The Rent/Buy Edit: How We Choose The Smart 6 Essentials to Own

March 1, 2017

The average woman only wears 20% of what she owns in her closet on a regular basis. And the rest often ends in a landfill, crowding the environment with unnecessary clothing waste. This cycle repeats itself over and over, as most women add 68 new pieces a year (that’s 17 a season!) to their crowded closet stash.

We believe in a better way. When you rent more, you have the freedom to own less. Save buying for the smart essentials – those pieces that go with everything and never lose their appeal. Think quality, versatile, curated.

Introducing The Smart 6 – our recommendation for what to own each season to pair with what you rent. To choose these pieces, our Fashion Team scours the market in search of the best essentials from brands we love to round out your rented wardrobe.

Meet The Spring Smart 6

1. The Retro Jean

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JEANS, LEVI’S – SEE MORE PICKS

Upgrade your essentials collection with a pair of vintage-leaning jeans. The look reads calm, cool and collected – especially when worn off-duty. The style comes in many forms, from distressed to sleek, making it perfect for any personal taste. How to spot the perfect pair? Look for a high-waisted fit, lived-in wash and a cropped cut. Dress them up or down depending on your plans.

2. The Street-Chic Sneaker

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SNEAKERS, VINCE – SEE MORE PICKS

Trade your go-to sneakers for a fresh pair that blends fashion and function. This essential gives any outfit a sporty edge. Already own white kicks? Consider blush, earthy tones and metallics your new neutrals. Trust us – they truly go with everything. Opt for a flatform or slip-on silhouette to take things up a notch.

3. The French Girl Scarf

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SCARF, A PEACE TREATY – SEE MORE PICKS

We borrowed this smart essential from the Parisians, arguably the best capsule wardrobe curators in the biz. The ultra-versatile piece puts a finishing touch on any outfit. Wear it as a bandana, hair accessory or neck tie. The styling possibilities are endless. Pro tip: for an extra polished look, opt for silk material. The fabric looks and feels more luxe and lasts longer than typical cotton.

4. The Modern Mule

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MULES, INTENTIONALLY BLANK – SEE MORE PICKS

Level-up your shoe game with a new take on the pump. The style is known for its sleek shape and kitten heel, making it a nice blend of comfy and chic. Not much of a heel person? The look also works in flat form. We’re especially fond of the loafer-mule style, which puts a fun twist on the work classic. (Spoiler: you’ll want to wear them everywhere, even after hours.)

5. The Utilitarian Trench

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TRENCH, STELEN – SEE MORE PICKS

Spring is a time of transition, which means your at-home closet needs to be stocked with chilly weather defense. Look no further. The 2018 take on the trench is both practical and crisp. Oversized proportions let you layer, while classic details project a put together vibe. Pair it with a shift for work, style with jeans for the weekend and throw it over your shoulders for a romantic date night touch. No matter your plans or desired look, this smart essential has you covered.

6. The Layerable Top

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TOP, AYR – SEE MORE PICKS

This smart essential serves as your outfit foundation. The style is at its best in poplin, cashmere or silk – quality fabrics that give your look a polished feel. We especially love this essential for work. It’s professional, without being too stuffy.

See how to style our Smart 6 for Spring in The Rent/Buy Edit, our seasonal guide to mixing what you rent and what you own with ease. Let the outfits begin.

What are your Smart 6? Follow @renttherunway on Instagram and show us your picks by tagging #MySmart6!

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