Wedding season is back – and your calendar may well be looking more packed than ever thanks to a year of postponements piling in at once. But 10 invites no longer means multiple expensive dresses.
Renting a wedding outfit is all rage – just ask Carrie Symonds, who recently rented an ivory tulle and silk gown by Costarellos to marry Boris Johnson.
There’s a growing number of options for wedding guests, too, allowing you to wear a high-end brand for a fraction of the cost, and top up your sustainability karma in the process.
How it works
If you’ve yet to try rental fashion, the process can be a bit daunting, but there’s a number of companies acting as middlemen to ensure the process is smooth sailing.
The T&Cs for each company vary (so check before you rent!) but most services offer a free returns system if the outfit doesn’t fit – simply get in touch with customer services within 24 hours, send it back unworn and get a refund.
In most cases, washing clothes is also the responsibility of the lender, meaning you just send your garment back after use and it’ll be washed before it’s rented out again.
You also don’t need to panic too much about minor mishaps. Most services will cover you for cleaning in the case of spills, plus minor repairs such as loose threads, missing buttons or even minor tears. More drastic accidents are handled on a case-by-case basis and you may be charged a fee, but you have a mediator to help arrange this between rentee and renter.
Here are some rental companies that should be on your radar:
By Rotation is a peer-to-peer platform, meaning you can make money by advertising your clothes for rental, or rent clothes from other users. Because it’s peer-to-peer, you’ll find a good variety of sizes, in brands including Self Portrait, Hope And Ivy, The Vampire’s Wife and Rixo. The Ganni dress above originally retailed for £182, but can be rented from £20 per day.
Selfridges & Co Rental
Haven’t got the budget for Selfridges? No problem. This service allows you to rent some of the biggest brands stocked at the London department store. The Rotate Birger Christensen dress above, for example, retails for £300, but can be rented for £37.40 per day.
My Wardrobe HQ
My Wardrobe HQ allows you to buy or rent high-end outfits direct from brands or peer-to-peer exchange. The site even has a section dedicated to wedding dresses and wedding guest outfits. The above dress from Jacquemus is one of our favourites, retailing at £869 but rentable from £16 per day.
Endless Wardrobe offers clothes in three options: rent, buy new, or buy nearly-new. The site works with brands directly and handles the care of all clothes. They have a pretty relaxed policy on damages – “it’s okay, red wine happens to the best of us” – and you can opt to keep clothes forever if you fall in love with a rental. This De La Vali dress could be yours new for £495, nearly new for £395 or rented from £75.