The (Not So) Hidden Costs of Being a Wedding Guest

February 24, 2020

Welcome to Receipt Reality, where real women get real about their shopping habits, and reveal the financial impact of life before and after RTR Unlimited. We asked Rent the Runway members to share how they spent their money on clothing and clothing-related services (goodbye, dry cleaning!) before subscribing to fashion.

Hot off her own wedding and honeymoon, this spring and summer of 2017 was wedding season for Brooks and her closest friends, making fresh formal outfits like dresses and jumpsuits a recurring necessity. Whether it was a last-minute trip to Zara to stock up on cute outfits for a friend’s bachelorette party or an endless stream of online orders in an effort to find a dress to wear in her sister’s wedding, the event-inspired spending didn’t stop. The result was a total of $2,430 spent on clothing over a period of just six months, the bulk of which (like most formal wear) collected dust in her closet after being worn only once.

“I’ve used RTR Unlimited for more than two years now and am obsessed – I can’t see myself ever stopping it!”

Brooks

Seeking relief for both her bank account and her crowded closet, Brooks signed up for Rent the Runway Unlimited in July of that year and plans to never look back. Relying solely on her membership for all her event outfit needs, whether it’s a jacket for vacation or a formal jumpsuit for a wedding, Brooks has cut her spending in half, racking up only $1,870 during the six month period after joining. Her purchases outside of RTR have also gotten much smarter, with a focus on investing in select pieces to keep for years to come.

“I used to buy new clothes monthly so that I always had something trendy to wear, cluttering up my closet and taking up so much time and energy–not to mention taking a toll on the environment,” she says. “Now, when I’m thinking about buying something I ask myself: is this classic enough for me to use it for more than six months? And is it made well-enough to last that long?”



In lieu of all the dresses that used to take up space in her closet, Brooks saves her splurges for shoes, instead, and only because she can’t rent them (yet!), she says.