Clothing rental companies have been popping up like mushrooms recently. I keep finding more and more different services, none of which I have tried yet and with the recent events might not be able to try for a while.
For me, rentals is an opportunity to see if I like a brand if it fits and wears well. There are a lot of cool brands out there I want to try from Ganni to Rodarte, Mother of Pearl, Vampire's Wife, Olivia Rose the Label (available on Onloan), Simone Rocha and Molly Goddard. I am also considering to use it with shoes because this is the type of stuff I buy the most and often wear the least as you cannot figure the shoe out until you have walked outside in it. I also clothing rental as an opportunity to rent cool pieces rather than just plain jeans.
These are the issues I have encountered when browsing clothing rentals around October last year:
Sizing. Sizes 10-12 are readily available but go smaller or bigger (especially bigger) and the choice is much smaller. I am assuming that is caused by these designers not catering to larger sizes. Same goes for shoes. The sizes between 38-40 are very popular. 36-37 not so much. (Actually, 6 months later, it is not that bad at all)
I was worried about spilling, ripping and damaging the outfit.
Pricing. Isn't it a bit much to pay £111 for a dress I will wear once and return within 7 days?
There is not a large selection from the designers I am interested in (lies, keep reading).
I am not good with planning my looks. Sometimes I think yeah, I'll wear this and then I hate it and I want to wear something completely different on the day.
Fit. Do I pay £111 and end up keeping an outfit that cannot be worn? (this turns out not to be a problem, keep reading).
What if I spill something on me, break a zip or a button. How long will I have to apologise before I can be redeemed?
There are different services. Hurr Collective, Onloan, Wardrobe HQ and By Rotation are the ones I will talk about (there are more, but these are the ones I looked at). There has been a Hurr Collective Popup at Selfridge's in London, but due to the closures, I have not managed to pop by and try it out. Some rental companies are advertising loungewear at the moment. I think with the level of my clumsiness and the love of spilling everything onto myself, I'd like to stay out of that one.
Hurr Collective has majorly expanded its collection since October. As mentioned before, the reason why I would like to rent out is all those new hip designers coming out and I neither want to bust my bank nor do I have space in my wardrobe for new stuff. Last time I looked at Hurr, I could not find many pieces that I liked in my size. This time, there was plenty. I found Olivia Rubin pieces. I love her stuff, but I am hesitant to buy them, especially sequin pieces that are pretty (bad for the environment). But there was a lovely skirt and top set that I could rent for £62 each (total of £124/ 7 days including delivery and cleaning). There is a gorgeous sequin dress by her as well and that's £111. I have also been dreaming about The Vampire's Wife dress. I found one that I liked in size 8 for £118 (VS retail of £575). There are some Cecile Bahnsen pieces there too! DREAMY! for £224. At the moment I feel there are enough designers that I want to try in my sizes for me to start renting and testing it out. The website is fast and easy to navigate. It doesn't take long to register. You can also browse without registering. Rent is available for 7-28 days.
The choice is forever growing
You can get as many pieces as you want
If the fit does not work for you, you can notify them within 24 hours and you will only be charged delivery and cleaning fee
You can pay £5 extra to protect yourself in case you spill something on the piece or do other minor damages (losing a button etc)
If you want to lend your pieces, you can send the team photos of it via WhatsApp and they will list it for you
As a lender, you can communicate with the renter in case you would like to know where they would wear the piece
you are pretty protected as if anything happens to the piece, you can get current market price of the item back (I am not giving my Old Céline pieces for rental)
if you have a badass wardrobe and want to lend 30+ pieces Hurr offer concierge service that would take professional photos of your pieces, handle send-outs and returns and even store these pieces for you
If you are a bit busy and carefree as a renter, I would set up reminders on your phone as late returns are penalised at £25/ day.
Not as much choice for plus sizes (I would not blame it on Hurr per se, but on hip brands not creating the sizes for the clients).
P.S. I found H&M x <insert designer> collaboration pieces on Hurr. I thought it's awesome, now you don't have to go and buy those pieces (I have a few and realised I never wear them, what's the effing point). But could be fun to borrow and wear, so you don't have to queue up to wear a piece once. Let someone else do the work for you.
I've decided to create some outfit selections from the apps. I did not look for the cheapest or the most expensive options, just went with what I liked and would potentially give a try.
Hurr. 2 types: more dressy and more casual. Shoe sizes are not mine at all. The casual look with slides and Bottega bag is £340/ 7 days, evening look with high heels is £328/ 7 days.
Keep an eye for my next post for the reviews of Onloan, Wardrobe HQ and By Rotation.