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What I Wore: Shhhh, I Rented The Runway

Photo by Ossie Channer for One Woman’s Style Blog

Let’s discuss the economics of looking fly.

When I received the invitation to attend the Ricky “Trendy” Da’Vista event I decided to make a bigger than usual effort with my look.  I don’t know how these dancehall diva’s and fashionista’s do it but when I started to crunch the numbers, of getting to “fly” I quickly realized that it was way past the budget of a single woman with financial responsibilities. 

Maybe the costs are reasonable for everyone else, but as a self professed and proud frugalista, I was really astonished, especially because the costs was just for one event. I got really creative and here is what I did.


Photo by Ossie Channer for One Woman’s Style Blog

Going to a new stylist the day before a big event is probably not the wisest decision. But Karaine was in Jamaica on a family emergency and my DIY, kitchen sink, wash and roller set wasn’t going to cut it for this event. Because I am still recovering from my hair woes, after some thought I decided that JC Penny’s was the most reputable place with experienced stylists and more importantly, insurance.

The thing with going to a place like JC Penny’s is that you often get handed off to someone who you normally wouldn’t allow to touch your hair.  When I showed up last Saturday, I gave a sigh of relief when I saw a number of brown faces in the chairs and on the floor. Despite this, the gate keeper handed me off to the Asian girl for my requested wash, roller set and flat iron.  It was tense and I was honestly really anxious, but after adding a dab of Garnier’s Fructis Sleek & Shine Moroccan oil to my hair after I got home, this was the result. The cost was minimal because I didn’t have to buy or pay for the application of extensions. It would have actually been only $32 if I didn’t opt for the $18 deep conditioner.


Photo by Ossie Channer for One Woman’s Style Blog

I think the only time some women think about getting their makeup done professionally is during their prom and wedding. Other than that, most women just opt to do their makeup at home. Some women have mastered the art of makeup application, but there is something wrong with my girl genes and I just never learned.  Besides, I wanted to go for something that  was a bit more glamorous and transforming and decided that this was the occasion to hire a MUA (makeup artist).

I discovered a makeup artist on StyleSeat.com and hired her after reviewing her portfolio and watching a few of her videos on YouTube. She concealed, contured, sculpted and defined my brows, and applied eyeshadow which you all know how much I love *sarcasm*. The pièce de résistance was the application of these exotic and beautiful dolluxe #2 harajuku honey lashes that I received from beautypress.com. She did such a great job that I honestly didn’t recognize myself when she was done and the cost was only $50. 


Photo by Shane Blackett of Emotion Photographers

Finally, if I didn’t tell you, you wouldn’t know but yes,  I rented my dress from RentTheRunway.com after realizing how valuable the service really is. There was no sense in me forking out $300 plus or more for a dress that I could only wear once so I created a RentTheRunway account and looked through the offerings.

There were hundreds of choices to choose from with prices ranging from $30 to as high as $200. In hindsight, I  really wish I had chosen something with color instead of black. But I wanted something safe and comfortable because I was attending the event to work, not only to look cute.

For those of you considering this economically smart alternative I can tell you that the service was really fast (came by UPS a few days after placing my order). Your total cost actually includes a second size so you are really renting two dresses for the price of one.  In all, I paid $58 which included, rental, shipping and insurance. The  following day, I shipped the dresses back via UPS in a envelope that was provided by the company.  I was quite happy with the service and this is something that I definitely plan to do again in the near future.  In my opinion, rental, is the economic secret of “fly” maintenance.


So here is the total breakdown of the costs for my big night out this past Sunday.

Hair: $51.00 (JC Penny’s) | Shoes: (shopped my closet) | Fancy Stockings (shopped my closet)  | Nails  $0 (bare, received complimentary service from a Red Door Spa event in Groton, CT but they didn’t make it past Saturday)| Brow $0 (complimentary service at Red Door Spa in Groton, CT | Makeup $50 | Bra $55 (Victoria Secrets) | Accessories (shopped my closet) | Dress  Halston Heritage Flip Switch dress $58  (RenttheRunway.com)

Total $214.00

XoXo, Natasha

About Natasha Samuels

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  1. That rent-a-dress idea is great. I love that they include the return envelope & a different size – I HAVE to try things on to wear them so that takes away a huge variable for me.
    Vanessa recently posted..Fix My Fashion Woe: Capsule WardrobeMy Profile

    • I highly recommend it!!! The dress I picked also had this great stretchy fabric and I am almost certain that the smaller size would have fit just as well. (-:

  2. Wow! This is a fabulous look for you. Everything looks so perfectly pulled together. Your HAIR is sleek and perfect, the necklace is pretty and edgy, the dress is an awesome canvas for the tights and accessories. Beautiful.
    Lisa Walter recently posted..My Choice for an InterviewMy Profile

  3. You looked absolutely amazing! Love the dress, hair, and makeup! Especially the makeup! So jealous of your positive experience! I hired a makeup artist once for a special event and I ended up looking like a drag queen. Never again!
    However I will definitely look into Rent the Runway. That dress is to die for!
    Bonnie recently posted..John Galliano Womanswear Collection – Autumn Winter 2014-2015My Profile

    • Funny thing is that I never saw what she was doing until the very end. She asked me to bring a photo of what I was wearing and the accessories. Once she started, I felt confident about her confidence and was open to being a canvas. I know what you mean about the drag queen. I went to a blogging event in New York City a few years ago and tried the makeup chair. I think they had first day of class people doing the makeup applications. Not only did I look like a man when she was done, but the way she applied the makeup aged me considerably.

  4. Love, Love this look on you! Kerry did a good job, of course she had a good model with good cheekbones and good skin. . .
    Neti* recently posted..LinkLoveMy Profile

    • Thanks Neti. I really wish my skin was this flawless. There is a lot of concealed blemishes and really enlarged pores. That speaks to how great of an artist this girl really is.