That Time I Got Stuck in a Dress

Remember when I posted about the Air Force Ball, and how I rented that baller dress from Rent The Runway?

Well, the tale continued. I just wasn’t able to write about it at the time due to being hella busy. One day, I will make a living off of wearing pretty things, using cool innovative skin care products, and writing stories about wearing and using those things. Today is not that day, Fledglings. I know, I’m as disappointed as you are.

So I got stuck in my dress that night, if the title didn’t give it away. It went on fine, and it fit well. I had a great time that night, and got a ton of compliments on my dress. Despite a surprise rainstorm flooding the road home, I was in good spirits when I went upstairs to disrobe.

And then I tried to undo the zipper on that gorgeous dress. I tugged. I pulled. My husband tugged and pulled more. That zipper was not moving.

Okaaayyy, this is amusing. Let’s take off the undergarments, so there’s a little more room to move in the dress. We’ll see if I can get a better angle on the zipper pull.


Right, there’s more than one way to skin a Fashion Bird, let’s think this through. Can I take the dress off over my head?


Down over my hips???


This was getting slightly less amusing.

My husband pulled on the zipper one more time, and of course, the inevitable happened: the damnable zipper pull came off.

Definitely no longer amused. Definitely starting to freak out.

So, I’m trapped in a dress. WTF am I supposed to do??? My husband is frustrated and worried, I’m hot and itchy, and we’re both frantically Googling ‘how to unstick a zipper.’ I’m sure to any third-party observer, this scene looked hysterical, but at the time, I was not seeing the humor. Was I going to have to cut myself out of a $400 dress?  Was I going to have to sleep in this thing??? The fear was setting in, Fledglings.

Taking the advice of the internet, I rubbed a bar of soap on the zipper, the husband got a pair of pliers, and we tried pulling the zipper down again. Still nothing. Upon closer inspection, it looked like one of the teeth had broken off, making it so that the tiny formal-dress zipper wouldn’t move past a certain point.

Finally, after a good twenty minutes of similar antics and a little bit of screaming at the ceiling from both of us, Husband decided that we needed to split the zipper open so I could just get out of this freaking dress. At that point, I was desperate, so I told him to go ahead. Thank. God. He split the zipper open without tearing the fabric, and I was able to take it off. I know for a fact a zipper can be replaced without having to do all that much to a dress. I was super sad that I’d had to do that, but honestly I was way more relieved to not be in the dress anymore. It was gorgeous, and I loved it, but that feeling of panic I’d been keeping at bay was pretty unpleasant. Pretty sure I couldn’t wear it to work that Monday without getting weird looks. I was gonna want to shower at some point.

The next day, it was time to return the dress and accessories to RTR. I had to pack everything back into the big padded envelope they gave me and take it to a UPS store to drop it off. Return postage was already on the envelope, so that’s handy.

You have to scrunch everything in there, but it’ll fit!

On the way there, I called their customer service line to explain about the split zipper and getting trapped in the dress. I think the customer service rep I talked to was a little surprised by my tale – she definitely paused for an uncomfortably-long time after I finished explaining what happened. But, thankfully, after she came to her senses, she told me that the zipper would be covered by the dress insurance that’s included in every purchase. Hooray! The insurance covers ‘most things,’ as she put it, including minor stains, wear and tear, and apparently, emergency extraction-related zipper-splitting. I dropped off my fancy duds with a happy heart.

I still love RTR. That dress still looked fly, and it’s nobody’s fault that a zipper malfunctioned. Their customer service was lovely, their return process is super easy, and I wasn’t out any extra money to repair the slain zipper. It’s a stroke of genius to insure the clothing they rent against random mishaps. They are still highly recommended by me, and I’ll post photos of the next dress I get from them.


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