Renting Is The New Black. 7 Places To Rent Designer Dresses & Clothing Online

Staff Guide | August 2016


For All The Times We'll Wear It Only Once 

We've found that clothes that sit in the back of our closet don't seem to add much value to our life. Instead they contribute to inordinate amounts of waste pollution. American consumers alone generate nearly 254 million tons of waste per year and much of this waste is is due to the fashion industry and millions of pieces of discarded textiles.

Our shopping philosophy is usually quite measured - we look to invest in long term staples, pieces that were made ethically and will last 30+ wears. But when it comes to the variety of special occasion events, we are the first to admit this approach kind of goes out the window. It’s the most tempting time to indulge in fast fashion.

Renting special occasion clothing is not completely environmentally friendly - it involves a lot of dry cleaning and shipping - but it certainly beats buying pieces for just one or two wears. As does buying consignment, giving a perfectly good piece of clothing a longer life. Through renting instead of buying and by lending instead of discarding, we reduce the the millions of tons of textile waste produced each year and extend the life of the garments we use, ultimately reducing our carbon, waste and water footprint.

Rent The Runway

Inventory | Designer Clothing For Rent
Best For | Occasion Dresses
Price Range | $30+

Rent The Runway is our favorite go-to for occasion renting.  A wide selection of designer clothing and occasion dresses from Rebecca Minkoff, Elizabeth & James and Cynthia Rowley and hundreds of other designers start for rent at $30. The website has user uploaded photos for each dress so you can tell how the dress fits other customers in your size/height, SO helpful! They also send you a backup size in the dress you choose. Rent The Runway has free shipping both ways and they take care of the dry cleaning.

View the collection

Le Tote

Inventory | Monthly Subscription Box Of Clothing
Best For | Range of Selection
Price Range | $59/month

Le Tote allows you to choose 3 garments and 2 accessories delivered to your door unlimited times each month. You wear everything, send it back and receive your next set of options days later. Ideal if you are constantly buying new clothing for work events (or if you’re pregnant - they have an amazing maternity wear selection!) We love their range of brands, from Nasty Gal to Anthropologie and Free People. They also have free shipping both ways and handle all the dry cleaning. 


Gwynnie Bee  

Inventory | Monthly Subscription Box  
Best For | Plus Size Selections
Price Range | Starting at $49/month

Gwynnie Bee’s online clothing subscription service allows women to be stylish and savvy everyday with free shipping, and free exchanges. We love their selection of selection of workwear, casual weekend and formalwear across sizes 10-32. Their packages start with a first month free and then plans range from 1 to 10 items per month. Beyond an amazing collection of clothing for rent, Gwynnie Bee has created a powerful community called The Hive where members share stories and photos of their latest wears and body positive messages. 


Style Lend

Inventory | Designer Clothing For Rent
Best For | Same Day Shipping in NYC and 2 Day Shipping Nationwide
Price Range | Starting at $25

Style Lend allows you to browse through thousands of unique designer items that have been hand selected from New York’s most stylish closets. You can have have a special occasion piece delivered in 2-3 days (or within hours in NYC!) You keep the piece for 7 days if the dress isn’t perfect, you can submit a 'Fit Return' and they will swap it in time for your event or refund you.



Inventory | Designer Dresses
Best For Bridesmaids & Formal Gown Rentals
Price Range | Starting at $50

The honor of being a bridesmaid can be very expensive and time intensive - the average bridesmaid dress runs $300 and the dresses are often just a one time wear for bridesmaids (84% of bridesmaids dresses are worn only once!) Vow To Be Chic is providing an easier, less expensive, and more fun alternative to the current bridesmaid experience. They have thousands of designer bridesmaid dresses available for a 2 week rental period. They offer one flat price (plus shipping) that includes a designer dress, personal bridal stylist, home preview, dry cleaning, and no need for alterations.


The Ms. Collection

Inventory | Curated Subscription Boxes for Women
Best For | Hand-Selected Clothing Boxes
Price Range | Starting at $49/month

Once you fill in a profile questionnaire online, The Ms. Collection assigns you a stylist who will find the best clothing for your style, sizing and preferences. We love their personalized boxes! You can send back the items with a prepaid return label provided and a stylist will prepare your next pack.  



Inventory | Curated Subscription Boxes for Men
Best For | Hand-Selected Clothing Boxes
Price Range Starting at $49/month

The Ms. Collection's service for men, The Mr. Collection assigns your man a stylist who will find the best clothing for his style, sizing and preferences. Your man can send back the items with a prepaid return label provided and a stylist will prepare his next pack.