Because my daughter attends Georgetown University in the Walsh School of Foreign Service, we recently received an invitation to the Centennial Gala. The invitation is posted on the refrigerator and every time I see it, I have a bit of a panic attack. What am I going to wear???
My pageant days are long (long) gone. So too is the closet bursting with cocktail attire, evening gowns, and sparkly shoes for even the fanciest occasion.
Luckily, I don’t lack for inspiration. Pinterest offers the best of the best. Even I can satisfy my cravings for gossamer ballgowns, designer handbags, and heels that could double as artwork.
Pinterest is the place to discover my perfect look. But, when it comes to actually shopping, I am considering renting a special occasion dress… and some other pieces, as well.
The concept isn’t new. Men have been renting designer tuxedos forever. And, rental options for one-time use clothing — such as evening gowns for pageants and proms – have been around for years. But now, a huge range of other options exist, as well. Sunglasses, handbags, boots!
Today, you can rent everything from designer jewelry, to furs, to upscale weekend wear. Here are my three favorite sites:
- Nuuly allows renters to discover something new and surprising every day. It’s about getting creative with what you wear every single day—not just on special occasions.
- Bag, Borrow or Steal is an amazing site offers an almost unbelievable number of authentic designer handbags, jewelry, sunglasses, and watches. These are high-end pieces from recognizable names such as Prada, Chanel, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Coach and even Judith Leiber. Unlike other rental options, Bag, Borrow or Steal allows members to keep items as long as they wish and never charges a late fee. Bag, Borrow or Steal also offer the option to buy items. So, if you fall in love you can make it permanent.
- Rent the Runway offers many rental options, but one of the best is the Unlimited Subscription. For the woman who wants something new to wear for work, weekends and everything in between, she can get three designer pieces on rotation.
In addition to these rental-only sites, major fashion retailers have recently jumped on the fashion rental bandwagon. According to a recent ABC News article, “traditional retailers can no longer afford to wait on the sidelines to find out. That’s why a growing number are now offering customers the option to rent clothes for a monthly fee instead of buying them. Bloomingdale’s, Banana Republic and Urban Outfitters are the latest to offer the services. Even footwear chain Designer Brands says it’s considering launching a rental service for shoes.”
The move makes sense, as clothing rental has grown to become a $1 billion business and is expected to reach $2.5 billion by 2023 (research firm GlobalData).
Ready to rent? Here are a few more options to get your started:
- Rebecca Taylor RNTD ($159 per month)
- Switch Jewelry (Starts at $29 per month)
- Infinite Style by Ann Taylor ($95 per month)
- Infinitely LOFT ($64.95 per month)
- Express Style Trial ($69.95 per month)
- Le Tote (Starts at $69 per month)
- The Ms. Collection (Starting at $59 per month)
- Gwynnie Bee (Starts at $49 per month)
- Haverdash ($59 per month)
- Rocksbox Jewelry ($21 per month)
- Armoire ($149 per month)
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Since 2009, Susan Said… WHAT?! has been your guide to a life filled with style – from beauty essentials, fashion and accessories, to gorgeous gardens, stunning interiors, plus the latest ideas for events of all kinds. Susan Conforte McNeill is an author, entrepreneur, and co-founder of the literacy organization Success Won’t Wait! Susan Said…WHAT?! was named one of the Top 50 Beauty Blogs in the World by RebateZone.com.