Clothing Rental:
Trendy or Costly?

Clothing rental isn’t just for tuxedos or Halloween costumes anymore. Now you can rent your casual and business clothes too. While rentals may keep your closet fresh and trendy, is it really worth the cost?

Clothing Rental: The Netflix of Fashion

Enjoy a virtual closet full of outfits you can wear and return. The process is easy. Go online, choose your item(s) and wait for the mail to arrive. As an added benefit, some sites allow you to purchase items – with a decent discount – if you fall in love with a piece.

Is it worth it? Maybe.

Clothing rental isn’t for everyone. However, if you fall into at least one of these categories it may be an affordable alternative.

  • You never want to wear the same outfit twice.
  • You want access to the latest trends without over-filling your closet.
  • You have a special event to attend and don’t want to spend big bucks on an outfit you’ll wear once.  (Some websites have bride/bridesmaid rentals too.)
  • You want to test a style before you commit to purchasing.
  • Your limited closet space can’t support your clothing obsession.

Renting clothing may not be a good fit if you:

  • Tend to wear classics that never go out of style
  • Would rather own clothing than rent
  • Typically spend little on clothing or you have limited funds.

If you’re new to the concept of clothing rental,
here are a few sites to test out:

The Mr. Collection
Men’s business or casual, this is the easy way to shop for clothes.
Pros: Create a style profile and staff stylists will choose and send items specifically for you. If you love the threads, you’ll enjoy a 40% price discount on purchases.
Cons: You must make all returns on time or you’re stuck with the same package for another month.

Rent the Runway
Rent designer dresses and outfits for your next special occasion.
Pros: In addition to free dry cleaning and postage, the site offers outfits from more than 95 designers in a range of sizes. Choose to rent one item at a time or opt for the “Unlimited” plan.
Cons: The more expensive the garment, the higher the rental price. So a $1,200 gown could cost you $250 for a four-day rental.

Gwynnie Bee
Great for women size 10-32 you’ll have access to casual, business and special occasion styles.
Pros: Add as many outfits to your closet as you would like. The site also offers outfit suggestions based on your body type. Plus, you have the option to buy a piece if you love it.
Cons: One of the pricier sites, they offer one item rental rates priced at $35 a month and three item rental rates at $79 per month.

Le Tote
Different from one-and-done rentals, this site offers complete, everyday outfits that you can wear as long or little as you want. For $49 a month, you will receive a tote filled with a minimum of three garments and two accessories catered to your personal style.
Pros: There’s no limit to the number of garments you can receive per month, plus free shipping and cleaning.
Cons: The price is a bit steep if you only rent one tote per month, and there’s a $5 fee if an item is stained or missing a button.

Fresh Neck
Men can rent designer ties, cufflinks, pocket squares and bow ties for a monthly membership fee.
Pros: There are three options to choose from–silver, gold and platinum–but all options offer unlimited monthly rentals and zero late fees. Silver starts at $20 a month and includes designers such as Michael Kors and Calvin Klein.
Cons: None that we can see.

RocksBox
For women in constant search of the next statement necklace, this site sends you three pieces of designer jewelry as often as you would like.
Pros: Designers include House of Harlow 1960, David Aubrey, Gorjana and Ted Rossi.
Cons: The six- and 12-month memberships require you to pay $100 and $180 upfront.

Tie Society
Similar to Fresh Neck, this site rents men’s accessories. However, rental prices are based on the number of items you rent per month versus a monthly fee of unlimited rentals.
Pros: You can exchange one item at a time or all at once, plus free postage.
Cons: The cufflinks collections rather limited

 

Source: Krause, Lauren. “Clothing and Accessory Rental Web Sites for Men and Women.” RedEye Chicago. 19 Nov. 2013. Web. 19 Dec. 2014.