Remember Louise from St. Louis in the first Sex & The City movie? You know, Carrie Bradshaw’s feisty (yet hopelessly romantic) personal assistant with a penchant for designer ~tingz~? Well, thanks to a recent re-watch of the film, I was once again reminded of Bag Borrow or Steal and Louise’s genius way of living life with champagne taste on a beer budget. Like the many fashion trends that the iconic HBO adaptation pioneered, who would have thought there could be another one that will catch on over a decade later?
As the world slowly and painfully realizes that human consumption and, therefore, existence has become hazardous to Mother Nature, there are now more and more people who are making the extra effort to help others live conscientiously and mindfully. According to the World Bank in an article published in September 2019, “The fashion industry is responsible for 10% of annual global carbon emissions, more than all international flights and maritime shipping combined. At this pace, the fashion industry’s greenhouse gas emissions will surge more than 50% by 2030.” This article by Greenpeace goes even as far as to ask “Is fast fashion the new single-use plastic?”
It definitely pays to be a conscientious consumer, but I would also be the first to understand that we all have needs—some created needs, yes, but needs nonetheless. That’s the reason we’re in this situation now in the first place. What we can do now, though, is to take our own steps to become a part of the solution.
When the wedding season started late last year for me, it came to a point that I had agonized over what to wear for weeks before settling on buying a new dress at the last minute. I’m not one to ignore dress codes, and I actually take them pretty seriously because that’s what I would want for others to do in the event that I would be the one organizing the event.
My endless browsing on Instagram eventually led me to these rentals dedicated to solving every woman’s wardrobe woes for all occasions. Much like BBOS’s “Netflix for purses,” these brands not only have catchy taglines, they also have stylish closets you can own for a few days until your big date, wedding duty, or formal party is over.
Like it, lease it.
Owned by celebrity stylist extraordinaire Pam Quiñones, Vestido is her answer to “the inner conflict between [the] need to have something that’s hot and new vs. what’s a responsible purchase,” she says. “The goal is to inspire people to keep caring for quality clothes while looking great in them, consume consciously, and churn out less waste.”
I mean, yes, yes, and yes to all of that. Vestido’s website reflects all of that and more, making it easy for you to find exactly what you’re looking for.
The only one that offers shoe rental among others in this list, it also has the most extensive range of styles and curations—from daywear to boardroom and cocktail to wedding guest.
When you need to take your style up a few notches, Vestido can be your new go-to!
The best-dressed solution for any dress code
The brainchild of Cara Sumabat and Maica Salud, women who both have backgrounds in luxury retail, RSVP helps turn ‘occasion dressing’ into something easy and personal for every woman.
While there is no listing of their complete inventory online, you can take a quick peek at their tagged photos on Instagram to get an idea of the kind of pieces to expect in their studio when you book your appointment. (All rentals from RSVP can only be made through a visit to their showroom!) Their collection is largely evening wear from local designers like Martin Bautista, Vania Romoff, Stacey Rodriguez, and Sassa Jimenez, perfect for dressing up.
If you have pieces of your own, you can also consign with them and earn 20% for every rental!
Rent. Wear. Return.
If the two previously mentioned brands offer international and local designers, Talulah’s Closet features Australian designer pieces.
Find the perfect dress for garden parties, gala nights, or formal events. Like your best friend’s closet, Talulah’s is open to you when you find yourself in need of a fashion fix.
“Renting dresses means you have an ever-changing wardrobe without the expense waste of fast fashion. Talulah will make sure you shine your brightest at any event,” promises the brand’s Fil-Aussie founders Tricia Centenera and Cheryll Karim.
That promise is evident in their catalog of pieces, which include Aussie labels like Mossman, Cameo Collective, in-house brand La Maison Talulah, and many more.
Wear better clothes, not newer.
The newcomer to watch out for on this list, Basically Borrowed houses a more casual set than the previous three. While they all pretty much target the same consumer and have the same business model, Basically Borrowed changes things up by giving flexible options for buying or borrowing.
They have separate collections you can rent for 7 or 21 days as well as an “Outlet” where everything is for sale at up to 75% off.
The whole concept reminds me of a yard sale, only you have the option to rent clothes for everyday wear and not just for special events. If you just want to liven up your wardrobe for the office, a weekend getaway, or seasonal trip, check out Basically Borrowed for pieces that won’t break the bank and the environment!
These days, being an outfit repeater is no longer something to be ashamed of. Let Vestido, RSVP, Talulah’s Closet, and Basically Borrowed show you the joys of being stylish and conscientious at the same time!