Going to a Ball and Rent the Runway: A Recap and Review

Who has two thumbs, rented a cocktail gown, and went to a real-life ball last weekend?  THIS GIRL!

The husband and I decided to kick up our heels and support a wonderful cause all at the same time.  Along with another couple, we attended the Catholic Charities Black & White Ball at Everbank Field.  And seeing as my normal clothing style tends more to the denim and less to the sequin, I thought it would be fun to try out an online dress rental.  Because, really, I have absolutely no reason to own a cocktail dress wardrobe, right?  Anyway, here’s how it went down.

Using Rent the Runway

On the recommendation (and with a coupon from!) a couple friends, I looked up Rent the Runway.  They’ve got a great selection of gowns in every level formality.  From completely casual to deluxe designer formal, you can find pretty much whatever you’re looking for.  You can even rent jewelry and bags to go with your gown!  I passed on that part, but it was neat to look at the sparkly things.

I found a super cute dress that was going to be just about perfect.  After reading the reviews and taking a very official poll on my Instagram stories, I pulled the trigger and ordered it.  One of the cool things about RTR is that you automatically get to pick a backup size that they will ship you at no additional charge.  Then, you also get to pick a backup dress in case they can’t, for whatever reason, send you the dress you originally ordered.

Being as it was my first time ordering from this company, I went ahead and snagged a second dress to put in my cart just in case the first one was a total bust.  All three dresses arrived right on schedule the day before the event.  Naturally, I had my uber-talented 6 year-old photographer to take some snaps for me.

Turns out the original dress I picked was definitely the way to go!!  The second one, NOT SO MUCH!  That slit didn’t look nearly as high on the model the website used.  And while I liked how the dress fit and that the back was really cool, but that slit!  A Catholic Charities gala was probably not the right occasion to put on an accidental peep show, so that one was a hard pass.

The Big Night

We had a great time!  Drinks, dinner, dancing, and spending time with friends all to support an excellent cause — what could be better?  Not to mention that I went and got my hair done, got some cute new shoes and got to dance with this super handsome fella all evening.

And, did you notice that the dress had POCKETS?!  Sweet!

Time to Return the Runway

Honest to goodness, nothing could’ve been easier.  I didn’t have to clean the dress or anything.  It was as easy as 1-2-3-4!

  1.  Throw the dress onto the hanger and back into the garment bag it was delivered in.
  2.  Switch out the delivery label for the pre-paid return shipping label.
  3.  Slide the lock-thingy onto the zipper.
  4. Drop off at the UPS store.

That was it!  No muss, no fuss.

The Final Verdict

I would say both experiences will DEFINITELY be repeated.  We’ve decided to work with our friends to gather several more couples to come along when the ball comes around next year.  The more the merrier!  And I will definitely work with RTR again, especially now that I’ve figured out a few tricks.

If you decide to use the company, here’s what I would suggest…

  • find a coupon
  • read the reviews and stylist recommendations carefully
  • remember that designer sizes are a bit different than what you’ll find at Target (yeah, that was an eye-opener!)
  • pick something a little snazzier than what you usually go for — and have fun!

Until next time, cocktail dress!! I’ll just be over here enjoying my yoga pants and freedom from Spanx until we meet again.

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