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The Jewish Mother’s Guide to Style: Rent The Runway

There has been a debate amongst employees at the Jewcy HQ about the overwhelming presence of Hassidim in high-end department stores. The everlasting stereotype concerning Jews and wealth seems to not be enough of an explanation for this, especially once you consider … Read More

By / June 18, 2010

There has been a debate amongst employees at the Jewcy HQ about the overwhelming presence of Hassidim in high-end department stores. The everlasting stereotype concerning Jews and wealth seems to not be enough of an explanation for this, especially once you consider that our confusion centers more around the typically immodest clothing sold in department stores rather than their high price tags. I recently came across a website that may in fact be the reason behind this long-time conundrum: Rent The Runway. Working on the motto, "love.wear.return," RTR has styles, sizes and prices that seem to satisfy every bargain hunters need to wear designer clothing and then return them. Or, the needs of a Jewish mother or daughter who rationally considers how many times she will actually wear a dress after she has purchased it for a wedding or Bat-Mitzvah.

Here’s how it works over at RTR – when you find yourself with an event to attend, no dress and little money to spend, Rent The Runway provides you with the option of renting a dress from their designer stock. After browsing the site and selecting the dress you like, you can chat with an RTR stylist who can help you decide whether you are likely to need a smaller or a larger backup size (yes, they send you two dresses just in case!). The site has dresses that range from casual, just-for fun options to pieces that could suit you for a black tie affair. To make matters even better, your ability to chat with a stylist online or over the phone makes you feel like a VIP with a personal shopper, minus those fees. After a brief chat, you’ll choose how long you want to rent the piece with the option of either four or eight days. You’ll then pay the rental fee, which is a meager ten percent of the retail price. If you like, you can polish off your rental by borrowing accessories from the RTR closet which are priced just as fairly as their dresses. Perhaps trying on options they’ve found online for rent is what brings the throngs of Hassidim to Bergdorf’s – then again, they could just be believers in a different motto of love.buy.wear. Nonetheless, this rental is one that does not make you squeamish about pests, electric bills and the loss of your security deposit. 

A stylist myself, I took the liberty of narrowing down the site’s vast selection for you – don’t worry, I chose things that could take you from lunch with your friends to a garden party to your friend’s wedding. 

This option is one you may recognize from the recent Sex and the City flick. I won’t sugar coat this one – while I think this is a cute and sophisticated option for lunch with the girls or a dinner date, I chose this dress simply because its called The Carrie Dress. Designed by Sarah Jessica Parker and part of her new collection for Halston Heritage, this fashion namesake of mine retails for $325.00 but is available for rent – at a shockingly cheap fifty bucks. I also love the gold plated detail on the floral Gryphon dress above for a garden party or an afternoon Bat-Mitzvah. I’d love it even more once I heard that this $425.00 dress can now be in my closet for eight days, for $75.00.

 

 

Have a wedding to go to and a little money to blow on a dress? One of my favorite designers, Prabal Gurung, just appeared on RTR and now you can have one of his perfectly crafted cocktail dresses for an upcoming affair. Can’t afford his lofty, thousand dollar prices? Me either. Despite the fact that his dresses are well worth their price, those who simply cannot splurge to that extent can sleep easy once they’ve returned from a best friend’s wedding wearing this piece. You rented it for $350.00, some Hassidic lady bought it at $2,995 and paid extra to have sleeves and an extra three inches of length added to its bodice.

For more designer pieces like those from Project Runway winner, Christian Siriano and acclaimed Israeli designer, check out RTR

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