Can’t afford to update your wardrobe? Rent your next item!

Katie Ellis, Rocket Contributor
January 30, 2014
Filed under Campus Life

Millions of dollars are spent every year on designer clothing, purses, and jewelry by women across the globe.  More than likely, a significant number of items women purchase will only be worn once or twice and then be pushed to the bottom of a drawer or the back of a closet.

In order to save money on clothing and still be able to afford beautiful designer fashions, women should start taking advantage of deals offered by companies like Rent the Runway and Bag Borrow or Steal.  Each of these retailers offer deals on designer items for a fraction of the cost, and the best part is they can be returned hassle-free after having them for just a few days or weeks.

Rent the Runway is the premiere website to find dresses and accessories to rent, for up to 90 percent off the original retail price.  Founded in 2009 by Harvard graduates Jennifer Hyman and Jennifer Fleiss, RTR has experienced tremendous success since its creation, as it boasts nearly 3 million members to date.

Their available stock of dresses and accessories includes items from notable red carpet designers like Alberta Ferretti, Oscar de la Renta, and Vera Wang.  While this site may seem too good to be true, skeptics can put their minds at ease simply by reading customer testimonials and reviews of nearly every item for rent.

Finding a dress for every occasion is a breeze thanks to the array of categories listed including “Ladies’ Night” and “It’s a Date”, which takes the hassle out of determining whether or not the dress you pick is appropriate for the event you wish to attend.  Next, choose a size and select a second size for free in case of an unforeseen fit error, and choose the date that you want your dress to arrive.  Rental periods occur over the span of either four or eight days, with the eight-day rental costing a few dollars extra.

Don’t worry about having to pay for the dress in the event that it gets stained or ripped. Minor accidents are covered because of the rental insurance applied to every order for just $5.  After your Cinderella moment is over, returning your dress is as easy as 1-2-3 thanks to the UPS return envelope included with your rental.

After finding the perfect dress through RTR, head over to Bag Borrow or Steal’s website, to find a handbag to compliment your ensemble.  The concept behind this site is nearly identical to the clothing retailer’s, but there are slight differences in item availability and the rental period.

Bags from designers like Louis Vuitton and Celine are available to rent through the high-end retailer, although it’ll cost a pretty penny.  Depending on the designer and style of bag, a rental can cost upwards of $200 for a standard month long rental.

Gratification isn’t always instant when it comes to the purse renting game, because the site doesn’t offer duplicate styles.  If a bag is labeled available, then your rental period can begin immediately, but if it says “on loan”, you’ll have to keep an eye out for it to be back in stock.

If you’re lucky enough to take advantage of the “bag” part of Bag Borrow or Steal, consider using money intended for borrowing a purse to put towards the purchase of a designer bag in either pristine or pre-loved condition.  There are also deals women can take advantage of on shoes from designers like Jimmy Choo and rare vintage Chanel jewelry.

Rent the Runway and Bag Borrow or Steal can take the hassle out of trying to find that special something to wear, for just a fraction of what you’d spend at a department store.  Getting a deal on a designer item is an offer that no woman should refuse.

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