Like making your own salad and being the first one to a birthday dinner, packing for vacation is a uniquely privileged drag. Yes, it involves a great escape, a bikini, and—wahoo!—a terse Out of Office reply. But the cramming, the folding, the emotional weight of too many Chloé boots… it's a pain in the ass. Then there's the matter of climate: New York City is freezing; Miami (site of said vacation) is popsicle hot. How many sundresses must be torn asunder from their winter storage bins? How many straw hats must be unrolled from under the bed? Add the extra pressure of Instagram—how in Véronique Hyland's words, "resort wear is now synonymous with a fashion statement"—and the anxiety grows.
Enter Rent the Runway, already known as a quick fix for nothing-to-wear moments. They've created a new partnership with W Hotels that leaves the packing to them. Called RTR Closet Concierge, the service costs $69 for four pieces (plus free backup sizes) delivered straight to your hotel room. Available in places like Aspen, Hollywood, and Washington DC, the new initiative includes major labels like Gucci, Moschino, and Stella McCartney, plus cult favorites like Khaite, Brock Collection, and Nanushka.
The brands involved are great, but the program gives me pause. That's because like many women, I have a "uniquely shaped" body―busty but teeny, short-waisted but long-limbed, an IRL Betty Boop whose clothing size often depends on a single seam. Would I really pack no clothes in hopes that Rent the Runway's new vacay gimmick actually works? I mean… sure. I was only going to Miami, after all, and the W South Beach is like ten minutes from their biggest H&M. Plus, the hotel is famous for its giant Tom Sachs statues of Hello Kitty and My Melody. Maybe the two Sanrio goddesses would be good luck.
The closet in my hotel room is already stocked with my Rent the Runway pieces, including a Saloni dress I've been dying to try. I got it in two sizes, because although I admire the designer's lush prints and brave patterns, I've never actually worn her stuff. The bigger size fits a little snugly… but My Melody approves, and apparently so does DJ Mia Moretti, who stops me by the pool to ask about the outfit. "It's Rent the Runway…?" I cough, and she nods like I've just said "it's from Bergdorfs" and sips her mezcal. Ok, cool.
"Do the curtains match the rug?" is a gross question. "Does the dress match the art?" is kind of a great one, and I get to say "YES!" thanks to Sea New York. The design duo based in downtown Manhattan made a piece with March Sister sleeves and a tie-dye print. Unlike Saloni's tight fit, Sea's clothes seem to run large, so RTR's little-discussed policy of backup sizing is a serious help. I grab the smaller size from its garment bag and make a quick change. The whole thing takes five seconds.
I've been dying to try HVN's sweetly fitted pieces, but as a 34DD, I've always suspected they might not close across my chest. That theory proves true with their mixed-print cowboy shirt can't completely… uh… contain my enthusiasm in a size small. There's no backup size available, and it's too revealing for my beachfront breakfast with a college friend. Instead I wear it bursting for a pin-up photo, which I will not show you because it is for one man only. But the shirt is, I must say, a win for all involved. Here it is on the Rent the Runway website, in a more SFW capacity.
Rixo London is run by women, obsessed with colors, and easy to layer. It is therefore my favorite fallback on nothing-to-wear days, especially when I'm a little chilly, a little hungover, and a little nervous about interviewing Harmony Korine. The only issue: everyone else seems to have caught on to the label's easy appeal, so it's very in demand with RTR's members. I'm lucky to score a dress on my own… and I'll remember to reserve earlier next time.
I zip the clothes back into their branded garment bags and leave them at the hotel's front desk, then grab my backpack and head to the airport. The whole thing is so easy, I feel like I'm getting away with something… especially since there's no major laundry after the trip. Rejoice!
Faran Krentcil Editor at Large, ELLE.com "Her beauty and her brain go not together." —William Shakespeare