Dress for Less: Where to Rent Party Clothes
Ugly sweater parties aside, the holidays are filled with social outings that demand formal attire. But with wish lists in one hand and travel bills in the other, few people have much left in the budget for new duds. The solution may lie in a rental. Renting designer clothing for a special evening is an easy way to save a buck and still dress like a million. Here are pros and cons to renting eveningwear. On the plus side, renters get to wear something they otherwise wouldn't be able to afford, be a little "green" by reusing clothing, and avoid cluttering a closet with items worn just once or twice. Dresses arrive cleaned and pressed, and renters in a hurry can usually choose one- or two-day shipping. But getting starry-eyed over high-end labels can lead to overspending, and the available clothing may not be sufficiently on-trend. Moreover, sizing varies by designer, making the number on the label somewhat unreliable.
The site also rents jewelry ($5 to $225), handbags, and other accessories to complement the outfit. Insurance for minor damage or spills is included with every purchase for a required $5 fee per item. A relatively new subscription service ($99 a month) lets members borrow up to three items at a time. For $29.95 a year, members get free shipping, a $50 coupon code during their birthday month, and free insurance. The site currently offers 20 percent off for first-time renters.
Lending Luxury carries dresses, rompers, tops, and bottoms. The site also sells its inventory, as well as new versions of the available items, if shoppers prefer to buy rather than rent. This site charges renters for return shipping and does not include a second item in a different size. It will ship a second garment of equal or lesser value if the first does not fit, but renters are responsible for shipping fees.