So that big day is coming up. Whether it be graduation, your friend’s wedding, a birthday party or a formal dinner, you want to find the perfect dress. After scouring the racks at your local mall and the bleak excuse for department store selections, what’s a Stylish Standout to do?
Though you could invest in that pricey outfit you weren’t in love with, we have another solution that will provide you with a spicy new get-up and a commitment-free relationship with it. Online companies now provide the luxury of renting clothes for months (or more) at a time for individual or monthly costs. We love the idea of dipping our feet into the season’s newest trends without any strings attached. Below are a list of some of our favorite rentable clothing sites and some key info about each.
The Site: Rent The Runway
Why You’ll Love It: Rent The Runway truly has a wide variety of high-price dresses in sizes from 0 to 22. The site is set up so that you can filter by size, length and color, and you can favorite the pieces that stick out to you. There is a gallery of user-generated photos, so you can see how the garment looks on a real person, rather than a studio-ready model. The site also has stylists to consult via phone, email or chat to make sure you’re choosing the best look for you. If you want to make this a one-stop-shop, Rent The Runway has beauty, shapewear and accessories to round out your look with one purchase.
Why You Might Loathe It: You can only rent the garments for four- or eight-day periods, making for a quick turnaround.
For Your Information: This site has a free second size, making it a lot less stressful to order that gown so close to your event date. Worried the garment will be too snug or loose? Simply order a size up or down, respectively, to save yourself some last minute worry. You can also add a second garment altogether (of equal or lesser value) for an additional $32.50 for the rental. Talk about getting your bang for your buck.
The Site: Le Tote
Why You’ll Love It: Le Tote mimics those wonderful monthly subscription services, but this time with clothes instead of perfectly sized makeup samples or adorable pet-themed boxes. The beauty of Le Tote is that you can simply “heart” an item to add it to your wish list, and in each box you receive, you get at least one hand-chosen item from that wish list, in addition to some items that your Le Tote stylist picked out for you based on your interests. If you get something you fall in love with, you’re free to keep the item to purchase it and just send the rest back. You can opt for the Boutique Box ($49) or the Jewelry Box ($19).
Why You Might Loathe It: The size range is only from a 0-12 and XS-L, eliminating a lot of customers from purchasing.
For Your Information: You can return the box as quickly or slowly as you want. If you want multiple boxes in a month, your monthly payment doesn’t change, just your personal turnaround time.
The Site: Gwynnie Bee
Why You’ll Love It: This is a modern and expansive clothing rental service for plus sizes. The site has many monthly plans, including a plan for one item out per month all the way up to 10 garments out at a time. This ranges from $35 to $159 per month. One of Gwynnie Bee’s advantages is that you can rent something as simple as a cardigan up to a formal dress, much like Le Tote. Plus-sized fashion bloggers have fallen for the rentable clothing resource. Plus-sized clothing tends to be inconsistent across sizing (as many shoppers, even those who wear straight sizes, have struggled with) so this company gives women an opportunity to try out brands and trends without the disappointment of a wasted chunk of money on a poorly fitting frock of gargled fashion.
Why You Might Loathe It: Sizes aren’t consistent among categories. They go up to a size 32 in dresses and tops, but only a size 24 in jeans.
For Your Information: You don’t have to send back all of your garments at once–feel free to keep one especially prized pair of pants a little longer than the rest of your rentals. You’ll receive a new shipment of the same amount of items that you sent back.
The Site: Swapdom
Why You’ll Love It: Swapdom isn’t just for fashion and accessories—this site includes fashion, kids gear and more, and soon it will include home goods that you can swap with your neighbor. The site works in a round-circle exchange situation. Once you say what you want and what you have to offer, a proposal is worked out, ensuring that everyone involved in a swap gets what they want in the end. Because you’re not outright buying the items, Swapdom is free. Outside of a shipping fee with included processing fees that promise not to be more that $2, this is a free option.
Why You Might Loathe It: Sometimes you don’t have anything to give, and you’d rather just buy that new dress as opposed to finding, uploading a picture of, and convincing someone else to buy an item you already have.
For Your Information: Because your success relies so heavily on what you have to offer in exchange, take time to carefully shoot and process your photos of items up for exchange. This step is extremely important.
The Site: Bag, Borrow Or Steal
Why You’ll Love It: This site offers a rental service for designer accessories; including bags, jewelry, sunglasses, watches and vintage items. This gives readers the chance to borrow, buy or sell these items from brands such as Dior, Gucci or Alexander Wang. You can pick up not only the perfect bag, but also a complimentary watch. There isn’t a list of how much you can rent out, so if you have your wallet ready to throw down the cash, you can stock up at Bag, Borrow or Steal.
Why You Might Loathe It: With only accessories, you can’t quite find your perfect outfit. If you already have it, however, this is the perfect supplementary rental service. Prices, even just for rentals, are particularly high.
For Your Information: If you want your bag for a little longer, but still aren’t sold on purchasing, just keep it. The rental will be renewed without having to send the item back. There’s also a sale section for even more discounted rentals.
Happy borrowing, and enjoy your commitment-free-fashion footsteps with the rentable fashion and accessory trend we love.