Can I Learn to Love Leger?

A dear friend of mine is working on a potential project for Rent The Runway and enlisted me to try out the site. This friend is a guy, thus the need for a guinea pig.

Rent the Runway is a site where you can rent a dress and everything you need for a fancy occasion, and return it all when you are done. Think of it as Netflix for frocks. Since a) I rarely go to functions that require something not found in my closet(s) and b) the best part of going to said function is shopping for something I get to keep, c) I am not the target audience.

As I searched for something to rent, I had a Eureka! Moment: I’d rent one of the most popular, celebrity-favorite, runway-hogging dresses of the moment: a Herve Leger.  Jslow and I are both pretty obsessed. Not because we have to get one, more like we don’t get it. Judging from their popularity, we are clearly in the minority.

For those not familiar, let me school you. Herve Leger makes that ubiquitous bandage dress seen on a starlet near you.  It comes in literally hundreds of colors, shapes and styles, but only one fit: tight. It is Spanx with straps. A girdle as a gown. It ushered in “body-con” as a fashion category. It has loads of fans and a site devoted to Leger love:  Herve Leger Obsessed.

Herve Leger was founded in 1985, the year I graduated college. It was acquired in 1998 by BCBG Max Azria, but it was not until 2007, when Max Azria relaunched the Herve Leger brand under his own design direction, that it began to gain traction. A summer capsule collection was created and offered at select department stores, including a remodeled Herve Leger boutique on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. By next Fall 2008, Max Azria presented a Herve Leger collection in Bryant Park during Fashion Week. Herve Leger was hot.

Back to Rent the Runway. I find not just a few, but 83 Herve Leger dresses to chose from. I suppose I could have gone full-on skank and picked something bright pink and cut down to there, but instead I opt for something a bit more classy in a earthy green jewel-tone and simple cut:  the “Leaf Him Behind:”

My Herve Leger arrived right on time. Because I had a hectic work week, by the time I was able to try on the dress and perhaps take it out, it was due back by noon (rentals are typically 4 days.)

I shucked my sweats and shoved myself in. I must admit the dress was comfortable, although I was anything but. Problem is, I’m uptight with tight. Here I am, sans make-up and anyplace fancy to go, awkwardly posing:

I clearly didn’t fill it out or work-it nearly as well as Christina Aguilera, whom seems to have a Herve for every day of the week:

And honestly, does this flatter? Does it matter?

It was only fairly recently that I graduated out of giant underpants and baggy jeans, so it’s no surprise that I felt undressed in that dress. But it was more than not having the nerve for Herve. Walking around half-naked may leave little to the imagination, but wearing a dress that everyone else wears leaves even LESS to the imagination. Which is why I will “Leaf” this one behind.

4 Responses


    I think you look gorgeous in Herve Leger! The pictures are small, but it looks like you need to size down one for it to look even better. Btw, I honestly prefer your look over Christina!

    You got a great body. Wish you had worn it out. The compliments one gets when wearing Herve will change any doubts you might have. 😉

    1. Paula

      Thanks so much! Yeah, I rented 2 sizes but they only had one; it was a bit roomy for something so tight. Have you successfully worn a Herve in public? How/when and what did you wear?


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