We live in the age of the sharing economy, and you bet fashion — possibly the most capricious of industries — is on this bandwagon. After all, fashion doesn’t last forever, right?
That said, “borrowing” fashion is not exactly a novel idea. Remember Bag, Borrow or Steal? The bag-rental service that was brought to our collective attention (and perhaps excitement) by Sex And The City, where Carrie’s assistant, Louise from St Louis, famously said: “Vuitton, mine till Tuesday”?
Since then, almost a decade later, the fashion-borrowing trend has been on the up and up. Businesses that let us rent designer clothing give us the luxury of keeping up with fashion’s rapidly turning trend cycles without the insanity of paying thousands of dollars for a lifestyle your paycheck wouldn’t otherwise be able to sustain.
The swath of start-ups in this field in Singapore include Covatella, Rent A Dress, Style Theory, and Luxe for Lease, to name a few. Can’t afford to buy that $42,000 Valentino haute couture gown to for your special night? Why, loan it at mere a fraction of the retail price!
Even if you aren't considering a wedding dress rental, options abound when it comes to evening gowns, your rehearsal dinner or hen's night dress, and even options ofr your bridesmaids!
If you think about it, renting is a way smarter way to access luxury when the occasion requires it. Here’s a quick guide on where to go in search of your next Vera Wang or Badgley Mischka gown.
Step up your party style without blowing away your entire paycheck. This premier online dress-rental destination with a repertoire of hundreds of high-fashion cocktail dresses, evening gowns and even wedding dresses will find you something to wear whether it’s for your rehearsal dinner or your actual day.
Rental fees range from S$60 for a simple cocktail dress to $450 for a full-length red carpet-worthy evening gown. Covetella shows us that dressing up for big events need not be a pain, and that we don’t always have to spend heaps to slip into our dream dresses.
2) Style Lease
Style Lease has a perfectly raidable closet of more than 50 international labels that are ready to reinvigorate your wardrobe. The mix of designers runs the gamut from cool indie to luxury — think AG Studio, Camilla And Marc, Vera Wang, Halston Heritage and Truly Zac Posen.
Rental prices start from S$50, and sizes run from US4 to US12. From the comfort of your home, simply shop, reserve and rent for four days, and the concierge will take care of everything from delivery, pick up and dry-cleaning. Fashion fantasy come true.
3) Rent A Dress
What sets Rent A Dress apart is the selection of brands featuring a whole smorgasbord of labels like Badgley Mischka, Diane von Furstenberg, Michael Kors and Self Portrait as well as designer diffusion lines Notte by Marchesa and ML by Monique Lhuillier making it super appealing to the fashion-forward set.
The prices range from S$45 to S$150 for cocktail dresses, and S$80 to S$200 for long evening gowns. To give you an idea, a resplendent Marchesa Notte floor-length gown costs about — wait for it — S$130 to rent for three days! After that, a laundry service will collect it from you.
The site aims to make quality clothes accessible to women aged between 20 and 35, who are as savvy with fashion as they are with their money. For those who are apprehensive about the fitting, you have the option of booking an appointment and shopping at their showroom.
Labels you can get your hands on at Volitude include Adriana Papell, Aidan by Aidan Mattox, Amsale, Badgley Mischka and local fashion brand Aijek. Prices range from $30 for short dresses, and from $70 for long evening or bridal gowns. We did a quick trawl through the site, and found plenty of sleek, figure-hugging options that would appeal to the contemporary bride-to-be. The standard rental duration is 4 days but can be extended to 8 days.
A version of this article was first published on Singsaver.