On Renting Clothes

Did you know that Rent the Runway was established in 2009? I had no idea it was as old as it is, as the clothing rental company did not hit my radar until 2011. One of my best friends sported a very chic Nicole Miller to a wedding we both attended and introduced me to the tech meets style startup. Nevertheless, I never used the service, nor was tempted to join. Two reasons contribute to this. Classic style, to which I gravitate, lends itself to repeatedly wearing garments and Rent the Runway does not offer tall clothing.

I am not here to bash Rent the Runway or any other clothing rental company. It is admirable how Jennifer Hyman and Jennifer Fleiss launched such a forward idea, thereby contributing to less waste. I applaud that. It is revolutionary for the trend seeking, straight sized woman. However, I stand by the idea of knowing one’s style inside and out and developing discerning taste. This keeps the hoarding to a minimum and therefore contributes to a more sustainable closet.

From the few times I browsed Rent the Runway, I was unable to find tall size range apparel. I realize this is due to the brand selection that RtR carries and not blatantly targeting us giraffes by choosing not to offer a size otherwise available. The fact of the matter is that most of the Runway does not fit the tall, over six foot two inch frame. Waistlines hit bustlines, midi length skirts hit knees, and long sleeves hit three-quarters down the arm. Do not get me started on pants. Flood city, population: me.

But why would I ever want to rent clothes? Classic apparel never goes out of style; renting clothing that falls into this category is counterintuitive to the notion of owning a classic wardrobe. The blue button down oxford, hunter green cable knit lambswool turtleneck, bootcut corduroys, and L.L.Bean boots are lasting staples and only get better with wear.

Curating a collection of classics in my size has taken decades. There are items in my closet that I have owned since 2003 and I refuse to give them up. Care to guess why? Because items available in my length are so few and far between. These items are my closet lifers. Why would I ever want to return them?

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