My Mom Chose My Rent the Runway Order

Photo by Carly Bish

Photo by Carly Bish

Eight years ago, on Christmas, I opened a gift from my mom. Inside was a dress, and I instantly fell in love.

(I loved it so much that, as I pulled it out of the box, I made that loud, gasping, happy inhale noise.)

The dress was black and lavender floral and just above knee-length. It had cap sleeves with a small ruffle on the bottom. It walked the line between entirely my style and something I’d never have the courage to buy for myself (particularly in my pre-experiment days!).

My mom has long had this super power. Whenever she buys me clothes, they are always exactly me, but with a nudge. They’re me but kicked up a notch. And always, always, whenever I wear them I receive compliments.

My mom is also never one to take anything too seriously. (She’s spent much of my life persuading me to calm down.) She adds humor or fun to practically everything, so when I asked her about how she found the dress, I should have anticipated her answer.

She looked at me. With a small smirk that she couldn’t hold in, she said, “Well, it was between this and another one. I thought the other one was much cuter, so I figured you’d want this one.”

(I still have and wear that dress! It’s the Tuesday dress of this Mini Lab.)


Lately, I’ve been a bit down on my body. I’ve gained weight since our wedding. I’d be ok with this in a different scenario. I’ve gained weight before. I know how to lose it or work with it. However, with this blog, I’m constantly staring my weight gain in the face. It’s hard to create rule-breaking outfits when most of my clothes are too tight. It’s hard to take pictures of myself when my clothes are too tight, too.

There’s a lot that can be argued or said about weight gain. Some may fault me for saying anything at all because there are people that are bigger than I am. Those people may feel hurt or marginalized that I’m frustrated with my current size. To that I say, it’s not about the size. My size is fine. There’s nothing wrong with being this size or any other size. Every body is different.

For me, it’s that my body doesn’t feel cared for. I ache. My stomach hurts. All of my old injuries are slinking out of their dark cages. I feel trapped inside of me, and that blows. It’s entirely my fault, but it still sucks. And though I’m back on the road to health, getting dressed everyday reminds me that this process is slow, and right now, I’m still trapped.

So, to cushion this process, or rather to cushion my mental health, I signed up for Rent the Runway. I figured instead of wedging myself into clothes that are too tight, I’d wear fancy, fabulous clothes that fit my current shape.

I’ve received two shipments so far, and my choices have been awful. Embarrassingly awful. While the sizing has been correct, I haven’t chosen anything that I felt fancy or fabulous in.

So, I asked my mom to choose for me.

Initially, I wanted to share her choosing-clothing super power. I was curious what she’d pick, and thought it would be a fun post to share on Mother’s Day. I didn’t call her up and say, “I’m feeling trapped in my body, please help dress me.” But, she’s my mom, so I didn’t really need to. Everything she chose flattered the body I have now, and was still me, just with the dial turned up a little.


Item #1 - Rebecca Taylor Orange Floral Wrap Dress


I wore this outfit to attend a conversation with Melinda Gates, the last stop of her book tour. As I weaved between legs to my seat, the woman in front of me turned around and said, “I love your dress!”




That’s a crop top! And I feel pretty great in it! To quote the marvelous Jonathan Van Ness, “Can you believe?!”




This dress is magical. First, I love a good apron front dress. (Like this yellow one I wore on Valentines Day!) Second, and the real kicker, this dress is a thicker material with a large circle skirt. I hold my weight in my bottom half, and that skirt (literally) stands on its own and hides it all!



(There was a fourth item, too - a pair of really fun tropical print shorts - but they arrived damaged.)

While it’s likely frowned upon to receive a gift from your mom on Mother’s Day, I feel like I did. Thanks, Mom, for helping me feel fancy and fabulous today and everyday. I’m eternally, always, grateful for your love, unconditional support, and sense of humor.

Want to read more about my mom? You can find another post about her, here!

Intrigued by Rent the Runway? Click here, and receive $30 off of your first order. (I’ll receive $30 off of mine, too!)

I’ll be back on Wednesday with a food-inspired post. Have a wonderful Mother’s Day!