Rent the Runway Adds Casual Clothing and More Brick-and-Mortar Stores

Your virtual closet come to life.

The recently-opened Chicago outpost of Rent the Runway. | Instagram.

The recently-opened Chicago outpost of Rent the Runway. | Instagram.

Fans of Rent the Runway’s affordable cocktail and formalwear rentals can now get their hands on slightly more casual work- and brunch-appropriate clothes. Last Thursday, Rent the Runway rolled out a selection of summer-y pieces like this Mara Hoffman romper ($50 rental; $242 retail) and this charming Elizabeth and James crop top ($45 rental; $225 retail) that veer from their typically formal offerings. 

The selection is perfect for bridal showers, office events or whenever you want to mix up your wardrobe without the commitment. Our tip: Spring for the splashy pieces you would otherwise wear once or twice. Skip rentals like this $40 Equipment blouse; you’re better off making the investment and buying one yourself.

In other exciting news, they also announced plans to open 15 more physical stores. Rent the Runway’s shops operate more like showrooms than stores, charging a fee for styling and try-on sessions ($25 for 45 minutes and $40 for 90 minutes). The sessions are worth it; it’s like getting free rein to peruse the dresses you see online as well as try on as many sizes as needed. So it should come as no surprise that we’re angling for an outpost of our own.

Currently, there’s no word on whether Philly is on the short list for a brick-and-mortar showroom, so check back for updates.