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Rent the Runway's Sample Sale Has Plenty for Under $200

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The Rent the Runway sample sale is back at 260 Fifth Avenue and as always, offers a chock full of gowns and cocktail dresses for your party and special event needs. Although the sale flyer advertised a savings of up to 95% off retail on dresses and accessories, most of the dresses we picked up during the preview this morning were between 75% to 90% off.

If you're in the area and looking for a special dress (and know a skilled seamstress) then it might be worth a peek, as many of the dresses are under $200.

When we arrived today, there were already a bunch of women with armfuls of dresses. Floor-length gowns can be found along the walls to your left and in the back of the room. The rest of the floor is filled with racks of cocktail dresses, which are all organized by size. Sizes range from 0 to 16 (XS-L) with sizes 2 through 6 dominating most of the racks. Long gowns and cocktail dresses in sizes 12 to 16 have the least styles to shop from.

But overall, there are a ton of dresses to skim through. Brands we spotted include Robert Rodriguez, Shoshanna, Nicole Miller, RVN, Herve Leger, Proenza Schouler, Prabal Gurung, See by Chloe, Red Valentino, Carolina Herrera, and to our surprise, an Anna Sui dress. Shoppers this morning appeared patient and slowly glided through the racks, checking out each piece one by one.

Dresses we liked include a Badgley Mischka yellow peacock chiffon dress for $54 (from $422), an ombre blue Erin by Erin Fetherston for $70 (from $320), a Tibi neoprene dress for $88 (from $525) and a beautiful gown by Bibhu Mohapatra for $290 (retail $2,374). We also found an Elizabeth and James dress for only $38. Check out the photo gallery above to get a better idea of what we found, with prices included.

The accessories section occupied two tables on the right side of the room, beside the cashiers. Remnants of the last sale in March can be seen, and we found an underwhelming selection of clutches and purses and just a few pieces of jewelry that caught our eye. For purses, we like a Kate Spade Mr. and Mrs. bridal clutch in the shape of a NY license plate, and a pink feathered clutch that's $83 (down from $398). And with jewelry, there were cute drop earrings from Alexis Bittar for $56 (was $246) and a beautiful art deco bracelet by Ben-Amun for $88 (was $520).

As per usual, inspect all the pieces very well, as snags, rips, and missing embroidery is not uncommon here. Many of the dresses are marked with a bright yellow tape to indicate the damage, but some are not—and even at 90% off, it might not be worth the repair.

You can expect some markdowns near end of the week. Fitting rooms are available in the back with a 10-piece limit per person. See the Dealfeed below for more sale details.—Hsini

Update: Here's the state of the line at lunchtime on Monday.
· Dealfeed: Rent the Runway [Racked NY]
· The Rent the Runway Sample Sale Returns September 29th [Racked NY]
· Rent the Runway's Store Is a Sorority Girl's Dream Closet [Racked NY]