Where to Rent a Dress Online

Where to rent a dress for a one-time special occasion

Formal school dances happen once a year, and for some, once in a lifetime. If buying a formal dress to wear once seems extravagant, consider renting instead. Guys rent formal wear all the time, so why shouldn't girls?

Renting a dress has its advantages: it's cheaper, no one will be able to tell it's a loaner, and you could end up swathed in a luxurious designer dress that you'd never be able to afford otherwise.

Check out these websites that specialize in renting dresses for prom, homecoming and other high profile affairs!

But Keep In Mind

Renting fine dresses has become increasingly popular; not only is it a lot cheaper than buying an expensive dress, particularly one you may wear only once, but it's also a responsible and green thing to do. The one catch is that designers are notoriously quirky about dress sizes. One designer's size four can be another designer's six. That's a risk that's worth taking if the only consequence is your having to ship it back and get a different size. But if you wait until the last minute, getting another size might not be possible in time for your prom. It's probably worth it to add a couple of extra days to the potential rental fee to be sure you've got the dress you need.  

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Rent the Runway

Rent the Runway Founders, Jennifer Carter Fleiss and Jennifer Hyman at the headquarters
Kempton/Flickr/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Rent the Runway specializes in renting high-end couture dresses. Sizes range from 0 to 12 and rental prices vary from $40 to over $250, depending on the price of the dress. Dresses range from the low hundreds to over $3,000.

Members can browse through dresses online by designers like Badgley Mischka, Haute Hippie, See by Chloe and Dolce and Gabbana. After members make a dress selection, it's shipped right to their doorstep in two sizes, just to make sure the fit is perfect. RTR also offers customers the chance to rent a second dress of equal or lesser value for $25. Every rental also includes a $5 insurance charge and a shipping charge. Return shipping is free. Bags and jewelry are also available for rent.

RTR suggests that customers place their orders up to three weeks in advance. All of the dresses ship from New York City and are loaned for a four or eight-day rental.

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Wear Today Gone Tomorrow

Wear Today Gone Tomorrow rents dresses from all across the designer spectrum, from Jovani and Alyce Designs to Betsey Johnson and Valentino. A standard membership is free, while the rental costs are about ten percent of the cost of the dress (a $250 dress would rent for $25). Members can find rentals starting at $25 and going up to about $300, depending on the retail cost of the dress. In addition to the rental cost, there is also a $10 dry cleaning fee. Shipping is free.

To ensure that your dress fits, WTGT has a detailed size chart that is tailored to each item, along with sizing recommendations based on body type. Size consultants are also available to chat with.

Sizes available range from 0 to 24, and your style ships from Iowa and arrives within two to three business days. Rentals last for seven days, but can be extended.

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Lending Luxury

Lending Luxury rents formal dresses from classic prom designers like Terani Couture and Jovani as well as higher-end designers like Tadashi Shoji and Tracy Reese. Sizes range from 0 to 16, and rentals range from $12 to around $120. Return shipping, insurance, and dry cleaning is included in the rental price, though customers pay the initial shipping charge.

Dress rentals last for four days, with the customer returning the dress on the fifth day. And if you absolutely fall in love with the dress, this site also allows you to purchase it at the end of your rental. Some of the frocks are also available for purchase at a discount without an initial rental.

Lending Luxury also rents tops, bottoms, and rompers, making it easy to rent a killer outfit for a post-prom party, too!