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Sequins, Silk, Savings: The Rent the Runway Sample Sale Is On

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Sniff, sniff. Can you smell that? Wedding and prom season is in the air, and so is the Rent the Runway sample sale at 260 Fifth Avenue. When we arrived about an hour and a half after the doors opened to check out designer cocktail dresses and gowns at up to 95% off retail prices, there was a line with about 25 people ahead of us. Luckily, the shopping scene inside wasn't too chaotic—that is, unless you were headed to the dressing room.

All items at this sale—dresses, accessories, and handbags—were individually marked with their original and sale prices, so you know exactly how much each item has been discounted. Rather than list a bunch of dress descriptions and prices here, we've included several examples of what you'll find, with pricing information, in the gallery above.

Brands you'll find include Halston Heritage, Proenza Schouler, Badgley Mischka, Diane von Furstenberg, Kate Spade New York, Issa, Lilly Pulitzer, Sachin + Babi, Temperley London, and bunches more. It looked like the dresses were for a variety of seasons, with both light and heavy, sleeveless and sleeved styles available.

After you check your bag at the entrance, you'll find floor-length gowns along the left wall, and then racks of cocktail dresses organized by size, from smallest to largest, as you move across the room. There were at least half a dozen racks full of dresses for sizes 0 through 8, three racks each for sizes 10 and 12, and one rack of dresses sized 14 and 16.

While the cocktail dresses were easy to browse through, the gowns were stuffed on the racks, and straps were often tangled with other hangers, so be patient when pulling something down. We also noticed several styles available in a variety of sizes, but there wasn't always more than one of each style per size.

While most of these gently-used dresses looked to be in good condition, items with embellishments such as lace, sequins, and feathers tended to have damage. Be sure to thoroughly check your findings before purchasing.

While not all sales at 260 Fifth have a changing room available, the one does—but you're only able to bring in 10 items at a time. When we were there, the line for the dressing room was much longer than that for the register.

There were two tables for accessories and handbags. As for accessories, there were mostly necklaces and just a smattering of bracelets, rings, and earrings—all chunky. Original prices started between $80 and $350 and were discounted to between about $75 to $250.

For purses, most of which were very sparkly and could hold scant more than a lipstick and an iPhone, original prices were anywhere from $55 to $1,995 and discounted to between $50 and $450.

A sales associate we spoke with said that, as of now, there are no plans to restock—however, if that changes, the company will send out an email alerting customers of new merchandise. As for further reductions, the last iteration of this sale saw an additional 30% discount on the final day.

When we left at 2:30 today, there was still a line outside of about 20 shoppers. See the Dealfeed below for sale hours and location.
· Dealfeed: Rent the Runway [Racked NY]
· The Rent the Runway Sample Sale Returns at the End of March [Racked NY]
· Twenty-Eight Sample Sales to Shop Before the End of April! [Racked NY]