Are You Really Thinking of Renting Clothes? Why, Yes!

Renting Clothes? Why, Yes!
Shine like a star at your next event with a designer ensemble that won't break the bank.
It's happened to us all - standing in front of a jam-packed closet, moaning about having nothing to wear. So what's in the closet? A bunch of wear-once dresses you bought (or were forced to buy) when you were a bridesmaid/went to the opera/got talked into a really elaborate Halloween costume. And now you're going to a big party with the perfect guy and can choose between the orange taffeta nightmare, the floor-length shapeless sheath, or the ruffled Marie Antoinette gown. Yeesh.

So what's a girl to do? Despite your work life stardom, you are not paid at the level of Angeline Jolie, yet the occasion calls for red carpet-worthy fierce. A new dress would only set you back a few hundred, but rent's due next week. And if you buy the dress, you need that $800 clutch. And oh, a pair of Louboutins would just look perfect when your ex's new girlfriend gives you the up-and-down.

Instead of turning to prostitution for some quick cash, consider renting your stuff. Clothes? Rent clothes? As in pre-worn? Yes! It's not as gross as you think, and it allows you to look like you stepped off the cover of Vogue (minus the eating disorder) without committing to a year's worth of credit card payments for an outfit that will be yesterday's news tomorrow.
Why You Should Rent a Dress
Way Cheaper
Woman buying clothes
A quick Google search for "dress rentals" will take you into a magical world where you pick out your perfect outfit and pay 70-90 percent off retail. And you don't even have to have it cleaned - that's included in the rental price. These aren't leftovers from a few seasons ago, either - these companies have no problem shelling out the bucks for dresses hot off the runway because they pay for themselves within a few rentals.
And Clean, Too
Smiling businesswoman
Forget the "ick" factor - everything is dry cleaned and sanitized between rentals, so you won't have to worry about smelling like someone else's B.O. or feet sweat. You should, however, read the rental agreement thoroughly - some companies do expect you to dry clean the dress before returning it, even though they clean it again once they get it back. Consider it an extra layer of cleanliness.
Logistics
Buying dress online
Browse through all the sites to find what you're looking for. Some only do dresses, some only do shoes, some only do accessories, some can complete your whole look. Renting from several sites for one event can be tricky, because not only do you have to remember what came from where when it's time to return it, but you also have to make sure that everything you want is available for the exact dates you need them. Some smaller sites may only have one of each item/size, so when it's out, it's out.
Things to Remember
It's Just a Number
There are a couple of caveats. The biggest one is sizing. As you know from shopping online (and shopping IRL), there is no standard sizing or cut in the women's fashion industry. One designer's 8 could be another designer's 10, and you won't know until you get it. Which will be too close to your event to order a replacement. And you'll be up a creek. To mitigate this risk, do one of two things: 1) Find the exact dress in a department store and try it on to see how it fits, then order that size. Or, 2) visit the designer's website or another website that sells the dress, and look a sizing charts. Some of the better rental sites offer sizing advice, but as you know, nothing beats trying it on for real.

Colors are Not as They Appear
The other potential problem is color matching. Colors on your computer monitor are not necessarily accurate unless it's been calibrated, and even if it has, the color quality depends - almost entirely - on the photo quality. The difference won't be huge - green won't suddenly appear purple or anything, but the color could be off by a few shades. The solution is easy - don't try to exact-match your accessories. This is not the time to try custom-dyed satin heels. Just go for either a neutral or complementary color and you should be fine.
This may all sound like a tremendous PITA, but when you walk into the party looking like a page out of a magazine (one of the good ones), it's so worth it (and you didn't have to bankrupt yourself to do it).
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