Answers to your fashion renting questions

12 Nov 2021
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The fashion world has changed quite a bit in the last few years, and many options have been created to consume fashion in a more eco-friendly way. Of these options, rental has become increasingly popular, with rental platform Rent the Runway even going public last month. 

Whether third-party providers like Rent the Runway or The Devout, peer to peer rental or companies creating their own rental sites (see LK Borrowed), rental has become an option of choice. But what should I ask myself before renting clothes? 


1. Is renting just for occasionwear?

Even though renting can be done for occasionwear, usually because you might not wear your dress again, it is also a perfect way to try new styles while extending the life cycle of a garment. Nowadays, you can rent just about anything, with rental services available for clothing, bags, shoes and even accessories. 

There are also different types of rentals. Rentals can be based on a subscription service like for The Devout, Onloan or Rent the Runway. This will enable you to rent a fixed number of items for a fixed fee every month. Companies are also starting to create these subscription services for their own clothes. LK Bennett has created LK Borrowed, which enables users to rent an unlimited amount of items from the brand for a fixed fee.

Otherwise, you can also rent items individually, which will give you a price per day of the items. This can be done peer to peer, with platforms such as By Rotation or Tulerie. There are also third-party sites, like MyWardrobeHQ or HURR Collective


2. What happens if I ruin or lose an item I’ve rented?

Oh no!! I just stained my rented shirt with some tomato juice… Well guess what? You shouldn’t even worry about it (usually). Most rental sites have built-in damage protection for their items, these are like an insurance policy to make sure you don’t have to pay for the damage done to the clothes.

However, this does not mean you get to act recklessly with your clothes. The goal of a rental system is to be able to rent out the clothes to other users later on. So make sure you treat your rented clothes exactly the way you would treat your own, with care and loving. 


3. How often are items cleaned?

Are you reluctant to rent clothes because you don’t know exactly how they are washed and how often? Take that out of your mind. Clothes have to be cleaned between each wear by a different person. And don’t forget if you decide to keep an item for a long period of time, you can also wash it to rewear by looking at the care labels. 

In terms of how the clothes are cleaned, some of us have sensitive skin and wouldn’t want to be wearing clothing that has a lot of chemicals from washing. Again, clothing rental sites have to wash their clothes in a way that is safe for everyone to wear them. 


4. How long before an event should an item be rented?

Now, we know choosing clothes for events can be a bit of a last minute rush. But if you want to go to an event stress-free, you have many options. First, some rental services actually offer in-person try-on. This can enable you to find your perfect fit without the hassle of sending back clothing until you’ve found what you’re looking for. If the item you want is currently in store, we also recommend trying on the clothes in malls. 

If this isn’t a possibility for you, rental services usually offer try-ons at home before choosing your occasionwear. Services like Girl Meets Dress will send you different sizes of your chosen item to also make sure you find the right size for your perfect dress. We recommend renting your clothes for one to two days before the event. This will enable you to make sure you have your item on time and avoid any kinks in the process.