Changing habits: how to rent for the big day

Published by Amanda on

Villanelle dress – The Vampire’s Wife

Last time I wrote about how now was time for change and changing habits.

I love fashion, and I love clothes. I have devoured the latest TV shows Becoming Karl Largerfeld on the Disney channel and Christian Dior and Chanel in The New Look on Apple tv. I love the beautiful clothes that they produce, but I can’t afford them.

So I thought I would try something new.

Concept of renting occasion wear

One of the most liberating changes I’ve made is switching from buying to renting occasion wear for those special once a year events. This simple shift has had surprising benefits. Renting outfits is a cost-effective and eco-friendly choice, as you can avoid buying clothes you’ll only wear a few times. You get access to a wider variety of styles and designer pieces without the hefty price tag. Plus, there is more room in your wardrobe!

For a recent big race event, I rented a stunning dress from the rental company By Rotation. The ‘Villanelle’ dress by the designer Susie Cave, is a celebrity fave and £750 to buy new. Jodie Comer wore this dress in ‘Killing Eve’.

The other popular design is the ‘Falconetti’ dress, worn by Princess Kate for an official portrait and many other famous celebrities. It was sad to hear the The Vampire’s Wife is no longer trading but you can still rent these beautiful dresses.

And this isn’t a new thing, although I knew little about it. Sacha Newall was the CEO and co-founder of the UK’s first fashion rental marketplace, My Wardrobe HQ, launched with Tina Lake in 2018. Selfridges launched Project Earth, which includes a rental service in partnership with Hurr, founded by Victoria Prew in 2018. Eshita Kabra-Davies founded By Rotation in October 2019. It became popular for its cult brands and influencer-approved items.

How these companies function

By Rotation is a peer-to-peer service where lenders and renters handle everything themselves, from posting items to meeting up for exchanges, and even cleaning (following brand guidelines). It’s like Airbnb, but for clothes and it wasn’t difficult to do, but there are fees, so check carefully.

My Wardrobe HQ checks and approves items from independent sellers, stores them along with unsold stock from brands, and handles shipping and cleaning. They make their money by taking a percentage of the rental fee.

If you’re new to renting, look for trusted rental services, check reviews, and always read the fine print regarding rental terms and conditions. The best advice I can give is to ask the lenders questions, especially about sizes. If possible, try on some sizes at big department stores to get an idea of the fit.

Broader impact of these changes

According to Green Peace, clothing production has doubled globally in the past 15 years, leading to £140m worth of clothing ending up in UK landfills each year.

In The Psychology of Fashion, Carolyn Mair, a behavioural psychologist said, “Rather than deny the innate human desire for newness, which we associate with pleasure and reward, fashion rental can give us the dopamine release we need–maybe more so during tough times.”

While many people may agree with this, for me, renting was about enjoying fashion guilt-free by wearing one beautiful thing for a special occasion. My recent experience was a hit and I intend it do it again.

If you’re looking to refresh your life, why not start with a small change, like clearing out your wardrobe and exploring rental fashion? It might surprise you how this shift could bring new joy and fulfillment. Enjoy!


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