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Runway Fashions for Rent

Posted on | December 7, 2010 | 6 Comments

Have you ever looked in your closet before a big event and concluded that you have nothing to wear? If you said no, you’re lying. Choosing clothes for holiday parties, weddings, and other special occasions can be stressful and expensive. And after you’ve gone through the trouble of finding something acceptable to wear, the sad truth is that you’ll probably only wear it once or twice–for most of the year it will hang neglected in your closet in a garment bag.

I stumbled upon an ingenious solution to this problem. A website called Rent the Runway allows members to rent current styles from over 90 designers for prices ranging from about $50 to $350. It’s free to sign up, and all you have to do is type in your size, the date of your event, how much you want to spend on the rental, and the site will come up with dozens of dresses available for you to wear. I typed in the date of an upcoming holiday party to see what options were available. Here’s what I found:

Catherine Malandrino dress. Retail: $395. Rental: $50.

See by Chloe dress. Retail: $495. Rental: $75.

Yigal Azrouel dress. Retail: $855. Rental: $100.

Herve Leger dress. Retail: $995. Rental: $100

Rental prices include shipping and dry cleaning, which Rent the Runway takes care of for you using eco-friendly cleaning methods. If you’re worried about some drunkard on the dance floor spilling wine on the dress you rented but could never afford to buy, you can purchase insurance for $5 which will cover damage and stains. If you’re afraid the dress won’t fit, you can order two sizes for no extra cost, so you can try them both on at home. Now if only this option had been available for my high school prom, it could have saved me a lot of angst…

All photos are from


6 Responses to “Runway Fashions for Rent”

  1. Barbara Hammond
    December 7th, 2010 @ 11:02 am

    What a great idea! And timely.

  2. Ann's Rants
    December 7th, 2010 @ 11:13 am

    LOVE the Malandrino and the Leger. Both would look stunning on you, but that is irrelevant because everything looks stunning on you.

  3. Style Maniac
    December 9th, 2010 @ 7:12 am

    A great idea, smartly executed. If you factor in the $10 you’d spend on dry cleaning, these dresses are even more of a bargain! And it’s true–although I will wear my favorite coats and boots for years, when it comes to a really special occasion dress I have to admit I prefer to pick out a new one (or at least, new to me!).

  4. Bejewell
    December 10th, 2010 @ 7:54 pm

    What a fantastic idea. Have seen the designer handbag rental sites, but nothing for dresses. Of course, I have no place to wear any of these. I suppose I could hang out in that Herve Leger in my living room for a bit. In my tiara, of course.

  5. Kristen
    December 12th, 2010 @ 6:00 pm

    so did you try it out? did it work?

  6. Susan
    December 12th, 2010 @ 6:09 pm

    I haven’t tried it yet, but will report back when I do

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