Rent the Runway
It's been at least four years since the last time I needed a cocktail dress, so even though I was excited to get invited to a Casino Night party last weekend with a formal/cocktail attire dress code, I literally had nothing to wear. (The formal dresses I once owned didn't survive my closet clean out last summer!) I knew I didn't want to spend a lot on a dress for a specific event like this because I don't have any reason to wear it again in the foreseeable future, and thanks to other bloggers like Kristen and Carylee I knew I could rent something instead.
I also knew this party would be outdoors and not warm at all, so I at least wanted long sleeves. That limited my choices, but I went with this since it had long sleeves and some sequins to give it that "Casino" touch.
Dress: Rent it Here | Necklace: Kohls | Shoes: Aldo | Wristlet: Express
For reference, here's how it looked in the stock photo vs. on the model (5'10" per the website) vs. me (5'4"):
It was definitely longer on me than the model, and I was counting on that given that she's six inches taller than me (apparently all in the legs!). There were also lots of helpful photos of customers wearing this exact dress with their height and usual dress size to help with the ordering process.
I still ended up freezing and huddling under a blanket near a heat lamp with friends during the night (as seen on Snapchat), but all in all I was very happy with my experience and glad I didn't purchase something to wear for the event.
I also liked seeing how they packaged the dress for shipping in a very durable garment bag. The handles zip inside for shipping, but it makes a great carrying case if you're traveling with your dress:
Quite honestly this whole service and experience was a game changer for me. I don't see myself purchasing another formal dress in the future because I wear them once and then they just take up space in my closet! Even if I do have another formal event, it's rare that I want to wear the same dress twice (you know how it is...everyone already saw that dress) or that the next occasion calls for the same type of dress. I also didn't realize that they have dresses and other clothing to rent for daytime/less formal events. That's something I can see myself trying as well since I do have that sort of event a little more often than an evening/formal event.
And just to be clear this post is not sponsored by Rent the Runway in any way. I paid for the rental and all shipping costs, etc. myself and am simply sharing my experience as a satisfied customer!
Target Jean Shorts
On the flipside of the dressy/casual spectrum, I am really loving Target's jean shorts selection this year. I've shared a couple of my recent purchases in recent outfits but have tried on, purchased, and/or returned a few more so I wanted to share what I learned about the difference in some of the options.
Keepers: Mid Rise Midi Shorts
SALE ALERT! I just saw noticed that Women's Clothing is currently Buy One, Get One 50% off. So if you buy two pairs of shorts it's effectively $15 a pair!
On the Model/Shop the Shorts:
All of the shorts above are the Mid Rise Midi Shorts with a 4" inseam in various washes. I took the same size as I wear at Express (i.e. my normal size) and they fit very comfortably with a relaxed fit. They do stretch a little with wear throughout the day so if you want a more fitted look you could probably size down. For me, I like jean shorts to be more relaxed than regular denim so this was just right for me.
Returned: From Target and Express
On the Model/Shop the Shorts:
Depending on your body type and fit preference, some of these might be exactly what you want in a jean short so even though the four pairs above didn't work out for me, here are a few things to note:
Target Low Rise Shorts (One and Two above): These have the same 4" inseam as the Mid Rise Midi Shorts from Target (in the first set) but as the name implies, they have a much lower rise in the front. They are also much more fitted throughout the hips, butt and particularly the upper thighs. I'm wearing the same size in all of the shorts but the Low Rise shorts from Target are definitely the tightest of all. Again, I prefer a more relaxed fit in a jean short so I decided to return these.
Express Low Rise Jean Shorts: I threw this pair in for comparison because as you know Express is my go-to for most clothing...except shorts! But I thought I'd give them another chance this year just in case. I'm wearing my normal size in these and they were very comfortable. Definitely a relaxed fit in the hips, butt and thighs. (More room in the thighs than either of the Target shorts I tried.) The drawback for me was that they only have a 2" inseam vs. the 4" inseam of the Target shorts. They don't look that much shorter in the front than the Target shorts in these pictures, but it was especially obvious from the back view. I really liked these shorts a lot but decided that I personally just feel more comfortable in something a little longer, so I returned them.
Target Mid Rise "Gray" Shorts: These fit just like the other pairs of Target Mid Rise shorts in the first set. The only problem for me was the color. The name is "Gray" and I can't figure out how they settled on that name because they are not Gray at all. They are very dark blue. I was hoping they would have some Gray in them when I ordered them, but since they didn't, they went back.
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Thanks for reading today and I hope you got some useful information out of my reviews! Check back tomorrow for my weekly Outfits + Fitness recap and don't forget to enter the Nordstrom Giveaway here!