Friday, June 25, 2010

Rent The Runway!

Jennifer Hyman, left, and Jennifer Carter Fleiss at Rent the Runway headquarters.

For many women, (me included) a $1,000 dress is something they admire in the pages of a glossy magazine or see draped on the frame of a celebrity. This is not an item regularly hanging in their closet.

But a great Web site called Rent the Runway is hoping to make high-end fashions much more accessible and almost as easy as renting a movie from Netflix. Now you can at least have a high-end designer dress hanging in your closet for four days.

The rentals run $50 to $200 for a four-night loan and are shipped directly to the customer’s doorstep. After wearing the dress, you just put it neatly into a prepaid envelope and drop it in the mail. Dry cleaning is included in the price, but damage insurance costs $5, and in the case of outright destruction of the dress, the renter is responsible for the full retail price.

Rent the Runway was founded by two recent Harvard Business School graduates, Jennifer Hyman and Jennifer Carter Fleiss. Ms. Hyman said she got the idea for the service last year after watching her younger sister agonize over whether to buy an expensive new outfit to wear to a wedding.

This may sound gross to some (If you're not sure about wearing something that has been worn by multiple women) or it may sound great to others (if you are the resale shop type that don't give a hoot how many times it has been rented by others).

So when you have that very important event coming up and you want to look your best but you don't want to break the bank, this site may be just what the doctor ordered. Just think of how many times you have bought a dress specifically for an event and never wore it again. It probably cost anywhere between $50-$200 (or maybe even more) and it was probably not even a designer dud.

Happy Rental!

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