Is it time to rent your next dress?


Ever had the feeling when you delve through your wardrobe before a night out and can’t find anything that feels right or fits the occasion? Of course you have and us women (and I’m sure men feel the same) seem to be in a continual search for the perfect outfit, hairstyle or look.

Luckily for us if your bank balance isn’t set up to pay for a new dress every time you feel indecisive there is an answer on hand, and that’s to borrow. Of course if you’ve got willing housemates or friends they are a good place to start but if you’re not the same size as those around you and want something a little different and a little more designer then why not hire from an agency?

One such place is That-Dress which promises to take the stress out of shopping and end the eternal question of “What should I wear?” And from the surface it looks like an easy solution for the time short and fashion hungry. Whether it’s a wedding, drinks reception or a special Birthday – if you’re not prepared to cough up for a brand new label then it’s worth trying out.

Although it’s not been around for long, That-Dress has an impressive range of outfits to choose from. At the moment most are Italian-inspired and there are all the names you’d expect – Versace, D&G, Diane Von Furstenburg – and several new designers such as Ophelia is Lost and Narciss. Prices start from around £28 per dress and seeing as most of these dresses cost at least £300 to buy new, it’s a brilliant way to always be wearing something different without running up massive debts in the process.

So you pick a dress from the website, pay for it, and in no time at all (around 12 hours) it’ll be couriered over to your desk. The day after you can pop it back in the enclosed pre-paid packaging and return. If it arrives and it doesn’t fit you’ll be refunded the price and there’s instant help – via phone, email or instant messenger – if you need any advice about sizes and what to wear.

As well as an impressive range of dresses there’s also all the extras you know you’ll need – such as fashion tape, ballet pumps, handmade jewellery and tights – so you’re all set for the perfect outfit.

That-Dress is not the only site around for dress hire but it’s quite an easy one to navigate through and most of the dresses on offer come in sizes 8-14. It’s up to you how you use the site – either through renting a one-off dress or if you get into it, becoming a member and renting a few a month (which works out cheaper per dress).

There are also a lot of extras, such as discounts and points to collect for renting which can be redeemed off the price. Jon Hammond, the director, has also arranged events for members to meet new designers, including an evening with Alise Trautmane who recently won the Baltic Fashion Federation designer of the year for the second consecutive year.

Hammond says renting is the “ultimate recession chic” and an answer for all those people in search of something new to wear without the endless budget to do so. You can also get £15 off the first dress you hire with the code ‘welcome’ at the checkout.

“For the same price as a dress from H&M or Topshop you can have a Versace cocktail dress for the night, it’s no secret celebrities ‘borrow’ designer dresses for big events, and men hire dinner suits and morning suits, so why shouldn’t women be doing the same thing?” argues Hammond.

“This way you have access to a constantly evolving wardrobe of beautiful designer dresses to hire, at a fraction of the retail cost. It’s ‘our little secret’ and there’s one for every occasion,” he adds.

This article was originally written for Who’s Jack.

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