
    Badgley Mischka
    Brian Reyes
    Catherine Malandrino
    Christian Cota
    Christian Siriano
    Diane von Furstenberg
    Doo Ri
    Foley + Corinna
    Giambattista Valli
    Gryphon
    Haute Hippie
    Helmut Lang
    Hervé Léger
    Just Cavalli
    Lela Rose
    Matthew Williamson
    Moschino Cheap And Chic
    Pencey
    Peter Soronen
    Philosophy Di Alberta Ferretti
    Proenza Schouler
    Rebecca Taylor
    Richard Chai
    Robert Rodriguez Black Label
    Robert Rodriguez Collection
    Tibi
    Tracy Reese
    Tuleh
    Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent
    Yigal Azrouël

  5. thatblackgirl says:

    The NYT story doesn’t say anything about sizing, but I’ll bet anyone that the dresses only go up to a size ten or so. Sorry fatties, no couture for you!

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @thatblackgirl: I asked a CSR through chat. They carry sizes 0 to 10/12 right now and the CSR said they would “absolutely” expand their sizing.

      Obviously, your selection is limited by what designers will make, so if designers stop at size 10/12, you’re out of luck.

      • Ananelle says:

        @pecan 3.14159265: Actually, this was featured on jezebel and they only have about 10 dresses in 10/12 and about 80 in smaller sizes, last I checked. Supposedly there is no market for “plus size couture.”

        • thatblackgirl says:

          @Ananelle: As a fat woman myself, I would love to be able to wear nice clothes, but the industry seems to continue to believe that if they don’t make clothes for me, I’ll be shamed into starving myself into their small sizes.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          @Ananelle: I can believe that. I believe designers may make about 100 of a dress but 98 of them will be sizes 0 to 8 and the other two will be 10 and a 12. So I can see how they wouldn’t have a ton of selection past 8.

        • maines19 says:

          @Ananelle: Since when is size 10/12 “plus size”? Not in any store I’ve ever shopped in.

  6. katia802 says:

    I recall hearing of a website that rented designer purses. Anybody remember that, or am I just dreaming it?

    • Kuchen says:

      @katia802: There are actually several websites that rent bags. The one I’ve heard about the most is [www.bagborroworsteal.com]

    • goheels83 says:

      @katia802:

      Yes, it’s called “Bag borrow or steal”

      I think the bag website was a horrible idea (and it was shilled horribly in the Sex and the City movie) – I don’t mind investing a chunk of money in a handbag I can carry forever.

      The dress website is interesting to me though – I would have loved something like this in college when I had a ton of formals and bought a new dress for each one. I might try it for some upcoming weddings.

      Also – dresses are offered in size 0-10.

  7. tn_avenger says:

    Anyone know what the pricing is? Trying to figure out a way I can block my internet router from showing this site to the wife.

  8. DirectMailFan says:

    Maybe for an extra fee, the “What Not To Wear” offers a critique.

    “Are you kidding? You know that dress will make your a** look big!”

  9. kityglitr says:

    Funny choice of words guys (…a dress you’ll be too fat for…)! Rent The Runway does not carry anything over a size 10. I’m a 12, which is not fat at ALL. If anything, I’m smaller than a lot of women I know. So, for all the regular sized women who’d like to be fashionable for a night, try Wear Today Gone Tomorrow, instead.

    • aguacarbonica says:

      @kityglitr:

      Well technically, dress sizes run smaller than regular sizes so a size 10 dress should fit an otherwise size 12. Unless you mean that you are a size 12 dress, which makes you a size 14.

  10. BytheSea says:

    $500? That’s a prom dress. Try $50,000.

  11. jhuang says:

    There’s also weartodaygonetomorrow.com. I’m a member of both (out of curiosity…. ahem) but RTR is definitely better in terms of selection. Also, RTR sends you two sizes in case you’re not sure of which will fit you better, and if neither fit, you can return them within 24 hours for a full credit.

    Wish I had found this a couple years ago so I could wear some of these dresses for my sorority formals! Too bad I am almost out of college now. :(

  12. roguemarvel says:

    @Oranges w/ Cheese has 2 cats! ahahaha.: Since it was only a $600 davids bridal dress and I model a little I’m thinking about doing a dress trashing shoot and walking away with some amazing photos.

  13. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    @BytheSea: Catherine Zeta Jones is probably an 8 because she has curves. Meryl Streep as well.

  14. kalaratri says:

    @pecan 3.14159265: Doesn’t matter. I have NEVER worn an item of formal clothing that didn’t need to be tailored in at least one area. I’m not safety pinning a couture gown so it doesn’t gap when I lean forward.