Broke-Ass Tag: Rent The Runway


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You guys. I’m getting married this weekend. In fact, by the time you’re reading this, I may already be married and suffice it to say, I AM ALL OF THE EXCITE. The DIYs are done. The booze is bought. All I have left to do is zip up that dress and marry the love of my life.

In the style of silly tradition, several of my favorite ladies ushered me into the world of the wedded with a bachelorette party for the ages last weekend. Being that I’ve always had far more guy friends than girl friends, this old standby left me a little nervous. “Please no penises. Please no penises. Please no … wait, is it actually ‘penii’? Either way, please none of them,” I thought. I should have known my bestie would do right by me, but the giddiness really set in when I found the second-most exciting dress of my bride-to-be journey.

landscape portrait

“Hey, I thought this was the Broke-Ass Bride! That dress looks expensive!” Well, in another world, this to-die-for Kate Spade sparkledress was totally spendy, but in some broke-ass brilliance fashion, the borrowed dress was a whopping $30 from Rent The Runway. I was gifted a sweet $50 promo-code hookup and managed to snag the earrings as a bonus. Sparklez for days, y’all.

UPS dropped off the garment bag the Friday before the party and all I had to do was wear it, then swap out the pre-paid shipping label and drop it off by noon the following Monday. No muss, no fuss, just a lot of feeling fabulous and mugging for the camera.

pizza party

As a lover of glitz, I knew I was going to have a great night, even though bachelorette parties aren’t really my “thing” … or so I thought. Part of me had been dragging my feet, muttering about gender stereotypes and societal expectations and wondering why these were even still a thing and if I could invite dudes. What I got was a killer reminder that, #duh, I know some really amazing women and I don’t celebrate with them nearly enough. Everyone came together using their respective skills and talents to make it a fun and totally creative night with plenty of quirks and inside jokes … including this glorious example of intentionally bad Photoshop that I will keep forever and display at my wedding.

Wine and picture

I’ve struggled a lot with trends and tradition in this process, but I’ve come to realize that “tradition” hasn’t ever let me down. A lot of things, including the bachelorette party, have been … call it “modified traditional” and it just works. Going for an all-out, no-boys-allowed party gave me the opportunity to re-learn why I love these women so much, but just like literally everything wedding-related, you can do whatever you damn well please if it works for you.

I’m not telling you how to live your life, but I am going to tell you to celebrate. Celebrate everything! Even if it’s just a happy high-five, celebrate every little mundane moment of your love because this is it. This is forever and it’s freaking beautiful. Congratulations, everybody! Now I’m gonna go marry the love of my life. See you when I’m married!

  • 2/19

    Affiliate Disclosure Statement

    Hello my lovely BABs! Are there any Bostonians out there? I don’t know whether to be thankful the midwest hasn’t seen THAT much snow, or jelly because of how much fun yous guys are having. I mean, snow tunnels to get to work?! Sledding off roofs? C’mon, can it be that bad? OK, I know snow sucks but at least you’re having fun with it, East Coast. So, I’m excited because we’re featuring a designer that hasn’t been requested before — Saja Wedding. Saja in Korean means “the lion.” They were founded in 2000 by Yoo Lee and if you’re as obsessed with BHLDN as we are, you’ve more than likely seen some of her dresses. Her gowns are simple yet timeless and won’t break your bank. So, they’re a must for any BAB-to-be. The dress we’re helping Erin with this week is for someone who wants to make a statement without being too flashy. It’s got a little bit of Greek goddess flair because of the beautiful dropped shoulder. Here’s what Erin had to say:

     “Help me please! I’m head over heels for this dress (, but costs twice as much as my budget! If you can find a more affordable alternative I would be eternally grateful!”

    Can't Afford It

    Can't Afford It? Get Over It! A Saja Wedding Inspired Gown For Under $700Saja Wedding (Style: HB6285) $1,200

    Get Over It

    Can't Afford It? Get Over It! A Saja Wedding Inspired Gown For Under $700Reem Acra’s “Florence Gown” Rent for $70 at Rent the Runway (Retail Price: $3,000 !!!)

    Can't Afford It? Get Over It! A Saja Wedding Inspired Gown For Under $700Crepe Gown With Wrap Neckline & Fluttering Sleeves (Style: b6547) $188 at J. Crew

    Can't Afford It? Get Over It! A Saja Wedding Inspired Gown For Under $700A-Line Gown With Metallic Lace Shoulders (Style: 33208661) $260 at BHLDN

    Can't Afford It? Get Over It! A Saja Wedding Inspired Gown For Under $700A-Line Gown With Crisscrossed Sweetheart Body (Style: 1046170) $280 at Nordstrom

    (These straps can be worn conventionally, off-the-shoulder, as a halter neck or removed altogether.)

    Can't Afford It? Get Over It! A Saja Wedding Inspired Gown For Under $700Shoulder Skimming Neckline With Ruched Bodice (Style: 428527) $295 at Nordstrom

    Can't Afford It? Get Over It! A Saja Wedding Inspired Gown For Under $700Flowing A-Line Chiffon Gown With Plunging Neckline (Style: 624233) $340 at Asos

    Can't Afford It? Get Over It! A Saja Wedding Inspired Gown For Under $700Draped V-Neck Wedding Gown With Crossover Front (Style: 294718) $400 at Ann Taylor

    Get an extra 50% off right now!

    Can't Afford It? Get Over It! A Saja Wedding Inspired Gown For Under $700Off The Shoulder Organza Gown With Chapel Train (Style: 0113824) $420 at For Her and For Him

    Can't Afford It? Get Over It! A Saja Wedding Inspired Gown For Under $700A-Line Gown With Off The Shoulder Lace & Sweetheart Bodice (Style: AT4575) $481 at

    Hopefully I was able to give you some ideas. Did you SEE that Reem Acra gown Rent The Runway has for only $70?! I can’t believe it. More and more women are using this type of service because they usually end up packing their dress away and never wearing it again anyway. I encourage everyone to check them out. I know when I buy a nice dress for an occasion it’s rare I’ll ever put it on again. However, if you really want to save your gown, that’s totally OK, too. Do what makes you happy! Let us know if you need some guidance with anything else big day related. We’re always happy to help! Until next week, BABs …

    Got a gown that you just can’t get off your mind? We’re happy to help you get over it! Just tell us in the comments below! Please remember to include the budget you’re working with so we can find you the best alternative for you.

    *As always, please do your own research before buying a gown online. Team Broke-Ass is here to provide you with inspiration and resources, but it is up to the consumer to know what they’re purchasing.
    Elaine Michalek
  • 11/7

    Five for Friday: Hot, Affordable Pieces from Rent the Runway's 5Y Collection

    Rent the Runway, a fashion candyland of sorts for broke-asses with spendy taste, is celebrating their 5th birthday in style (#duh) with super hot, exclusive designs from some of my favorites -- Marchesa, Monique Lhullier, Lela Rose, etc. -- at totally affordable prices for rent. Darlings, if you have a must-be-seen holiday party this year (newly promoted? Gunning for a promotion? Newly engaged and want…

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    We talk a lot about buying pretty dresses around here, but sometimes that's not in a person's budget or on their list of must-purchase items, due to skepticism of throwing down hefty bills for a dress they'll presumably only wear once. What we don't mention a whole heap is renting your dress. Renting is often a considerably cheaper alternative, thanks to companies like Rent the…

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  • 4/23

    Ever sat on the couch dreaming of delicious food? All of your favorite dishes in one place, making your day extra special; it’s the kind of vision a girl diets to enjoy. This week’s BAB has food on the brain – my kind of gal. Hello, I have been searching non-stop for the past three months to find the right dress. I think my problem…

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    This week’s BAB Sofia has some amazing couture taste! The wonderfully unique neckline created by the detailed draping of the sleeves on her Le Spose di Gio dream dress is truly to die for. Hi! I am in love with a wedding dress from Le Spose di Giò. It is the dress CL31 from the Classica Collection. I am not sure about the price but…

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    It’s rare that one dress embodies everything a bride wants in her wedding gown. Often we’re split between many options because of small details. Jane, on the other hand, knows exactly what she wants, but it’s twice her budget. I would be SO grateful if you would use your amazing dress-finding skills to help me out with a sudden and major case of CAI/GOI: I…

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  • 3/14

    We’ve got a special request this week. It’s super special actually because this Bay Area bride hasn't fallen head over heels for a dress she can't afford yet - she just needs help. Looking for an elopement dress idea for San Francisco City Hall June 2013. I wear size 14 in bridal gowns, I'm pear shaped, and I want something long, romantic, and unique. I…

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