Less Than Challenge

Living life with less than…

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What I’d Rent: Day-to-Night Designer Style for Less Than $80

About a week ago, I got an email from Rent the Runway offering me $50 off an order of $100 or more for my upcoming birthday. For those of you not familiar with Rent the Runway, it’s basically an online service that allows you to borrow pricey designer dresses and accessories for 4-8 days at a fraction of retail prices. I originally created my account when searching for a dress to wear to a fundraising gala, but to date, I’ve never actually rented anything.

It’s not looking like this is the moment to experiment with fashion rentals for the first time, since I don’t have a big celebration planned for this year’s birthday.  But just for fun, I’ve picked out three dresses (and coordinating accessories) that I would totally consider renting under different circumstances.  With all shipping, taxes, and insurance fees added in, and my $50 taken off, each one of these looks would cost less than $80 to rent for four days, compared to retail costs that reach upwards of $600!

OPTION 1: Bold & Bright

Option 1 Bold & Bright

Felana Dress by Tina Turk | Rental $50; Retail $248
Crystallized Salmon Drop Earrings by Kenneth Jay Lane | Rental: $15; Retail: $125
Keep  Your Cool Clutch by Rebecca Minkoff | Rental: $35; Retail: $325
Total Rental Cost: $76.63 | Total Retail Cost: $698

OPTION 2: Color Blocks

Option 2 Color Blocks

Rhombus Shift Dress by Trina Turk | Rental: $50; Retail: $298
Gold Bangle Stack by AV Max | Rental: $15; Retail: $110
Clean Break Necklace by Kate Spade New York | Rental: $35; Retail: $228
Total Rental Cost: $76.63 | Total Retail Cost: $636

OPTION 3: Perfect Print
(my personal fave)

Option 3 Perfect Print

Derek Dress by Slate & Willow | Rental $50; Retail $298
Keep  Your Cool Clutch by Rebecca Minkoff | Rental: $35; Retail: $325
Gwen Blue Agate Earrings by Kendra Scott | Rental: $15; Retail: $100
Total Rental Cost: $76.63 | Total Retail Cost: $723

I really love the dress in option 3, and I think Rent the Runway offers a cool concept that I’d love to try someday. But I don’t feel like my birthday is the right occasion to spend over $75 on an borrowed outfit – even if I were planning a huge soiree.

When the next gala on my schedule rolls around, or if I just can’t find a suitable wedding shower/bachelorette party/rehearsal dinner dress…well, that will be a different story.  🙂


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Less Than Look: Tory Burch Circle Logo Earrings

Other than my engagement ring, I’d have to say that earrings are the one piece of jewelry I cannot go a day without wearing. On the very rare occasion that I leave the house without a pair, I think I look like a completely different person. But I wear studs almost exclusively, so I’m sure most people don’t notice them at all.

Lately, I’ve been in the mood to change that.

So imagine my delight when I happened upon a random table full of affordable jewelry while I was out to lunch this week! And imagine my further delight when I realized that the knockoff earrings I bought for $16 are, in my opinion, even cuter than the $78 legitimate Tory Burch Circle Logo Earrings seen here on Real Housewife of Orange County Tamra Barney:

Tamra Barney in Tory Burch Circle Drop Earrings

In case you couldn’t have guessed, the Real Housewives of Orange County are my favorite housewives of them all, and Tamra definitely makes these earrings look good.  But for a fifth of the price, I think I am going to be quite satisfied with my less than look…

$16 EarringsCute, right? And just what I needed to bring some excitement to my accessory collection this summer!

If you happen to be a local reader and you like this look, stop in to Elite Hair & Image Salon on Osbourne Road in Loudonville. I’m told they get new stuff in all the time, and there’s just something fun about buying jewelry on a whim from a hair salon.


Now, I mentioned that the Less Than Challenge would be changing it up a bit beginning with this post. In case it isn’t entirely clear yet, here’s what I mean…

Starting now, instead of challenging myself to live on less, I’m just going to do it. And then I’m going to challenge you to do the same!

Are you up for it?  Can you add a piece of mock-designer jewelry to your collection for less than $20?  No time limits, no extra rules.  Just keep an eye out for something you love, and be sure to share when you succeed!