Rent The Runway: I have mentioned this website once before, but let me mention it again. With Rent the Runway, you are able to rent designer dresses and accessories for a period of 4 or 8 days (depending on your needs) for MUCH less than the retail price. For instance, for the Joffrey’s Couture & Cocktails event in Fall of 2011, I rented this awesome Catherine Maladrino dress:
This dress retails for $595 but I was able to rent it for only $75. Which is not only a LOT less than its original retail price, but also a lot less than I would have spent on purchasing another dress that would have been appropriate for this event. Remember, there are a lot of rich donors walking around and you want to look like you belong there.
Here are some friends and I enjoying the event! The dress fit well, it was comfortable, it looked great (I got a ton of compliments) and I didn’t have to fret over having spent a ton of money on it. Worry-free evening! And Rent the Runway is super easy to use. They send you the dress in whatever size you want PLUS a backup dress in another size for FREE so you have options for fit. They also send a big return envelope so after wearing the dress, all you have to do is stick the dresses in the envelope, stick the envelope in a mailbox, and go about the rest of your day.
I purchased dresses for my first Couture & Cocktail and Spring Gala events at the Joffrey and while I have worn both of those dresses again for other occasions, I am definitely using Rent the Runway in the future. This way I don’t have to clutter my closet with dresses I may or may not wear again, I don’t have to force myself to wear dresses again to make purchases “worth it,” and, perhaps best of all, I can afford to have a new smoking hot dress for each special occasion. I know this might sound wasteful to some people (and you should try to have a few solid dresses or fancier separates that you can wear again and again), it makes me happy and, in the long run, isn’t costing me much. Plus there are certain occasions, such as black-tie Joffrey events and fancier weddings, where you have to have a more expensive looking dress in order to not look like a complete idiot. For example, my friend is getting married at a VERY fancy castle in NY in October and, without a floor-length, classic dress, I would wind up looking like I shouldn’t be there. So I went on Rent the Runway and rented this little number:
This Nicole Miller dress retails for $750 and I rented it for $100 (well, $80 with my $20-off birthday code!). So now I’ll look appropriate while not spending an arm and a leg and also not purchasing a floor-length dress I will literally never wear again.
So, ladies, use Rent the Runway for your next special occasion!
Speaking of my friend’s wedding in October: I will need to travel to NY to be there and that means finding a place to stay. Instead of paying a ridiculous amount to rent a room at a Holiday Inn Express (barf), I am using Airbnb, a website I’ve used a couple times before to find a place to stay. On Airbnb, people rent out their entire apartment/house, or a room or bed inside it. I’ve used it twice now to find a place to stay in LA and was able to stay in the trendy West Hollywood area in absolutely GORGEOUS apartments (both were owned by interior designers) for a lot less money than I have spent previously on hotel rooms. And its usually a better experience than renting a hotel room: you get access (most of the time) to kitchens and other amenities like pools, yards, etc., you get the added benefit of information on where to go and what to check out from the person you’re renting from (if they’re nice, which both of mine were) and you get to stay in areas you normally wouldn’t with hotels. I will be looking to rent a room in Brooklyn for my upcoming trip to NY.
And you can also use Airbnb to rent out your own place to make some extra cash. This is especially great if you are going to be out of town for a while or you can try to stay with a significant other or friends/family so you can be in town and still make some money on the side. Check it out!
So take advantage of these two great websites, Thriftstylers!