How to hire a dress for that big party or wedding at a fraction of its retail price.

‘Rent, don’t buy’ is the latest mantra in the fashion world. As clothing rental sites rocket in popularity, the online options are plentiful. Fixed on a subscription or per-item basis, the fashion rental services encourage a more sustainable industry with less disposable clothing purchases. They can also save you money. Some platforms operate like a social network, while others are high street-based or membership only. Be honest with yourself. You’re not going to wear that expensive dress more than once, so you’re better off renting it at a fraction of the actual retail price. Equally, don’t let designer items gather dust in your wardrobe. Learn how to monetise your wardrobe.

See our picks of the top five fashion rental sites for 2022.

The Airbnb Of Fashion: By Rotation

Crucially, By Rotation doesn’t hold any inventory; instead, it is a peer-to-peer social network allowing members to rent, lend and buy designer fashion from each other. After downloading the By Rotation app, subscribers can discover, follow and engage with lenders gaining access to over 35,000 designer dresses, bags and shoes. Repeat renters will often hire from the same person over and over again; rather like finding a friend with the same taste in clothes. ‘There’s just lots of reason to rent, right? Saving money, making money, making new friends, looking good and saving the planet,’ says founder Eshita Kabra. ‘It’s cool, it’s fun to be part of this vibrant and friendly community – it’s less aspirational, it’s just very approachable.’ Discover more here.

Hire That Arm Candy: COCOON

Hankering after that new Bottega Veneta handbag, but can’t shell out its hefty price tag? Rent it through COCOON, the luxury bag rental service. Launched in 2019, this membership subscription service for bag lovers fast became a fashion editor favourite due to its access to new season ‘It’ bags and vintage arm candy. Members pay a monthly subscription fee to rotate covetable designer bags without a long-term financial commitment. Discover more here.

Fashion Influencer Favourite: Rotaro

Rotaro is famed for glam statement pieces. With this site, if you don’t wear what you hire, you don’t have to pay. Just ensure that the Try-On ribbon is left intact. Fashion influencers rate this platform which curates high-end pieces into easy-to-navigate edits such as holiday, wedding, party and bridal. Committed to sustainability, Rotaro uses recyclable, reusable packaging, carbon neutral delivery and has partnered with Ecologi to promote reforestation and support climate projects. They have even discovered a newfound Ozone cleaning method to launder their items when returned for minimal environmental effect. Discover more here.

Rent Or Resell: My Wardrobe HQ

Most possibly the best-known fashion rental site is My Wardrobe HQ which now doubles up as a resale platform. It also sits at the upper end on the price rental spectrum. If you really like an item of clothing, you might be able to purchase it for a fraction of its typical price. Alternatively, you can rent the garment for as long as 14 days. The site sources clothing and accessories from their brand partners as well as from the wardrobes of influencers including Chloe Poppy Delevingne and Olivia Buckingham. Last year, the site partnered with Burberry. Discover more here.

Fashion Rental Goes Mainstream: Selfridges Rental

As part of Selfridges’ pioneering initiative Planet Earth, their new rental programme allows you to rent your favourite styles from their leading designers and planet. It explores new ways to shop and help do your bit for the planet. Here, you will find favourite designer pieces curated by Selfridges’ own stylists. Discover more here.

By Annabel Jack
June 2022

Annabel Jack

Contributing Editor

Annabel is a regular contributor to The GWG, with a taste for finest in food, fashion and interiors.