With the holiday season comes the holiday party circuit. While normally it’s frowned upon to return an article of clothing after wearing it outside the house, these spots encourage it. Dress like the stars you see on the red carpet: The secret to donning that elegant Vera Wang gown isn’t upping your paycheck. In New York City, you can borrow the latest in fashion trends – for only a fraction of the cost. Once you’re finished, just return it … and get something new. Here’s our list of the top five places to rent designer fashions. By Krissy Dolor.
Albright Fashion Library
Former stylist Irene Albright opened the Albright Fashion Library in 1990 after she found herself with piles of designer items used on photo shoots which couldn’t be returned. While clients include celebrities like Meryl Streep and Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles, this one-stop downtown shop will dress us common folk, as well. From jewelry to handbags and yes, even shoes, grab what you need to complete your dream outfit.
Bag Borrow or Steal
Jennifer Hudson’s character in the Sex and the City movie made this trend famous when she admitted to “renting” her Louis Vuitton handbag. Perhaps that’s part of the reason Bag Barrow or Steal has plenty of loyal members. They only buy brand new items directly from the designers and authorized dealers themselves. They also pride themselves on their 15-point refurbishment by their specialist team for every item before it gets to you. Choose from Tory Burch clutches to Rolex watches. Don’t forget the NYC staple – shades!
Head to NoLita for this luxury boutique that allows you to rent special occasion pieces as you please. From Badgley Mischka cocktail dresses to Marc Bouwer gowns, there’s a dress for every event. Take advantage of being able to try on your dresses before buying, and take a peek at the accessories to ensure your look is complete. Just be careful – if you damage the dress, you’ll have to buy it at full price.
Rent the Runway
Girlfriends Jennifer Hyman and Jennifer Fleiss turned a classic ‘closet full of clothes but nothing to wear’ moment into a business opportunity. The two Harvard Business School grads describe their business as “Netflix for dresses.” You’ll get access to 150 designers, prices that are 90 percent off the 25,000 dresses available, plus accessories for any day or night out.
Something Borrowed NY
For brides on a budget, check out Something Borrowed NY, a NYC-based online shop that lets you rent designer bridal accessories for only a fraction of the price. You’ll save on must-have accessories without blowing your budget. Choose from veils, tiaras and jewelry. Best part? You can check off “something borrowed” on your bridal checklist.