It sounds like an amazing deal: pay one flat fee each month for access to a revolving closet of designer pieces. But does Rent the Runway Unlimited live up to the hype or the price tag? This is the story of my RTR Unlimited rebound.
Rent the Runway offers two subscription services: Unlimited and Update. Unlimited allows you unlimited shipments of four pieces at a time for $159 a month. Update allows you one shipment of four pieces for $89 per month (you can add pieces for an extra cost). Both services promise to change the way you dress.
I subscribed to RTR Unlimited twice in the past two years. Both times, I cancelled my subscription within three months. Here’s the tale of two tries with RTR.
My First Glance at Unlimited
The promise of designer fashions delivered on demand was a powerful motivator to join RTR. I happily put down the money for the Unlimited subscription after finding a promo code for $60 off of my first month. And as I spent an evening “hearting” favorite pieces to create a wishlist of fashions, I thought expectantly about all the money RTR would save me.
My first shipment was scheduled to arrive on a Tuesday before I left for D.C. on Thursday to attend a handful of work and personal events. But Tuesday came and went with no box. I called RTR and was informed that my shipment was delayed at a transit facility in Oregon and wouldn’t arrive until Friday. All of my carefully chosen fashions would be for naught.
When I arrived back in Spokane, having nowhere to wear a bevy of cocktail dresses and a sequin blazer, I returned all of the items unworn and waited for my next shipment.
A full week went by before I received an email saying a new shipment was headed my way. Add in four days of delivery time, and it was eleven days from the return of order one to the arrival of order number two.
I opened the zip top garment bag like a kid on Christmas morning. But when two of the pieces were the wrong size and a third was much more sheer then the photos made it out to be, I was disappointed again.
After two lackluster shipments in a month, I decided to give RTR one more chance to wow me. I waited nine days for my next delivery, and while the shipment had three wearable pieces, I found that working them into my wardrobe wasn’t as easy as anticipated. It was at that point I decided that RTR wasn’t for me.
My Second Try with RTR
In the run up to my wedding, I thought renting dresses for pre-wedding events made more sense than buying a handful of special occasion outfits. So when I received an email inviting me to try their wide selection of white dresses for summer (were they reading my mind or my Google searches?), I took the plunge. But my RTR rebound lasted just two days.
One of the dresses in the solicitation email was an Alexis dress that I had actually wanted to buy but was out of my price range. So I clicked on the e-mail link and encountered a message asking me to subscribe in order to add the dress to my next delivery. Subscription purchased, I broke through the paywall and discovered that the item wasn’t currently available for shipment.
I was disappointed, but hey, not every item will be available when you want it. Instead, I selected a handful of white dresses and a clutch and, with a full week until my wedding, pushed send. But the next day, I received the bad news that my shipment could not be delivered to Montana before the Labor Day wedding. I called to cancel the shipment and my subscription.
Bottom line, both experiences proved to me that RTR Unlimited is made for people who live in major cities. If you live elsewhere, you’re at the mercy of an unpredictable logistical process. And $159 per month is too large an amount of money to feel like you’re having a B-level experience compared to your metropolitan brethren.
Have you tried RTR Unlimited? And if so, do you live in a major metro area or a smaller place? I’d love to give readers a picture of other experiences, especially if it worked for you better than it did for me.
Saw It On Social is a feature about the products and services that fill our social feeds and entice us with promised of life altering experiences. RTR Unlimited, like all SIoS products was paid for with my own money. I wanted to like it, but it just wasn’t a good buy for my circumstances.