If you follow me on Instagram, you may know that yesterday I posted about the struggle and hustle of the last 6 months. There have been so many developments in my life, my knee injury and subsequent recovery, my foray into slow fashion and sustainable products, and the return to sewing and DIY’ing more projects. The Style Safari has grown exponentially in the last year, but it’s still nowhere near where I want it to be. With the growth that I’ve had, I have found myself saying ‘YES’ to too many things and overwhelming my schedule with too many commitments. While I love doing all of these activities, trying new products and helping people in as many ways as I can, I have found that I get further and further away from my goal.
What is your style philosophy?
And what is my goal exactly? My goal is to lead an inspired, colorful life, that emphasizes the importance of good design and thoughtful living. In practice, that means buying less, buying better, making informed shopping and decorating decisions, and streamlining my life of excess crap. If you’ve spent a few minutes on my website, you know I’m not one to support a capsule wardrobe. Being devoid of personality and individuality is not my goal at all. But when it comes to fashion, it means buying pieces that I LOVE. Items that I cannot wait to wear again and again, and items that are comfortable and easy to throw on when I go on errands and business meetings.
Currently I shop at both ends of the price spectrum. I own $995 Valentino Rockstud heels (I didn’t pay that… puh-lease), and $9.95 H&M sandals. But my wardrobe is really a story of two personalities. The everyday, casual and comfortable (but put together!) side, and the fun, colorful side for brunches, parties and business meetings.
Let’s Talk about your Casual Side
This website hardly shows my casual side. There are posts here and there that highlight how often I wear a striped top, but I don’t typically photograph my everyday looks. I hate being boring, so I don’t even own a solid color cardigan and am rarely seen in a t-shirt. But, I have found myself reaching for those pieces lately and realized that the ones I want to own should last me years, should be timeless, and should be sustainably produced. These are the items that I will reach for on a Monday morning, the items that I can wear all day around my house, and have in my wardrobe for years. For this kind of piece, I look to sustainable brands like Cuyana and Amour Vert.
What about your fun, colorful side?
But, to be clear, these brands don’t represent my style aesthetic. I love the fabric qualities and the sustainable message, but I can’t bear being devoid of color and fun looks for date night, wine tasting and bridal showers. Right now I put together my looks from an assortment of fast fashion and designer sale product. I really love many of the things I buy. Some of these things have lasted me years, and are staples in my wardrobe. But then others… not so much. Unfortunately this blogging life gets you into a cycle of buy, photograph, forget about, which sickens me and adds to the clutter of life. So what’s a sustainable fashionista to do? Enter the most obvious, right in front of me answer that for some reason I have been avoiding for years.
Get to the point already!
The obvious answer to this question, that I have finally embraced… is Rent the Runway Unlimited. (this is in no way sponsored by them but if anyone out there from RTR is reading this… let’s partner up ok?). More specifically, Rent the Runway unlimited. One of my best friends works for Rent the Runway and has been using their services for years. She always offers me discounts and things of the sort, but I had never taken her up on it because I just felt like it was weird to share peoples clothing and it’s more fun to collect things in your own wardrobe that you can wear time and time again. Except I don’t always wear what I buy again! It’s so so silly that I’ve been resisting all these years because as the sharing economy takes over all aspects of our lives, (Uber, Airbnb) it actually makes MORE sense to borrow high end luxury items to wear to special events, travel etc., and then MOVE IT OUT of your closet.
I say this with such extreme fervor because I just received my first Rent the Runway unlimited subscription bundle and I couldn’t be happier. I pay $150 a month for 3 items that I can keep as long as I want, and when I return them I can borrow something new. My first order came within 3 days, and I wore one dress yesterday to brunch (seen in this post), and have another top and dress for a baby shower next weekend and wine tasting. Then, I will send them back and eagerly await my next bundle which will no doubt involve something that I can bring with me on my Italy trip. Sustainable? Yes. Colorful? Yes. Not in my closet forever? YES YES YES.
Anyway, my friend reading this right now is probably rolling her eyes because I’m just re-iterating everything she’s been saying about Rent the Runway Unlimited for years, but really this is a game changer for me. And it is for you too. Because now if I wear something designer that you love, you can most likely recreate that look yourself! You don’t have to save all your pennies for this easy Mara Hoffman dress (also a sustainable brand- double whammy!), you can just rent it with unlimited and then DIY your own circle rope bag to match.
Has Rent the Runway unlimited solved your style conundrum?
The moral of this long winded tale is that after 6 months of craziness in my life that is cluttering my mind and home, I think I have found one way to easy combat one of those struggles. I can still dress colorfully and fun, wear outlandish colors and patterns, but not regret that purchase in 6 months time. Sure, Rent the Runway unlimited isn’t free, but in the long run I am saving money on shopping, dry cleaning costs, and the cost to our environment, by buying and eventually discarding even one less thing per month. Will I still shop? Of course! But now I can really educate you on what buys I’m really willing to invest in, and make smarter decisions that make Monday-Friday more carefree.
What do you think? Are any of you interested in trying Rent the Runway Unlimited now? I would love to hear your stories about renting, positive or negative, or other ways that you have cut down on shopping in your own home.