The Ultimate Guide to Rent the Runway Unlimited

The Ultimate Guide to Rent the Runway Unlimited

I’ve been a paying Rent the Runway Unlimited subscriber since May 16, 2016, so it now rivals Netflix as one of the few things I’ve subscribed to and didn’t actually change my mind. Whether you’re curious if the Rent the Runway Unlimited membership is worth it (most likely, yes), you need help navigating the RTR interface, you want advice on how to make the most of the service, or you’re just looking for a coupon code (IJEOMAPERK30) – I got you covered in this ultimate guide to Rent the Runway Unlimited. Keep reading for my Rent the Runway Unlimited review.

Is Rent the Runway Unlimited Worth It?

At $159 + tax, the Rent the Runway Unlimited monthly membership can seem like a pricy subscription service. Now whether or not the RTR Unlimited program will be worth it for you depends on your current clothing spending habits and your closet needs. If you work from home all the time, and your version of a going out outfit is jeans and a cute basic top, you probably don’t need Rent the Runway Unlimited. If you are very thrifty and spend less than $150/month on clothes currently, then RTR Unlimited may not be worth it from a financial standpoint, but it may be worth it if you’re interested in reducing your carbon footprint, saving space in your closet, and participating in more sustainable fashion practices.

There is a cheaper membership option called Rent the Runway Update, where you receive four items and hold onto them for an entire month, with no exchanges. That service is $89/month, so may be a good starter place for people who don’t see themselves renting up to 8 pieces in a month, or for a specific busy period like the holiday season.

For everyone else who spends a lot of money on clothes, or buys a lot of different clothes, Rent the Runway Unlimited is a great financial and environmental investment. On months I’m really on top of my wear & return game, I can borrow about 10-12 different pieces, which brings the cost to about $15 per item. I’ve already had 8 items since my monthly billing started on 7/15, and if I play my cards right, I should be able to get three more things before the 15th. Now I don’t know about you but the chances of finding designer, quality clothing and accessories for $15 each every single month is super slim. So even if you only wear the pieces once, the membership pays for itself. Keep reading for different ways to make use of the Rent the Runway Unlimited subscription.

How to Make the Most of Your Rent the Runway Unlimited Subscription

For Weddings

Please do tell, how many times have you bought a dress to wear to a wedding and never wore it again? With Rent the Runway Unlimited, you can have a new dress for every wedding you have to attend, without racking up extra costs or clogging your closet with cocktail dresses you’ll never wear again. My best friend and I practically share my RTR account during wedding season. I order us both dresses, and she forgives me for being a less than stellar friend!

If you’re a bride, Rent the Runway is also a great option for engagement, shower, bachelorette, and honeymoon looks. They now have a pretty comprehensive bridal section that shows recommended dresses for different events, as well as bridesmaid dresses and accessories. I wore this dress to my rehearsal dinner, brought this one on my honeymoon, and rocked this jumpsuit for our lowkey anniversary trip.

Sequin Rose Gold Badgley Mischka Bridesmaid Dresses
Badgley Mischka Blush Sequin Off Shoulder Gown via Rent the Runway

My biggest Rent the Runway hack of all time actually happened for my wedding, and though it didn’t happen through my Unlimited account, I think the story bears repeating. Rather than spend hundreds of dollars on bridesmaids dresses, my bridesmaids rented their dresses for the weekend and furthered reduced costs by taking advantage of the free second size option that comes with 4 and 8 day rentals. My 7 bridesmaids split the cost of 4 dresses, bringing their bridesmaid dress cost to less than $50 each. Anyone who wants to crown me the most chill, thoughtful bride, I am accepting gifts and recognition, thanks.

For Special Events

Whether you go to a lot of events and galas for work, go to concerts and festivals with friends, or just like to dress up regularly, Rent the Runway is great for special events. I borrowed two dresses for my birthday last year, and haven’t bought an outfit for New Years in ages. I have no idea where the dress I wore for my college graduation is, so rather than spending money on a dress for the PhD graduation next year, I plan on just including one in my Unlimited order.

For Vacation

One of the few times I’m motivated to buy new clothes is when I’m embarking on a new adventure, and Rent the Runway helps mitigate that need. Before my honeymoon, trip to Japan, and trip to New Orleans, I chose vacation appropriate pieces that made me excited to get dressed every day!

picnic in Central Park
ASTR Striped Ellowyn Dress via Rent the Runway

For Photoshoots

I honestly don’t know how ANY blogger exists without using Rent the Runway. With all the photos we take and content we create, it can become incredibly expensive to buy new clothes all the time. Plus my closet only has so much space! RTR allows me to have fresh clothes for all my shoots, and I essentially build in the costs of wardrobe for shoots when setting my rates so it’s a win win! This sequin dress I wore for my blog rebrand is still one of my favorite rentals to date, and it’s literally not available anywhere else on the internet.

For Everyday

Some of my favorite RTR rentals have been the ones that I wore just to hang out with my family or wear to the movies. I love that in addition to dresses and gowns, Rent the Runway also has a wide collection of casual daytime options like tops, sweaters, skirts, jeans, and even coats. Especially coats! I held onto this winter coat for weeks because it was so comfortable and chic, and I felt smart because I didn’t spend $200 on a winter coat like I normally do. I also rotate through a ton of jumpsuits for lazy summer weekends, like this one I wore for 4th of July.

Tome Blue Striped Tunic, Zac Posen Shoulder Bag, Steven White slides
Tome Blue Striped Tunic + Zac Zac Posen Red Earthette Shoulder Bag via Rent the Runway

To Try Before You Buy

I find this particularly helpful for handbags, because I’ve bought many purses thinking I’d wear them forever, but then I wear them three times and never use them again. Rent the Runway is a great way to try clothing or accessories you’re considering buying (without having to hide the tag so you can qualify for a return). Since the time of my membership, I’ve rented a few Zac Posen handbags, and recently held onto one for so long I figured I should just buy it. Although Rent the Runway does let you purchase items that you have at home, I found a better deal online so I bought the bag elsewhere. Had I not tried a variety of Zac Posen bags first, I probably would have wasted money on the bag that I thought I’d like but then ended up nonchalant.

Rent the Runway Unlimited Review

Now that we’ve gone through all the different ways to take advantage of your Unlimited subscription, here are a few pros and cons of the service based on my usage.

Pros of Rent the Runway Unlimited

Designers for less: An obvious one, but I can borrow something that normally costs $1,000 (for no good reason might I add, but I digress) for a flat rate. Unlike the Reserve four or eight day rentals, the cost of Unlimited stays the same no matter how expensive or affordable your pieces are.

Filters: One of my favorite things about the Rent the Runway interface is the various filters. I like to search by color since I tend to wear particular colors during each season, which helps keep my feed consistent. Looking for a sleeveless, orange, knee length dress? Rent the Runway makes it super easy to find with its filters.

Versatility: Rent the Runway carries workout clothes and wedding gowns, so there’s something for every aspect of life. They even carry maternity options which I think is brilliant and will definitely take advantage of when I get to that stage in life.

Suggestions: I find the curated lists (ie. Summer Office Upgrades, Easy, Cool, & Chic), and suggested Just For You selects to be pretty spot on. When I’m not looking for anything specific, these lists help suggest things that I actually like based on my previous rentals.

Shipping speed: Another great aspect of the app and web interface is that you can search Unlimited items by delivery date. So if you’re desperate and need something the next day, you may be able to find some options (if you’re searching in the morning before the day’s orders are processed). The only catch is that you’ll have to have an empty slot in order to have an item shipped out, and returns can take about 2 days to ship and process (though they’re free!).

Cons of Rent the Runway Unlimited

Reviews: One of my few complaints about the mobile app is that it prompts you to leave feedback before choosing your next items. I get that it’s important for the company to know if you wore an item or if there were any fit or stain issues, but I’d love to be able to do this after picking my next things! As for the customer reviews, I can’t complain too much since I rarely leave a review myself, but a random pet peeve is when people order a size smaller than their normal size then complain that the item is too small! So I always scroll through ALL the reviews to get a sense of an item before renting.

In Store Selection: My second biggest qualm is that the New York location doesn’t show what’s available in store. Since I live relatively close, it would be convenient to see what’s available before I venture over there. Though I’ve never gone to the store in desperate need of a look and left empty handed, the process could have gone more quickly if I knew what was available beforehand. That said, I do love being able to return to the store, and have many times sent Jonathan with a handful of returns on his way to work so I could order more quickly from the comfort of our home.

In Conclusion

Well, now that I’ve said pretty much all that I’ve got to say about Rent the Runway Unlimited, feel free to give it a try with my code IJEOMAPERK30 which will save you nearly $50 on your first Unlimited order. The same code IJEOMAPERK30 will also get you 30% off any Rent the Runway rental, so rent a dress for an event or rent a handbag for the weekend and enjoy a few extra dollars in your pocket on me!

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Comments

  1. I just started using Unlimited, and a lot of the pieces I wanted weren’t available :/ Is there a way to reserve things in advance like you can with regular shipments, or are you always just stuck with your second or third options? Great post, though, and I’m still excited about this subscription in spite of my less than stellar start!

    1. I usually put everything I might want for the month in a hearts folder, and if I really really want something (say for an event, even if its two months out) I’ll reserve it ASAP and just keep it at home. Unfortunately I don’t think there’s any way to reserve anything for a specific period of time with Unlimited – but in that case you can always use Reserve!

  2. This sounds like a great option to rent clothing pieces if you’re an IG blogger or influencers who travel or business in social media. Maybe one day when I adventure out in this business I will consider this option. It’s perfect for you.

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