We used Rent the Runway Unlimited to rent $4,862 worth of designer clothes in a single week - here's how the subscription plan works and why we're so willing to pay the $160 monthly fee
- Rent the Runway Unlimited lets subscribers order an endless rotation of designer apparel (clothes, bags, earrings, etc.) for a flat fee of $159 per month.
- Five women on the Insider Picks team pay for monthly subscriptions. To show you how the service works and what value we personally get out of it, three of us show the outfits we rented over the course of a week.
- If you choose to try the service, you can get your first two months for $119 each with the code "FF80" at checkout.
Rent the Runway has been dubbed one of the most disruptive companies in the world - but how does a company that rents out designer fashion rank alongside Uber, Airbnb, and Elon Musk's ambitious, futuristic aerospace company, SpaceX?
To the envy of its peers in an increasingly challenging retail space, the answer is, in part, its subscriptions. Rent the Runway was once the underground life hack for renting a $500 cocktail dress for $75 for a wedding. But as of 2018, both its then-two-year-old subscriptions - RTR Update (four items per month, $89) and RTR Unlimited (unlimited rentals of four items at a time, $159) - already reportedly accounted for more than 50% of the company's total revenue, and were up 150% year-over-year. Instead of a one-off rental, RTR customers today seek a better, more sustainable alternative to shopping.On the Insider Picks team alone, five women pay the $159 monthly fee for a Rent the Runway Unlimited Subscription (and you can find three of our personal reviews and pictures of outfits we rented in a week below).
How Rent the Runway Unlimited works
Rent the Runway Unlimited lets its members rent an unlimited amount of designer clothes on a rotating basis every month - including everything from handbags to work clothes to patterned sundresses to statement earrings. It's $159 per month, but your first month will only cost $99.
Members can pick up to four items per rental and then return them whenever they want to swap out for a new style, or just keep them all for the entire month. There's no set return deadline with the membership, as long as you continue to pay by the month, and you don't have to wait until you've worn all four items to return one of them. All orders have free shipping, the membership includes insurance for minor mishaps and general wear and tear, and RTR takes care of the dry cleaning.
To return an order, members will pop the clothes back into the garment bag they came in, swap in the prepaid return label, and drop the bag to any UPS store or their designated drop-boxes. Once Rent the Runway has received the returns, members are notified that they can make new selections - and they're directed to a page full of options available for same-day or next-day delivery.
The selection is huge - for instance, 31 pages of daytime dresses alone available for delivery to me tomorrow in Manhattan. Members can narrow the options down by size, body type, occasion, color, etc., and they'll also be able to see which options they've previously "hearted" that are now available for delivery. RTR will also curate personalized suggestions they think you'll like based off your previous rentals.
To show you what Rent the Runway Unlimited is like in real life, three subscribers take you through one week of their rentals:
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Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Insider Picks team. We highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback. Email us at email@example.com.