Shop the Look: Rent the Runway (just in time for NYE!)...

Always craved a Marchesa or Carolina Herrera dress for a special occasion? Eager to get your paws on a luxurious mother of pearl encrusted minaudiere with a sky high price tag? Aching to wear Ben Amun's opulent jewelry? Frankly, girls, there's no shame in borrowing these objets de' lust for a single night for a small fee. I'll be the first to share that I've used Rent the Runway and other sources for short term loans on designer goods when in a sartorial pinch. Allow me to share a personal story...

Several years ago I had a charity luncheon to attend at the Ritz. I was expecting my youngest and was just starting to "show" in my clothes. Suddenly my closet full of dresses seemed like a cruel joke. Nothing fit, but I knew my shape-shifting middle would continue to grow over the months ahead.

Do I invest hundreds of dollars in a fabulous dress for a mere 3 hours? One that would never fit again? Sorry. That's not money well spent in my book. I did what any resourceful girl would do. I found a fabulous Dolce & Gabbana grecian style dress on RTR and had it shipped out pronto. I even opted to have a backup style sent  just in case option 1 was a bust. I had my choice of fabulous (read: brands you already adore) dresses for less than a dry cleaning bill. What a steal! And shipping back was as easy as tossing it into a prepaid envelope. They do the dry cleaning for you on their end. Stress free fashion at a fraction of the cost. This, dear friends, was an eye opener and a great solution that day for me. 

While this was my one experience with the fashion rental program, it has always put me at ease to know that a luxurious dress awaits if needed. I can see myriad situations in which having options sent to my doorstep would save me from rushing about town in search of "the perfect" dress. This is especially necessary if the outfit in question is not truly an "investment" but more of a single serving outfit. Think: destination wedding, spur of the moment photo shoot or even just an event on the calendar that inspires you to be a bit... different. 

How does this affect you right now, right here, today? It turns out there is still time for you to find a dress (or four) and have them shipped out in time for NYE. You can even toss in a fabulous handbag and the baubles and bling of your dreams. I have to say, this is a smart girl's solution to what can often be the high pressure of a big night (or day) out. My selections arrived right away and appeared to be brand new. 

While I believe it's important to invest in building a wardrobe that works for you, there will always be situations that arise that leave you looking in your closet facing the oh, so common "I have nothing to wear" dilemma.  Having a trusty backup plan (like a virtual Rachel Zoe) will put you at ease and make navigating the fashion waters so much easier. What I really love? They allow customers to upload pix of themselves in the rentals and the reviews & comments are VERY candid. You'll be able to determine if a dress or playsuit runs small or if you should plan to order a backup size. 

My personal tip: Choose a few different dresses so you have variety and options. 

Those of you with insatiable fashion appetites will likely be tempted by their Unlimited program. Three designer rentals per month for a mere $49 with unlimited exchanges. This seems to be focused on accessories only (bags, scarves, sunglasses & such). If you're a trend-loving girl and have to have the latest looks, this program might appeal to you. But be smart: some of these ongoing subscriptions could tally up more for you than simply purchasing those Alberta Ferretti sunglasses on your own. Plus, I prefer to own my luxe. Look sharp, yes, but spemd smart! 

Happy hunting, ladies!