Don’t buy something that you’ll only wear once. Rent it.
We all want to look as expensive and chic as our favourite celebrities, but let’s face it, we don’t have their income.
But surprise surprise, you don’t actually have to be rich to look rich. Looking bougie on a budget is entirely possible — by renting luxury dresses and gowns for your special occasions.
Why you should rent instead of buy
Fashion is evolving every single day. Trends come and go, and it makes no sense to keep buying the next hot item. Not only are you wasting money, you’re also contributing to the excessive amount of waste that we already have on this earth, especially if you’re only going to wear it once.
And come on, it’s 2021. Clothes-sharing is widely-accepted and sometimes even lauded, because it’s a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly alternative to shopping. You’re helping to reduce textile waste and increasing the lifespan of garments.
Besides, if you don’t tell people that your Dior ‘fit isn’t really your Dior, nobody will know either.
If you want to help save the environment and rock the hottest looks at the same time, today’s your lucky day. Scroll on for some of the best dresses and gowns that you can rent from local fashion websites Style Theory, Rentadella and Runway Rent.
Last updated 21 June 2021. Prices on fashion rental websites are subject to change.
With over 40,000 designer clothing choices ranging from sizes XS to L, Singapore’s clothes rental pioneer Style Theory offers outfits for all occasions. As new arrivals are added weekly, you never have to worry about choosing outfits from the same batch!
Their website is just a preview, so you’ll have to download their phone app in order to access the full range. Their mobile app is pretty neat, you can find your fit based on your body shape.
One thing we like about Style Theory is that if you really love the outfit you rented, you also have the option of purchasing it.
How Style Theory works
Pick between three to five items you would like shipped to you. Your clothes will be delivered to you professionally dry-cleaned, pressed and ready-to-wear at no additional cost. Wear them for as long as you like, and when you’re ready to swap, select a return time slot on the Style Theory app and they’ll come pick up your items.
Style Theory offers subscription boxes priced based on how many pieces of clothing you want to rent a month.
There are four tiers of membership that you can choose from: Starter, Basic, Unlimited and Pro.
Each plan has different benefits and offers, but all membership tiers give you exclusive access to community events and annual sales. With one subscription fee, everything from delivery to returns and dry cleaning is covered. Subscription fees are billed monthly and they’re commitment-free, so you can pause or cancel anytime.
Starter Plan, S$59/month
Perfect for one-off occasions where you need a few fancy pieces. This plan includes one rental box per month, which comes with three outfits per box.
Basic Plan, S$99/month
Sneaky sneaky. This plan, which is hidden from their website, can only be accessed through their app. With this plan, you can get two boxes a month, with three outfits per box.
Unlimited Plan, S$129/month
You can rent unlimited boxes per month, one at a time with three pieces per box. This means you can’t rent your next box until you’ve returned the box that you have.
Pro Plan, S$179/month
Similar to the Unlimited Plan, you can rent an unlimited number of boxes per month, but you can only have one box at any given time. However, instead of three pieces per box, you can now select up to five pieces.
None! If you are loving your outfit and would like to keep it for a few more occasions, feel free to keep your box. You may keep your box for however long you like and this would be charged monthly for both the unlimited and fixed box plans.
Best dresses and gowns from Style Theory
Retail price: S$120.19
Sizes available: XS to L
Whether you’re going to the beach or on a brunch date, this Paradiso Dress is a charming choice. Featuring a smocked backing, tiered skirting and tie-up straps, it is a must-have piece for Singapore’s sunny weather.
Retail price: S$405
Sizes available: XXS to L
Intricate lace cuts make this dress a showstopper. Featuring a high neckline and short flutter sleeves, this fitted bodice silhouette drops into an A-line skirt that is universally flattering. Ideal dress to rent for a graduation or any formal event.
Retail price: S$270
Sizes available: XS
Feel like a star at any event with this Platinum Dress by Keepsake. The outfit features a side split which will elongate and show off your pins as well as your footwear.
Retail price: S$237
Sizes available: S to XL
For occasions where you can’t look anything short of show-stopping. The asymmetric shoulder brings a flirty finish while the sequin-clad body will keep all eyes on your curves.
Be it a wedding, holiday, cocktail party or formal event, Rentadella’s got your back.
Rentadella carries designer items from around the world from brands such as Thurley, ZIMMERMANN and Nadine Merabi. To help you get the full look, they also offer accessories for rent.
Curvy girls, this one’s for you — their clothing sizes range from UK2 to UK20. Inclusivity for the win!
How does Rentadella work
After you’ve found the perfect outfit, choose your rental period. You can select from a four-, eight-, 12- or 16-day rental period. After that, pick up your outfit from their boutique near Holland Village, or arrange for a courier (at your own cost). When your rental period is over, simply return the dress back to the shop.
You can get your outfit pretty quickly on the day itself, and you can also reserve your dress up to six months in advance.
If you don’t trust what you see online, Rentadella has the option for you to see and feel the dress before deciding to rent. But first, you’ll need to make a free appointment.
Rentadella’s rental fees
Fees vary depending on the dress you want to rent and how long you want to rent it. All rental fees are inclusive of dry-cleaning and repairs for minor damages.
If you have placed your order but want to cancel it, be sure to do so early. If cancellation is made a week before your rental date, you will be charged S$15. For cancellations made less than a week prior, you’ll have to fork out S$30.
Thankfully, Rentadella understands that events might not go as planned during these unprecedented times. Currently, they have waived their cancellation fees.
Delivery and returning after rental
This is where things can get slightly troublesome. Rentadella does not provide delivery or return services so you will have to find your own courier or do it yourself.
Rentadella’s late/lost/damage fees
Make sure you pick a reliable courier service so that your order gets returned on time. If not, you risk getting charged S$30 per day and up to 200% of the original retail fee, yikes.
The cost of rental may include dry-cleaning and insurance for minor damages, but any more than that and Rentadella’s rental insurance might not cover you fully.
If the damages are major to the point where they’re unrepairable, you will be charged the retail price of the item. If you do not return the item, you will have to fork out double the retail price of the item. So, if you’re head-over-heels in love with the outfit, it’s better to email and tell them that you would like to buy the dress instead of going MIA.
Best dresses and gowns from Rentadella
Rental price: S$939
Retail price: S$139
Sizes available: UK4 to UK10
All business up front, party in the back. This sexy little number with a thigh-high split will keep all eyes on you all night.
Rental price: S$129
Retail price: S$971
Sizes available: UK6 and UK8
Turn up the heat in this sultry piece by pairing it with bold accessories and your favourite heels.
Rental price: S$139
Retail price: S$500
Sizes available: UK10 to UK16
This wine-red dress creates a feminine and romantic touch with its plunging neckline and 3D shoulder detail.
Rental price: S$169
Retail price: S$610
Sizes available: UK4 to UK12
Channel your inner Marilyn Monroe with this super extra outfit. Nothing screams “I’m rich” more than a fancy fur coat.
Runaway Rent has a wide variety of gowns that you can rent for just about any event. They even have video previews to show you what the dress looks like when you’re on the go. Unlike Style Theory and Rentadella, Runway Rent also offers suits for rent, so you and your bae can get your OOTDs at the same place.
How does Runway Rent work
Find your dream gown, select your rental period and voilà!
Runway Rent has two options: four-day and eight-day rentals. They recommend that you set your delivery to arrive one to two days before the event so that you can source for alternatives should the outfit not suit you.
Runway Rent’s fees
Similar to Rentadella, the price you pay depends on the dress you want to rent and how long you want to rent it.
Doorstep delivery and returns are included in the rental fees, making it truly fuss-free. As they do not deliver on weekends, you need to have your item delivered by Friday if your event is happening on the weekend.
Should you need to extend your rental, you will be charged a daily prorated fee based on the dress. For example, if the dress costs S$120 for a four-day rental period, it will cost you an additional S$35 per day.
To prevent confusion, Runway Rent will send out an SMS reminder on the return date so that you do not miss the deadline. If your rented dress isn’t at your doorstep, S$50 will be charged for every day of delay.
Best dresses and gowns from Runway Rent
Rental price: S$220
Retail price: S$790
Can be worn with a regular bra: No
With this sequin dress, you’ll shine so bright that you blind everyone. Just joking.
Rental price: S$170
Retail price: S$850
Can be worn with regular bra: No
Spread the dress lace on the floor to let everyone know the distance they should be keeping from you. We’re in a pandemic, after all.
Rental price: S$220
Retail price: S$1100
Can be worn with regular bra: No
Feminine yet fancy. Bold florals dial up an otherwise understated halter gown.
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By Kendra Tan
Avid promo code hunter and haggler. Kendra doesn’t like paying full price for anything. She’s the best person to bring along if you’re travelling on a budget. Have an interesting story to tell? E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org