Rent the Runway + Target Jean Shorts

Today my blog friends Kristen and Gretchen are hosting their monthly "What's New" linkup so I'm playing along and sharing a couple things that are new to me. This month happens to be the Polar Opposite Edition of since I'm discussing one dressy subject (a dress, of course) and one very casual subject - jean shorts. So let's start off with the dressy subject first!

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
One | Two | Three | Four

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!

Linking up with:
ErikaAndreaNarci |JoLynne | Katie | Megan | Lindsey | Amanda |



  1. I have a wedding in july and I'm totally using Rent the Runway, it's such a convenient service.


  2. I use Rent the Runway every time I have an event...love them! This dress looks awesome on you!

  3. Your formal dress is gorgeous and you looked stunning! I'm in desperate need of some new denim shorts and your breakdown was so helpful! Have a great weekend!

    Doused In Pink

  4. i am so glad you ended up liking the process! i think the dress looks so much better on you than the model, it's not a dress i ever would have looked at but it really looks stunning on you and now i want to wear it for some reason. i hate wearing the same dress twice, and rather than being ashamed of that, i totally own it and love RTR for that reason. I might have to do a post showing all the dresses I have rented from them. i really am glad it was a good experience for you! my dress comes today, i will send you a snap when i try it on because obviously i need your opinion.
    and it's like you knew i needed jean shorts! i really am trying to find a pair that has a 5 inch inseam though, because anything shorter just looks ridiculous on me (or, i just don't feel comfortable). i also have a bigger butt/thigh area so things that are meant to fit loosely really don't on me. life is hard, you know? lol. i will check out target's selection especially since they are on sale and someone has a gift card (i love teacher appreciation week, KC gives me all the gift cards!).

  5. I plan to keep Rent the Runway in mind for any formal events in the future. I agree - I typically do not want to wear the same dress again - and it just hangs in my closet. Those are a lot of great short options - I might need to check out Target.

    Daily Style Finds

  6. Rent the Runway is such a cool concept- and you're right; a great way to get a single use out of a dress you'd only probably wear once, anyway!

    I loved this little black number on you!

    Le Stylo Rouge

  7. So much to talk about! First, I'm considering rent the runway for my soon to be sister in law's rehearsal dinner. It's at a winery inside a cave, and I have no clue what to wear so I think rent the runway may be the best bet! I'll let you know if I do! I'm not entirely sure on the dress code but I don't own that many dresses so I'm reluctant to just wear the same old same old. You looked stunning in yours! I love the sleeves!

    And two, I tried express shorts and they looked terrible on me! Not sure why because I do love their jeans. But then I got the mid rise shorts at target and I love them! I wore the distressed pair you have on to the Cosmo pool party in Vegas. I also have them in a slightly darker wash. Great find! And much cheaper than other places :)

  8. I have never used Rent the Runway before, but I have had some formal occasions that I needed to dress up for... I think I am def. going to try them out next time! I loved the dress you selected, although it is a bummer you were under a blanket the entire night anyway due to it being so cold!! I just bought Autumn all of her shorts from Target, I need to check their selection out for myself- although I already have way too many shorts and I've been wanting to try the J. Crew shorts.


  9. I swear by Rent the Runway. I've used them numerous times and have never been disappointed. Glad you had a positive experience as well! I've got to check out Target, I've been purposely stating away because I know how bad I can get when I go in there LOL


  10. Amazing dress, you are looking so beautiful in this style dear!

  11. Thank you for the Target shorts review! You knew I was waiting for that ;) And that dress looks amazing on you!


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