Receipt Reality: The Cost of Impulsive Shopping

February 26, 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.

Like many of us, Kate has always been a “shop first, think about your budget later” kind of gal. Seeking out the best deals at every turn, she treats shopping like a sport, always asking herself how she can build out the most stylish closet for the least amount of money.

Partial to thrift stores like Crossroads Trading Co. and fast fashion brands like H&M, she gets bored easily and is known for regularly refreshing each area of her wardrobe, from her weekend wear to her work clothes. But always chasing the next best trend, as Kate learned, is pricey — costing her more than $1,212 over a five-month period. What’s more, adding to her closet at every impulse can lead to less thought-out purchases: half the items she bought during this period were worn only once and eventually donated.

 “I no longer buy outfits for every single occasion–which I did all the time before!”

KATE

Her shopping problem disappeared when she signed up for Rent the Runway Unlimited, which has allowed Kate to satisfy those fast-fashion impulses without hurting her bank account or taking up space in her closet. Safely refreshing her work and event wardrobe as often as she’d like means that the purchases Kate does make are more likely to be basic wardrobe staples that have longevity. Every item she’s purchased since joining RTR has been re-worn, reducing her overall clothing waste. 

“I originally signed up for Rent the Runway because I started a new job in a better position but didn’t want to buy an entirely new wardrobe,” says Kate. “I’ve kept the membership, not only for my work wardrobe but because I now save money on social event outfits too, from bachelorettes to vacations. I barely shop anymore!”