How to rent your own fashion runway

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by Shannon Ables
Portland writer
The Simply Luxurious Life

Every season when the new styles from top designers make their way down the runway, I often dream of having the opportunity to wear a Vera Wang original, Calvin Klein or Carolina Herrera for a special occasion. Knowing that I will never have the budget to keep one in my closet, Rent the Runwayoffers the opportunity for everyone to look their best without paying the full price tag.

Founded in 2009 by two Harvard business graduates, Rent the Runway  continues to offer top designer labels at a fraction of the price for 4 or 8 day rentals.

With the opportunity to try their business model out myself and share with my readers my experience, I was impressed with the prompt delivery of the dresses I chose (2 day delivery – even on Saturday via UPS) and ease of return (pre-paid UPS label and bag – all you have to do is schedule a pick up or drop it off at your local UPS dropoff/location).

What I also was thankful for was the ability to order two sizes. While the sizing guides included with each garment were very accurate, knowing you have two to try on brought with a peace of mind. And as an extra luxury, if you need undergarments (Spanx, etc) or want to pair the accessories they suggest – earrings, clutches – you can rent them right along with your dress rental.

With two dresses to style, I chose a day dress by Black Halo – their Black Jackie O Dress . . . that could easily transition into evening.

And for a more formal choice, Prabal Gurung’s Purple Psychedelic Floral Sheath . . . very little accessorizing is needed as the dress speaks for itself.

~SHOP THE DETAILS: black pump – Enzo Angiolini, leopard cashmere scarf/stole – Eric Bompard; gold cuff – flea market find (similar – Gold Cuff Bracelet), black belt – similar; Black Halo Jackie O dress (multiple colors)

LAST NOTE: Not only can you rent designer dresses on Rent the Runway,  but currently through the end of August, you can buy many of the dresses on the website at consignment prices – click here.