By Robin Balser
With an average of £550 of unworn clothes in the closets of British women and an average of 40% of clothes not being worn in closets all of Europe, it seems fairly evident that we’re a nation of poor shoppers. We tend to buy on impulse because something’s on sale, looks good on us in the shop, or even because sales staff talk us into it.
We also tend to buy for ‘one day…‘. You know what I mean: you may not have any plans to go on holiday to Morocco, but you buy an elaborate silk kaftan because maybe you’ll go there one day. Or you buy a stunningly beaded gown that’s appropriate for the red carpet because maybe you’ll get invited to a black tie event one day.
Well ladies – it’s time to live more in the present, and clothing rental sites allow you to do just that.
Whether it’s for a major job interview you just landed, a big date you want to impress, or a wedding you need to attend, clothing rental sites are you’re go-to solution for finding pricey clothes and accessories you need right now, but may not ever need again in the future.
Admittedly, there are some environmental costs to clothing rental sites: there’s a lot of dry cleaning and transportation involved—but it certainly beats buying pieces for just one or two wears, then having them just sit there in your wardrobe until you discard them. In fact, there are plenty of advantages: you save money, save on closet space, and in a way, you do help to save the planet, since you only rent what you need, when you need it, and allow others to ‘share’ the item, rather than having all interested parties buy a dress and keep it for themselves.
Intrigued? Here’s our pick of the best clothing rental sites around the world that offer you the chance to play Cinderella any time.
10+ of the Best Clothing Rental Sites Around the Globe
1. Le Tote
How would you like to get ‘totes’ of clothing and accessories delivered to your door each month? That’s exactly what this US-based clothing subscription service provides. The site styles and curates what you receive based on your own personal needs, and you can exchange and return your stuff every month – unless you fall in love with an item, that is! In that case, you can buy it for 50% off the retail price.
This is the perfect solution for people moving towns for a short time, who don’t want to pack up their entire wardrobes with them. It’s also great for clothing junkies who love change, but the planet, too. Brands on offer include higher end ones like House of Harlow, Kate Spade and Calvin Klein, and high street brands like Free People and FCUK.
Based in: USA
Best for: Wardrobe basics, maternity wear.
Shipping: Free for all subscribers.
Rentals price range: Membership plans start at around $69 per month. Get 25% off your first two months by clicking here.
How would you like to wear Elie Saab at your best friend’s wedding, Dolce & Gabbana on the beach, and Chanel to a job interview – all for around the same price that you’d pay in tax if you bought those items new? Frontrow offers an array of the world’s most prestigious luxury brands to rent, allowing you to feel (and look) like a totally minted minx.
Based in: UK
Best for: The latest runway pieces, from the world’s most coveted designers.
Shipping: Flat rate of £15 in the UK choosing your delivery and pickup slot one day in advance.
Prices from: £50
3. Style Lend
This peer-to-peer lending site allows you to borrow or lend clothing for low prices.
You can find all kinds of clothing and accessories here, and the guidelines for lenders is that their garments should be in great condition, less than 2 years old, and worth at least $250 new.
Based in: New York
Best for: Feeling like you’ve raided your wealthy bestie’s closet.
Shipping: $19 per item — more expensive than most rentals, but the shipping is covered there and back.
Prices from: From $15
Want that perfect outfit that makes you look amazing without the expensive price or commitment? HURR might be the perfect match for you. This economy sharing platform (that operates similarly to Airbnb) that allows women to make money from their under-utilised wardrobes, and also rent clothes and accessories for a fraction of the retail price. Not sure what to wear? They also have complimentary personal stylists on hand to help you look your best.
Based in: London
Best for: Wearing spot trends.
Shipping: You can set a direct meeting with the renter, have first class delivery or use Pedals Courier for central London.
Prices from: Membership is required and rentals can start at £20.
Darpdecade rather cheekily calls itself a ‘Tinder for closets’ (heh heh!). Simply download the app to start swapping clothes with people near you. You’ll be able to see who loves something in your virtual closet, and then the app will connect you to someone if they also have something in their wardrobe that you’ve got your eye on. Once the meeting is made, then you can decide to swap with that person or not. It’s a great way of location clothing you love locally, and sharing with people whose taste is as good as your own. Who knows? You may even make a new friend!
Based in: International
Best for: Finding local clothing you can borrow – and maybe for meeting new people, too!
Shipping: You just meet with the person who likes your stuff, and whose stuff you want to swap or borrow
Prices from: Usually 100% free, but you may need to negotiate with your swapper in case they want a damage deposit or something
6. Glam Corner
If you’re based in Australia, this website is for you! Glam Corner is a service that offers nearly 10,000 outfits you can rent. There are some great, unique features of this site: they offer a styling service, where you can consult with a stylist online, by phone or in person to know what suits you best; you can try the clothes on before you commit, and Glam Corner also makes an effort to ensure that all sizes are catered to, from tiny to curvy.
Based in: Sydney
Best for: Women of all sizes and shapes
Prices from: Membership can be $99 per month (allows 3 premium items) or $149 per month (provides unlimited swaps)
Find Rent Wear make it easier than ever to rent designer handbags, shoes, accessories and of course, clothing. They carry top brands that everyone loves, including Stella McCartney, Vivienne Westwood and Saint Laurent, and you can borrow the items for a fraction of the cost currently available in the market.
Simply find what you want, wear it for up to a week, and return it for free. But this service works the other way, too! Got a fashion item you don’t really wear much, but don’t want to part with it forever, either? Why not rent it out and earn money?
Based in: UK
Best for: Designer fashion lovers
Shipping: Returns are free. They collect the rental from your doorstep or you can choose to drop it off at a local drop off point.
Prices from: £5 a day!
Want a bit of French girl chic in your life? Get online and take Armoire’s quick quiz to see which clothing best suits your style and body type, and then start browsing for your perfect rental wardrobe. Armoire will have your selected pieces delivered right to your doorstep, and picked up whenever you’re ready to return the garments and accessories.
Based in: USA
Best for: Office wear, everyday outfits, moms-to-be, and their babies
Prices from: You’ll need to sign up for a membership. Prices start around at $149 monthly, and then you can rent up to 5 items for $20 per month, or up to 8 pieces for $50 per month
No matter where you are in the world, you can rent, buy or sell luxury handbags, shoes and clothing from this comprehensive site. Whether you need a pair of Louboutins for a hot date, a prestigious bag for a job interview or formal wear for a big event, you’ll definitely find the perfect item here.
Based in: USA
Best for: Finding the poshest pieces loved by fashionistas.
Shipping: Only in the US, Standard shipping is free.
Prices from: For rental it can start at $150 per month, but if you want to buy, think of spending $500 and up.
Imagine if you could go shopping in an actual store, take an outfit away, and then return it the next day? That’s kind of what EKOLUV offers. This Aussie clothing rental and consignment site has an actual shop in Sydney where you can try clothing on before hiring it for up to 8 days, but of course, you can also do this online.
Need some extra cash? You can also sell your own high-quality (preferably eco-) designer clothing on consignment. But maybe the best part about EKOLUV is this: of all the clothing rental sites, this is definitely the most eco-friendly, thanks to their specialty in conscious fashion brands like Yama, Kowtow, Mettle/Fairtrade, and Smile. This site is so ethical, in fact, that a percentage of its profits is donated to Opportunity International Australia to help empower women.
Based in: Australia
Best for: Sustainable fashionistas
Shipping: Depends; will be calculated at checkout
Prices from: Around $50.
11. Cinderella Me
Let’s face it – most of us don’t swan around in 6 inch Jimmy Choo Abigail shoes all day every day. When we do buy this type of shoe, it tends to get pulled out for special occasions, meaning if we wear them for, say, 6 special events a year, the price per wear works out to around a whopping $100! Cinderella Me charges far, far less than that for a week, and opens your wardrobe up to a whole world of shoe possibilities, from Louboutin and Choo to Rossi and Zanotti.
Based in: UK
Best for: Iconic labels.
Shipping: £10 in the UK via FedEx, international is subject to a quotation.
Prices from: £280
All images: Frontrow
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