There’s nothing quite like the feeling of having a new dress to wear to a party or wedding, but we’re all more conscious of the ‘buy less, buy better’ mantra and no longer want to buy endless clothes. Enter the rental services that are popping up everywhere. As well as being greener, there’s the chance to wear designer dresses for a fraction of the price and have fun dressing up in items that wouldn’t necessarily slot into your forever wardrobe. Here are the best places to rent.
Best for designer labels: Selfridges Rental
Selfridges launched their dress rental service in May. It’s a small but well curated selection of designer labels hand-picked by their fashion buyers. Find both menswear and womenswear from brands like Jacquemus, Balmain, Lisa Marie Fernandez, Givenchy, Burberry and Stella McCartney. All are expertly dry cleaned as part of the rental price, but you might want to add £5 Damage Protection to cover any damage up to £50 like stains, broken zips and missing beads. Sizes UK 2-18.
Our top pick: puffed sleeves midi dress from Emilia Wickstead (rent from £127, retail £1782)
Best for a mix of labels: HURR Collective
Hurr Collective have had a lovely space in Selfridges since 2020 where you can try on before you rent. We visited this week and found a selection of tempting brands like The Vampires Wife, Zimmermann, Naya Rae, Sea New York and Cro-Che as well as hats and handbags so you could try on and rent an entire wedding outfit. There’s a bigger selection online including Reformation, Self Portrait, Realisation Par as well as jewellery from Alighieri, Chanel and Mercedes Salazar. The snag is that lots of dresses only come in a couple of sizes so it’s best to search by your size – there are dresses up to a UK 32. Eco dry cleaning is included in the rental fee.
Our top pick: heart corset midi-dress from Lirika Matoshi (rent from £47, retail £400)
Best for maternity: Onloan
Onloan offers a subscription service where you sign up for 2 items per month for £69 and 4 items for £99. The maternity section is split up by trimester as well as for breastfeeding and has a fun edit of clothes that are not specifically maternity but would still work at each stage. There’s also masses for those who aren’t pregnant including dresses from brands like De La Vali, Shrimps, Stine Goya, Joseph, Sea NY, Soeur Paris and Baum & Pferdgarten. Rejina Pyo is coming soon. Sizes UK 8-16.
Our top pick: Mixed Prints Maxi Chemise dress from Farm Rio (rent as part of monthly subscription, retail £318)
Best for one brand: LK Borrowed
LK Bennett have just launched an in-house subscription rental service. It’s £79 per month for 2 items and if you fall in love with a particular piece you have the option to buy it for up to 50% off. There’s free delivery, exchange and dry cleaning. Sizes UK 8-16.
Our pick: Frenchi English rose print cotton dress (rental as part of subscription, retail £225)
Best for inspiration: By Rotation
Download the By Rotation app and step into the wardrobes of its resident ‘rotators’ like Amelia Windsor, Jessie Bush and Camille Charriere. The fashion influencers along with hundreds of the platform’s members share their dresses from brands like Daily Sleeper, Loveshackfancy, Stine Goya, RIXO, Cult Gaia and Paloma Wool. There’s also a bridal section, as well as edits divided up by occasion like summer holiday, wedding guest, going out etc.
Our pick: Gloria dress in blue frill from The Vampires Wife as seen on Mrs Alice (rent from £34, retail £995)