Many of us covet designer clothes, but can’t drop a month’s rent on this season’s must-have piece. The solution: rent your clothes too! A new invitation-only site called Rent the Runway lets members rock Badgley Mischka on a Banana Republic budget through an online borrowing system.
The site is designed to fill the needs of women “who want to have fun with fashion but who don’t want to deal with all the anxiety of investing in piece after piece.” Through exclusive relationships with top designers, RTR is able to curate and continually update its stock with the latest pieces. They will deliver the dress right to your door (same-day delivery is available if you live in NYC). To be safe, they will also send you a second, back-up size. When you’re done, you just mail the dress back in a pre-paid package.
Rental costs range from about $50 – $200, typically about 10% of the retail price. And while this may sound expensive at first, just think about how many times you have worn those fancy dresses in your closet (bet you can count them on one hand) combined with how much it costs to dry clean them ($25 on average). And then maybe you can begin to justify the price.
This is also an intriguing option for eco-conscious fashionistas. You can avoid accumulating clothes while managing to stay on top of the latest trends and saving yourself the hassle of consignment shops.
While the rent-a-dress idea is far from new, RTR appears to have a very well-executed model with the ability to appeal to a fashion-forward crowd with even the most discerning tastes.