Last year was the year when sustainability exploded. Countries banning plastic, designers dropping off real fur or leather, young people protesting against climate change, lots and lots of people going vegan or plant based, everything around us was about reducing waste and being more conscious about our planet’s resources.
What it seems really impossible to figure out is why nobody (or maybe I have little knowledge about it) thought first about reusing what we already have instead of producing new stuff. We all know how polluting fashion industry is. I mean…instead of creating new and new garments, let’s see how we can make better use of what we already have. I know what you think about right now: vintage & pre-owned online or offline shops became more and more popular. But not everybody is friendly with this concept: either they don’t like the style or they think about those clothes as being old or dirty. But that doesn’t mean there is no solution for those who wish for a more “luxurious” experience, one closer to the high end stores. Like renting clothes, for example.
Renting in Romania
First of all, let me tell you I never tried renting anything style related. Not even when I knew I needed a special dress to wear only once. Not sure why, though. As I think more about it now, I have no idea why I haven’t tried it before.
Unfortunately, in Romania we don’t have as many options as there are abroad. We are still getting used to the idea of wearing things other people wore before. So, here it is, a new business opportunity (thank me later): Every woman, no matter the age, the budget, the status, buys clothes. How about having a wardrobe that changes once per month or once per season, only with the pieces you are actually wearing and paying less than half of the retail price? Think about designer stuff, new collections, from precious dresses to be worn at special occasions to casual stuff for day to day outfits.
It is maybe the most popular website where you can rent evening gowns or cocktail dresses but also accessories: earrings, bracelets, rings, necklaces, clutches, sets and even shoes 😱 You choose the pieces you would like to rent with at least one day before the event and they will deliver them on the day you need them. You can keep the pieces for 4 days and then send them back. No need to clean it, iron it or whatever. If the size doesn’t fit, they give you a full refund. This website was endorsed and used by celebs and this may count when it comes to trusting their services. What is even better is that they also have a showroom where you can go directly and try all the dresses and rent them right there. Brands to be found here: Armani, Alice&Olivie, Badgley Mischka, Burberry, Herve Leger, Monique L’Huillier, Oscar de la Renta, Balmain…just to name a few.
Their categories include prom dresses, evening gowns, wedding dresses or birthday party dresses. The mechanism is the same: you choose, you pay, you keep the dress up to 4 days and then you return it. I have to say I really liked their homepage selection, it got my attention with simple designs and local designers: Maria Lucia Hohan, Cristina Savulescu, Cristallini, Iris Serban, Manuri, M Marquise. They don’t have many pieces, but they are the right ones.
Browsing their website I realised Sabres is actually a brand that is also renting their designs. Here you can find a bigger palette for a specific balcanic taste (no offence). I worked in the fashion industry with designers and I know how much work a dress or a simple garment involves and I feel so bad when this huge amount of work is wasted. So sorry to say the website design is old and should be updated. The pieces are wonderfully handcrafted and the high quality of the work can be easily seen but, unfortunately, it is for the wrong designs. I am aware that the dresses are made for a certain type of public, but if you ask me (I know you don’t, but let’s just imagine you would) they could do better. A lot better.
The first (and only) website I found where you can rent suits. For men, women and kids. Well, that’s something! And not only you can rent them, they will custom modify for you. They can also deliver in 24h in case a special event just pops up and you need an elegant outfit. No need to clean or iron the pieces, they will do that for you. The website looks good, the photos are cool, so why not give it a try?
The place where you find nice jewelry to rent. For special occasions or special meetings, you can find here an exquisite selection of vintage, local designers or high fashion jewelry brands. I personally worked as a stylist for their campaign and I saw all the pieces that will soon be available to rent and I can say it is worth checking out their website. You can keep and wear the pieces for up to 4 days and then you have to return them.
In case you are living outside Romania and reading this, be happy because the selection of online rental shops is crazy and the pieces are pure fashion, right from the runway. Lucky you 🙄 What’s even more is you can also find casual stuff to rent and keep for up to 3 months in your closet.
Like the Net-a-porter of renting clothes, this website has it all. As its name already says it before I get to type anything, just imagine you will be the most fashionable person in the room, with the latest pieces on! For one flat price you get to try and wear all the styles on the website for 60 days membership period. Here you can find lots of cool brands, like literally all the brands you could wish to wear. Ganni, See by Chloe, Golden Goose Deluxe Brand, Helmut Lang, Joseph, Stella McCartney, No 21 and so on. Rent from evening dresses to kids clothes, they have you covered! And they also have an app that you can download and make the whole process easier. The catch is that this service is available only in the US 😭
Launched in 2019, this website has a different approach. You “subscribe and rent any 6 styles, every month, for $88. What’s included: free 2-day shipping + returns. What’s not: hidden fees. What else? You can pause or cancel anytime.” They have everything you could wish for, all the categories available when browsing any other online shop. A fresh approach, cool photos, cool selection of products and brands…unfortunately, also available only in the US.
As its name already says it all, this is a department of Bloomingdale’s shop, a monthly subscription service that allows you to rent your favorite styles from Bloomingdale’s top designers. Also available only in the US, this allows you to choose everything you like and put them into your virtual Closet and they will send up to four pieces to you. Wear them as much as you want, as long as you want. Sounds tempting, right?
Bags, bags, bags!!! Everything related to bags. You can rent, buy or sell designer pieces. Think DIOR, Gucci, Valentino, Louis Vuitton, Celine, Saint Laurent, all the big names. Find the bag, go to checkout and select one of the options: keep it for 7 or for 30 days, you decide. Or buy it and keep it forever! Ladies, bad news: available only in the US 🙁 So, so, so sorry to be the one to excite you and disappoint you at the same time.
The list of online rental shops is bigger than this, but I think I should stop pissing you off when telling these services are only available in the US. If you still have the patience and interest on the subject, also check this out: Armarium.com, FashionToFigureCloset.com – for plus sizes, JoinSwitch.com.