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Rent the Runway: Maternity Edition

Rent the Runway Maternity StyleI’ve used Rent the Runway (RTR) before for galas, fancy dates, and holidays. Each time I have loved the dress and the ease of the service. I follow them on Snapchat and once I got pregnant I started hounding them about adding maternity styles. Finally, they added a search function where you can filter dresses by which are ideal for each of the three trimesters.

Raising money for Animal Lifeline of Iowa.

I had SIX events that qualified as “dress up” in October, so I decided to try RTR’s Unlimited service for the month – then tell other expecting moms if the styles are flattering for your growing bump.

I am 28 weeks pregnant and not about to buy another dress (let alone 6) that I will only wear once. It was the ideal situation to test their ability to dress a pregnant woman. For me, the selling point was Unlimited only cost $140 for the entire month. That’s the cost of one very nice maternity dress, and I would be getting SIX styles that wouldn’t clutter up my closet. Score! 

If you’re not familiar with Rent the Runway, there are a few ways you can rent dresses. The most common way is to rent a specific dress for four or eight days for a fee that RTR sets. Those fees vary, usually based on the designer.

With Unlimited, you pay a monthly fee and can take out three dress options at once. You can work within that system however you want. You can try three different styles on, then return the styles you aren’t going with – or, if you know the exact styles you want then you can choose all three upfront. Sizing is often an issue, so give yourself plenty of time to be sent a replacement if need be.

Rent the Runway Pros

The best thing about using Rent the Runway in any capacity are the compliments. Seriously. You get quality dresses that aren’t part of your usual rotation – that is a situation rife for being noticed. I always responded by telling people where I got the dress and details about testing the Unlimited service.

All dressed up for a gala.

I had a wedding, a fundraising event, a gala, and a few work events and special dates. This is a wide variety of events to dress for, and even when not pregnant my size is considered Plus or Women’s.

Rent the Runway had a variety of options in my size, and I was able to find exactly what I was looking for. I felt like Cinderella every time a shipment would arrive and I could model it for my 3-year-old who would say, “Ooooh mommy! So pretty! So cute!”

This was a huge boost for a pregnant mama.

TL;DR: You will look and feel amazing!

Rent the Runway Cons

I’ve used RTR before, as have many of my friends. I consistently hear women love the styles and ease of the service, so we all pass along the tip to use their service.

The first two weeks of my time using the Unlimited service were seamless. Then, like with anything, there was a hiccup with shipping. UPS delayed a shipping, then RTR delayed returning it back to me – so I didn’t have any options for the wedding I was attending.

The frustrating part of the entire process is that it took five days before anyone at RTR got back to me – and that was after trying three different methods of communication before finally tagging them on Twitter. It was really a shame because the rest of the experience was great. I felt I went above and beyond to do my part as the customer – I ordered things well in advance, and returned them promptly at UPS stores or drop boxes. I didn’t feel I got that same courtesy in return.

TL;DR: Customer service was hard to reach when I needed them.

Bottom Line: Do they really have styles for expecting mothers that are still flattering?

I wore this Rent the Runway dress to a work presentation.

YES!

If you are a planner and can handle the possibility of juggling customer service, then you can have multiple styles to choose from for one event. I ended up wearing some of the dresses I didn’t choose for my main event to work and got compliments on those.

The best part – it was a huge confidence boost at a time you might not feel your best. This has been a rough pregnancy for me, and this month made me feel extra fancy. 

If Unlimited doesn’t fit your needs, RTR just introduced a membership called Update. Priced at $89, you can rent four pieces a month. Check out all of the membership options here.

Have you tried RTR? How about while pregnant? Would you recommend it?

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