How to Feel Like Cinderella

How to Feel Like Cinderella

*This post contains affiliate links to products or companies that I truly love and believed in before I joined the affiliate program. If you use these links to make a purchase, I will be compensated at no extra cost to you.*



Would you like to feel like Cinderella? And no, I’m not asking you to clean the ashes out of my fireplace. I don’t even OWN a fireplace!

Badgley Mischka ~ Cascading Ruffle Gown

Until last year, I had never worn a designer gown before. But now, I wear one whenever I want! Once I discovered Rent the Runway, I found that I could, for less than buying a dress, rent one. And who wears a formal dress more than once anyway?

My First Rental:

It started when we decided to attend a black tie dance and dinner for Valentine’s Day 2016. I knew that I wanted something more than just a pretty dress. Period dress was encouraged for this Downton Abbey themed event. I had been hearing about Rent the Runway and I found what I thought was the perfect dress.

When you order, you can choose to rent for a 4 day period or an 8 day period. You can also, for no extra cost, order a backup size. I suggest ordering up a size in formal gowns, and getting your backup size in two additional sizes up. This is advice for a mid-life woman. Now, if you still have the body of a 20 year old, this may be bad advice, but if you are like me and gained a little through the mid-section, this advice should work for you. I normally buy clothes in a size 10. Every gown I’ve worn from RTR has been a 12, and one of them I probably could have used a 14. Formals just run small, because we all know that WE are certainly not getting too big!

If your selections don’t fit, immediately contact customer service and they will overnight you a different size. Or in the event that a different size is not available, they will overnight you a substitute dress. Either is at no additional cost to you.

Marchesa Notte ~ Falling Roses Gown

I have to tell  you though, in case it were to happen to you, maybe this will reassure you to trust RTR….

This dress arrived on Thursday, just as I had scheduled. Our event was on Saturday. When I got home after work on Thursday and I tried it on, it would not zip up. Nor would the backup size. I had NOT ordered a size up. Based on the reviews I had ordered a size down. Big Mistake. I called customer service and they shipped me the next size on Friday.

That meant it would not be arriving until Saturday.

The day of our event.

I started to panic just a little.

If I had gotten home earlier and called customer service before 8 pm, they could have shipped out the new size that same night. But I was too late. Lesson learned.

So, Friday, I took the afternoon off and went to the mall and tried on every single formal dress that I could find. They all looked horrible. And after seeing (and trying on) the quality of a designer gown, nothing at the mall even compared. But still, I was worried that the dress would not arrive before we had to leave on Saturday. So I bought the best of the worst of the dresses at the mall. And I prayed for the delivery man to come early on Saturday.

The dress arrived at 10:28 am on Saturday morning and it fit like a dream.

I kissed the UPS man.

Well, no, I didn’t.

But I wanted to.

And I returned the mall dress for a full refund.

Marchesa Notte ~ Falling Roses Gown

Marchesa Notte ~ Falling Roses Gown

My Second Rental:

The second time I ordered from RTR was for formal night on our cruise in November 2016. I ordered the  Theia ~ Deep Midnight Gown. I love the deep V with the sheer mesh and the purple sash.

Midlife fashion

Theia ~ Deep Midnight Gown

We were going on a 5 day cruise and we had to leave a day early, so I had to order the dress for 8 days. Shortly before the dress was to arrive, I got an email notice that the dress had been damaged by the previous renter and I would be sent a replacement dress. I was disappointed but I also understand that this is out of RTR’s control. So I waited for my new dress to be delivered.

midlife fashion

Elizabeth and James ~ Sleek Navy Cut Out Gown

The substitute dress fit like a glove and was obvious quality. I wore it and looked beautiful. But I do have to say that I was slightly disappointed. I didn’t feel like the substitute dress had the same subtle sexiness that the original dress did. However, I wore it and felt wonderful in it.

Posing with the Ship’s Captain

My Third Rental:

While I loved both of my first two rentals, my absolute favorite was the third one. We attended a black tie Christmas Gala last December and I felt like a princess in this pink and red Badgley Mischka ~ Cascading Ruffle Gown.

Badgley Mischka ~ Cascading Ruffle Gown

No problems or worries or stories to tell about this one.

Badgley Mischka ~ Cascading Ruffle Gown

Just beauty in the form of a rented gown.

Midlife Fashion

Badgley Mischka ~ Cascading Ruffle Gown

Have you ever rented a gown? I truly believe it is the way to go.

If you’d like to give Rent the Runway a try, you can click on any of my pictures or my referral links. If you do, I will receive a small commission, but you will NOT be charged any extra.


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  1. Mary-The Boondocks Blog says:

    Beautiful gowns Nikki! No wonder you feel like Cinderella. I would be the other version that cleans the fireplace. Love the Downton Abbey inspired one, you look fabulous!

  2. Brooke of Passport Couture says:

    I’ve heard great things about Rent the Runway, and I’m glad to hear you had a good experience as well. All of the dresses you selected look great! I agree with Mary, I love the Downton Abbey inspired dress, it looks fantastic on you.

    • gwingal says:

      Hi Christina! That was a great dress! AND it also comes in white which is just as gorgeous! Thanks for visiting with me. 🙂

  3. Grammy Dee says:

    RTR sounds like a great place to order from. I like all of gowns but I really like the Marchesa Notte Falling Roses! Your jewelry, the gloves, everything looked great! I just realized RTR could also be for Roll Tide Roll 🙂 Are you a Bama fan? I just had to ask. Thank you Nikki for attending the #WednesdayAIMLinkParty. I shared your post.

    • gwingal says:

      Yes, every time I type RTR, that thought runs through my head “I bet a lot of people will think I’m saying Roll Time Roll!” haha I am a transplant from North Carolina, but I do pull for the Tide in football! But I’m not a mega fan. If Auburn’s playing I pull for them too! But I also have a problem with wearing orange with blue…. just can’t do it! Someone is bound to say “you are wearing Auburn colors!” Thanks for the comment, the party, the sharing AND mostly the friendship! 🙂

        • gwingal says:

          Oh you are a daredevil! 🙂 I lived in Dadeville for many years. My kids basically grew up there, so I was a War Eagle fan way before a Tide fan! I’m flexible like that.

    • gwingal says:

      I know what you mean Stephanie. I am now searching for more places to wear fancy dresses! ha! Thanks for the party! 🙂

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