Get Going/ Wardrobe Warrior
Kristin Booker • November 4, 2012

Special Occasion Wardrobe Secret Weapon: Rent the Runway

That season is suddenly upon us: the holiday party calendar: office gatherings, neighborhood socials, industry events, black tie galas – they’re all  the social gauntlet that every woman has to run before you can sit down at the holiday, exhausted with a glass of something in your hand. That is, until New Year’s Eve taps you on the shoulder. Then you’ve got a whole new set of circumstances to deal with. Bottoms up, buttercup.

One such invitation actually just came in for me, so last night I got all dolled up for a big-time black tie event. One that had a strict dress code, a seating chart and a particularly high brow crowd. Let me be clear here about my wardrobe for such events: I have no black tie game. I own a lot of what could be considered “cocktail attire,” but once the invite calls for a gown, I’m out. Hands up.

Me in my Trina Turk Pantheon Gown, all decked out at a black tie event.

But check out the Trina Turk Pantheon Gown I was able to rock at the event. Not bad, right? This is why I wanted to write this post and let you know about “my people” for such an event, the people ANYONE ANYWHERE can use: Rent The Runway.

My first use of Rent the Runway, the Preen Classical Gardens Dress I wore to the CEW Awards Gala Luncheon in April 2012.

I first tried this service in April when I had to present at the CEW Awards Gala Luncheon and selected the Preen Classical Gardens Dress (seen in the photo above) that is STILL getting rave reviews. This time, I had to select something a bit more dramatic, so I chose the bordeaux-hued wonder you see above and, as per their amazing service, selected the next size up so I could leave a little comfort for sizing. Order placed. Done.

Let me give a shout-out to the Rent The Runway team: despite the challenges that Hurricane Sandy presented, those dresses arrived on time via UPS. THAT is customer service, people.

A quick shot at the table from last night’s black tie dinner.

And so I dolled the look up with jewelry and accessories I already had: vintage earrings, a Jenny Packham Stellina Bracelet, Lauren Ralph Lauren Kadie Python Sandals and a Derek Lam clutch (no longer available, more styles here.) The faux fur jacket is vintage, it belonged to my beloved grandmother.

A quick shot in the car of the fur and the makeup. SUCH a fun night. :)

Psst: underneath is a Yummie Tummie Nic slip in Black. Because the dress is form-fitting and it’s just good manners to wear a slip with some structure under a dress that slinky. Trust me, girls, don’t be shy: lock it it and hold it down in a gown like this.

The dress? Killed it. Hands down, the best money I’ve spent and it was worth its weight in gold from all the compliments I received. Today, they’ve been placed in the previously-provided USPS envelopes and they’re on their way back to RTR.

SO, let this be a little service announcement that Rent the Runway is a cost-effective way to borrow a dress for a special occasion. And, if you’re like me, last night called for two special occasions: looking my best for a very important New York City black tie event AND the possibility of running into a guy who I wanted to see me looking spectacular. Both were achieved.

By the way, you can also check out their new feature, Our Runway, which allows RTR renters to post photos of themselves in their rented dresses with real reviews so you can see what the photos look like on a real body. It’s a smart way to shop so you can get a good estimate of what it might look like on you. You know, because the size 2/4 models are, um, not always the most accurate prediction of fit.

Need to borrow a dress like a celebrity for your own red carpet moment? Amazing. Call “your people” at Rent the Runway for an experience that will make you feel like the paparazzi should be waiting outside your door.

Which, I recommend sunglasses when you use the service. Just in case they are because you’ll look THAT good.




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