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Clothes and Dress Rental 101: Designer Labels for Affordable Prices 

Sustainable Fashion

Last Updated on December 19, 2023

Did you know that clothing and dress rental is a possibility for your events? Did you know it’s way more sustainable and good for the planet than purchasing for every event? We’ve all bought something, worn it once or twice, and then had it sit in the back of our closet gathering dust. Maybe you thought you’d use it more, or maybe you were forced to buy it for a special occasion but never wore it again. 

We’ve all been there. Weddings, school dances, and galas are all instances where a dress rental would absolutely be better than buying one. Because let’s face facts: The chances of you reusing that dress are slim. Luxury clothing rental is a great way to look your best while saving money and the planet. Rent luxury clothes from the best clothing rental services with this handy clothing rental guide!

Woman wearing a dress rental with overlay text reading "10 of the best runway rental services"

luxury clothing rental saves waste

Where does that dress go when you realize you’re done with it? Probably a landfill. According to the EPA, 17 million tons of textile municipal solid waste was generated in 2018 alone. 

One solution to this is proper textile recycling, which will give your garments new life when you’re done with them. But an even better option for one-time occasions like formal dances, weddings, and galas is simply renting out a dress.  

Renting a dress, or any designer clothing, is a great way to reduce waste and look great doing it. Here’s everything you need to know about dress rentals and how to get designer clothing at affordable prices. 

is it cheaper to rent or buy a dress? 

Many are surprised to learn it is cheaper to rent a dress than to buy one. I mean this both in an upfront manner and long term. When you rent a designer dress, it’s a lot cheaper than buying it new at full price.

Plus, you also won’t have to pay for the upkeep of that outfit. Runway rentals typically include repair + laundry as part of the service, so it’s even less expense for you.

what does it mean to rent luxury clothes? 

Renting luxury clothes means you are basically taking a dress or other luxury item out on loan. You pay for its use, and you get to use it for a specific duration of time. Then, you ship it back when you’re done with it.

Dress rentals mean you don’t own it forever. This is good for the environment because it creates a closed loop system and powers the sharing economy.

Once you’re done wearing the item and it gets shipped back, someone else can rent it and enjoy it all over again.  

Woman wearing a white and floral dress on a beach to illustrate a post about luxury clothing rental

how do dress rentals work? 

Clothing rental services allow you to rent one or several items for an event for a few days. How many days will vary depending on the service.

Each clothing rental service will be different, but many of them offer memberships where you pay a flat rate once a month and get to rent several items every month. Typically, 4-8 items a month is the norm.

Some platforms will let you rent from other people or from the rental service directly. Either way, you will have access to various brands and designers. 

To return your dress or designer clothing, most clothing rental services will provide you with a garment bag to pack your items in. This typically includes a prepaid shipping label. Then, you just drop it off at a post office or a designated shipping carrier. 

is there an app to rent clothes? 

Yes, there are some apps to rent clothes, such as the Rent My Wardrobe App, Rent the Runway, Nuuly Rent, and Le Tote.  

You can find a luxury clothing rental for an upcoming event or everyday use when you download one of these apps. What they have will differ from app to app, but you can expect to find everything you could need like designer clothes, bags, shoes, and more.  

top 10 best clothing rental services 

Here are the top ten runway rentals where you can find designer pieces for a fraction of the retail price. If you do happen to fall in love with a piece, you can typically buy it at a discounted price. 

You will certainly make a statement in any of the outfits these rentals provide. You’ll never have to wear the same thing twice — unless you want to!

I’ve gone ahead and highlighted some key features of every best clothing rental service, but it isn’t an exhaustive list. Be sure to check out their websites for more information.

Rent the Runway: Runway Rentals: How to Rent Designer Clothing for Affordable Prices 

1. rent the runway

  • Designer rentals including dresses, shoes, bags + accessories 
  • One time rentals + membership options 
  • Shop by designer, occasion, or vibe 
  • Three membership plans 


Nova Octo: Runway Rentals: How to Rent Designer Clothing for Affordable Prices 

2. nova octo

  • Evening dress rental service 
  • Bags, jewelry, and belts available 
  • Shop by occasion, designer, or body type 


Nuuly: Runway Rentals: How to Rent Designer Clothing for Affordable Prices 

3. nuuly

  • Clothing rental + resale marketplace 
  • 100s of brands + designers 
  • Subscribe + rent 6 styles every month 
  • Laundry + repairs included in plan 


Rent in the Loop: Runway Rentals: How to Rent Designer Clothing for Affordable Prices 

4. rent in the loop

  • Clothing rental service specifically for sustainable + ethical fashion brands 
  • Subscriber + one-time rental options 
  • Collab closet option to rent from favorite eco influencers 


Le Tote: Runway Rentals: How to Rent Designer Clothing for Affordable Prices 

5. le tote

  • Clothing + accessories rental subscription service  
  • Two membership options 
  • Shop by occasion, weather, collections, and brands 
  • Free shipping both ways 


Style Lend: Runway Rentals: How to A Dress Rental Works

6. style lend

  • Designer rentals including dresses, shoes + accessories 
  • Pay per item, custom rental dates 
  • Lending options available 


Armoire: Runway Rentals: How to Rent Designer Clothing for Affordable Prices 

7. armoire

  • Clothing rental subscription 
  • 3 plans to choose from 
  • 3 minute style quiz to match you with customized preferences + brands 
  • Algorithm builds a closet for you to choose from 


Haver Dash: How a Dress Rental Works

8. haver dash

  • Clothing rental service including dresses, jumpsuits + casual wear 
  • 3 styles delivered to your door for one flat fee per month 
  • Must have 8 items in cart at all times to trigger next shipment 


Gwynnie Bee: How to Rent Designer Clothing for Affordable Prices 

9. gwynnie bee

  • Clothing rental subscription including dresses + casual attire 
  • Shop by style, dress type, or new arrivals 
  • Size inclusive
  • Free dry cleaning 


Glam Corner: How Dress Rentals Work

10. glam corner

  • Designer dresses, gowns + set rental service with 1500+ styles 
  • Australian based 
  • One-time rentals and membership options 
  • Certified B Corporation 



what if you damage the dress?

Most dress rental services include minor repairs in the cost of the rental. However, if the dress is damaged beyond repair, most will charge the full retail price of the dress so they can replace it.

are clothing rental companies size inclusive?

That depends on the company, but most strive to include beautiful, luxury clothes for every shape and size. Rent the Runway, which is in my opinion the best clothing rental service, has an entire section on its site dedicated to plus size clothing so everyone can look and feel their best.

What do you think of these runway rentals? Would you give them a shot? Let me know in the comments.

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