Why I Still Rent My Clothes, Even During Quarantine

September 17, 2020

It goes without saying that, for many of us, getting dressed in 2020 looks — and feels — quite different. Slippers have replaced heels, buttons swapped for elastic waistbands, and handbags well… remember those? A year that once promised a cohort of exciting new trends like voluminous dresses in highlighter hues and sharp, retro-inspired suiting, now touts the sartorial thrill of a statement Zoom top paired with sweatpants. And while all of the aforementioned trends and styles are available to rent with a clothing rental subscription, one has to wonder: In an era of quarantine when no one really needs to get dressed, is anyone still getting dressed?

The answer is, of course, quite mixed and varies from person to person. But here’s the thing: No matter where we are going or what we are doing, the act of putting on clothes is still part of our everyday lives. It’s how we choose to show up each day that’s become a little more arbitrary.

Perhaps some of us went through a pajamas from morning-to-night phase. Maybe some of us are still in it. Or maybe you’ve become reacquainted with the pieces you’ve held onto since high school that are still hanging in the back of your closet. Whatever your threads of choice, this year’s pandemic has and continues to force us to address how we get dressed. 

For Alex Amarotico, social media director and author of The Secret Joy of Hygge, style in the era of quarantine is all about getting rid of excess possessions and leaning into her clothing rental subscription to get up and show up in easy outfits that make her feel amazing, even if she never leaves the house.

More on that below…

Tell us a little bit about how this year has been going for you.

Everyday is a different wave of emotions. But I’ve had the opportunity to continue working safely, and my friends and family are healthy. For this, I am nothing but endlessly grateful.

How has your relationship with clothes and/or getting dressed changed during  this time? Did you have a sweatpants phase?

I absolutely had that phase — I wore yoga pants and sports bras exclusively for most of the spring. Now, on the other side of that, I’ve learned that I need much less than I ever thought.  After spending most of my quarantine in my Oregon hometown, I decided to let go of a lot of things I’ve held onto too tightly for the last few years:  my NYC apartment, my furniture and lots of clothes, among other things. It felt amazing to let go of the things I thought I needed, but were actually holding me back in so many ways.

What motivated you to continue renting your clothes during a time of social distancing and staying indoors?

I work remotely, but have video calls everyday. Each morning after a walk or workout, I take a shower and get dressed up, even if I never leave the house. Being able to rent has allowed me to let go of so many possessions, but still show up as my best self each day — both in person and online!

What have been some of your go-to rentals during quarantine? Are you sticking to old faithfuls or branching out and trying new things?

Honestly, old faithfuls! I love to wear dresses — one and done outfits are my favorite — so I’m always renting different styles. This summer I’ve been loving the Color Me Courtney collection, as well as the designs by Love, Whit. And you can never go wrong with a floral dress.

What’s made you keep getting dressed and showing up for yourself, even during the time of COVID-19?

When I was young, I thought I needed to dress like everyone else to fit in and be liked. Thankfully, now I couldn’t care less! When I feel my best, I can be the best version of myself, and that’s worth dressing up for any day — even if you’re not seeing anyone but yourself.

Do you think your relationship with renting clothes will change as we enter a new season?

Nope! This winter I’m planning a move to Los Angeles — something I’ve long dreamed about and still can’t believe is actually happening!  I have an “LA” list in my RTR app that I’ve used for vacation in the past and it’s now overflowing with colorful separates, eyelet dresses and lots of florals. I can’t wait to rename it “Winter” and rent summer dresses in January!

What’s one thing you would say to someone who’s on the fence about renting right now?

Do what feels best for you, full stop. I love that Rent the Runway has so many clothing rental subscription options now, so you can really rent on your own terms. Dress up for Zoom birthday parties, walks with your dog, TV marathons, job interviews — whatever makes you feel your best. And the rest of the time, might I recommend leggings?