Online shopping can be a major convenience—you can browse multiple sites in the same time it would take to comb through just one brick-and-mortar. But there’s always a risk factor, like, say, when a coral gown actually arrives in bright orange, and in a size too big.
For those who too often find themselves in such circumstances, Rent the Runway’s Faith in Fashion’s Future showroom at LivingSocial this weekend is a savior. Open through Sunday at 918 F Street, the event brings together some of the site’s most popular designs, which are all for rent at a fraction of the cost of purchasing your own—perfect for inauguration weekend events, from a black-tie ball to Sunday brunch. Tickets, which get you a one-on-one session with one of six RTR stylists and a tote bag, are $8 online.
I told my stylist I wanted a simple, floor-length gown with straps, and within two minutes I had a violet Nicole Miller dress (rentable for $100) in my hands and a Kate Spade necklace ($45) from the Bling Bar—a table full of clutches and statement jewelry—to accompany it.
Passersby may be tempted by the now-famous Tracy Reese brocade dress Michelle Obama wore to the Democratic National Convention this fall, which is displayed in the window at 918 F. Fear not, non-ticket-holders: Walk-ins are welcome for the same $8 admission fee.
Other standouts were a shimmering Carmen Marc Valvo peplum dress ($185) and a red-carpet-worthy piece ($250) by Pamela Rolland. At the Bling Bar, an Oscar de la Renta cluster ring ($30) caught my eye.
Guests are free to try on anything in the showroom and have their picture taken at a photo booth for a real-life sample of their inaugural look. Rather than going to the site later to place your order, stick around the showroom for 20 percent off.
*Dollar amounts reflect rental prices on Rent the Runway’s website.