7 Best Sites for Dress Rentals—Just in Time for NYE
The perfect dress rental is the key to turning heads without sacrificing your funds or the planet's health. These sites will help you get started.
Ah, occasion dressing. Selecting and styling the perfect ensemble for wedding wear, seasonal soirees, cocktail hour, or just a regular Friday night on the town is a fun, if expensive, undertaking—one that gets a little more complicated (both monetarily and waste-wise) if you're only planning to wear the outfit once. Enter: dress rentals.
Sustainable, affordable, and seamless (if you want it to be), opting to rent pieces for temporary wear allows you to dress the part without unnecessary expense or wardrobe expansion.
The Rise of Clothing Rentals
Fashion rental has been on the rise for more than a decade, beginning with sites like Rent the Runway (founded in 2009) and Rebag (which followed in 2014) that offered customers a chance to experience luxury pieces and accessories minus the closet commitment.
Now, clothing rental sites have expanded to include peer-to-peer swapping, various membership levels, options to keep pieces indefinitely, and more. And as Gen Z's retro appreciation continues to grow, it seems that everyone is renting—making our shared closets even cooler in the process.
The Benefits of Dress Rentals
Aside from the obvious upside of getting to test-drive merchandise at your leisure, dress rentals come with a host of environmental upsides. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), more than 11 million tons of textile waste is produced each year, much of which ends up in our severely overcrowded landfills.
Embracing circular models of fashion—from renting to reselling—ensure that production levels are kept at bay, helps to minimize packaging and clothing waste, and offsets the carbon emissions that come with corporate shipments.
TLDR: Modern cocktail attire is best enjoyed as a fling, not a long-term relationship. Here, sites to scour for stylish and sustainable dress rentals.
7 Places to Shop Dress Rentals Online
1. Rent the Runway
Photo: Rent the Runway/@renttherunway
Cost: $99/month for 8 items
Rent the Runway is a veteran in the fashion rental space. RTR allows users to reserve pieces for one-off wear or sign up for various memberships to ramp up their rotation. Plans are both customizable and easy to opt out of, meaning that the non-committal nature of the fashion rental is alive and well.
Once you're done, returning your rental is as simple as repacking your items in pre-provided packaging, attaching a shipping label, and dropping them at your local UPS, or even scheduling a home pick-up. Shop dresses from all of the designers you love (literally) by occasion, weather, and available dates.
Cost: $69/month for 4 items
Armoire provides an extensive menu of clothing items, available for a monthly fee. While the company provides a curation based on machine learning, provided information, and stylist input, your monthly picks (between 4-6) are entirely up to you.
Your next round of items arrives to signal that it's time to return your previous pieces, meaning that you're never without options.
Cost: Varies by item
Tulerie is all about peer-to-peer luxury. The monthly clothing swaps that you host with your friends get elevated (and expanded) through a like-minded community that favors designer items—and is willing to share. Think of it as perusing a collective closet in search of the perfect party dress.
Lenders are responsible for cleaning items using a fee paid by the borrower—teamwork makes for clean, ready-to-wear clothes.
Cost: $59/month for 3 items
Haverdash favors accessibility over luxury, with featured brands that you're sure to know, but have likely never seen a runway. Keep your virtual closet stocked with at least eight styles at all times to ensure that three of your chosen looks are sent at every rental round (the timing of which is up to you).
If you end up falling head over heels for your rented dress, the brand allows you to purchase for keeps at a discounted price.
5. Le Tote
Photo: Le Tote/@letote
Cost: $59/month for 3 garments and 2 accessories
Wear, return, and repeat with Le Tote. Select your monthly haul (or tote, which includes 3-4 items depending on your membership level), wear your pieces as many times as you'd like, and even purchase chosen favorites for 50% off the retail price.
And moms-to-be with places to be, take note! Le Tote features a wealth of maternity dresses.
6. Fashion to Figure Closet
Photo: Fashion to Figure/@fashiontofigure
Cost: $55/month for 3 items
Fashion to Figure's Closet is a rental program featuring a wide array of plus-size pieces. Dresses are curated by climate and occasion, and, as with Le Tote, any pieces that you can't part with are available for 50% off.
Cost: $88/month for 6 items
Nuuly subscribers can rent any six styles every month, and all clothing items come from brands within the Anthropologie, Free People, and Urban Outfitters family. After choosing your items, wear them as much as you want for the next 30 days—then return them for free. You can also buy anything you happen to fall in love with for up to 75% off the retail price.
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