How Does Clothing Rental Work?
Renting clothes is very similar to Uber and Airbnb. When you rent clothes, you have access to an enormous closet of clothes without the hassle or cost of ownership. While there are a few companies trying to create peer to peer rental services for women, most clothing rental companies control the inventory like Armoire. We charge a fixed monthly subscription fee and you decide what to wear. When you want to wear something new, you exchange for different items.
Yes, you are sharing clothes with strangers, but given the growth of the industry, many rented items are new and never worn. At Armoire, we are buying new clothes every month, so members often receive new items. If the items have been previously worn, the clothes have been dry cleaned before being delivered to your door. This isn’t the case when you buy from consignment stores. While theoretically you are supposed to send “clean” clothes to consignment stores, consumers rarely send items to the dry cleaner before consigning. In addition, most “new” items purchased in stores have been tried on multiple times before being sold.
Learn more about where to rent clothes here.
Is Clothing Rental Worth It?
Clothing rental isn’t for everyone. If you wear a uniform to work and wear your clothes out before you purchase new items, then clothing rental doesn’t make sense for you. If you have a closet full of clothes and often feel like you have nothing to wear, then clothing rental is right for you. Most women don’t wear out their clothes, instead we accumulate them. While there is a lot of advice about building a wardrobe that lasts, the reality is our lives, careers and styles change. We’ve all purchased items that get worn once and then shoved to the back of the closet. If you added up all of these purchases in the last five years, I’m sure the value would be significantly higher than an annual rental service. Renting clothes solves three problems, the desire for something “new,” saving money on a fixed budget and reducing closet clutter.
Which Clothing Rental Service Is the Best?
Finding the best clothing rental service depends on your budget, style and needs. There are several companies focused on formal dresses and most of them target women under 30. If you need a formal dress, rental is a great option and a quick google search will probably bring up lots of great choices. There are a few brands that have launched rental services and more are likely to launch this year. If you love the brand and want to buy less and wear more, renting from them is a great alternative to buying. Finally there are the companies that let you rent every day work and weekend clothes. Finding the best one for you should be based on the brands you love and the styles they offer and if you want to rent accessories or not. We did a detailed write up here.
HERE ARE 10 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD RENT CLOTHES
1. Save time.
Everyone needs more time in their day for family, friends, maybe your dog or cat and also more you time. Some of us also need more time for our careers. Renting gives you back hours every week. No more regular trips to the dry cleaners or wondering what to wear. Pick from your latest rental delivery and get on with your day.
2. Embrace KonMari.
Live more with less and leave the clutter behind. Studies show clutter increase stress, can hurt your relationships, decreases productivity, negatively impacts your career and encourages bad spending habits. Once you take the steps to remove the clutter, renting clothes can keep your closet organized and spark joy.
3. Sustainability doesn’t have to equal austerity.
In the US, we throw away more than 14 tons of textiles a year which is directly correlated to “fast fashion”. That being said, “fast fashion” has grown dramatically since early 2000 due to consumer demand for something new and cheap. Renting is a more sustainable way to get the “something new” while also being environmentally conscious. We support that 100%.
4. Style on a budget.
The growth of “fast fashion” was directly due to our desire to get style on a budget. Unfortunately these items can ultimately put a dent in our budget too and all too frequently turn into disposable clothing. Additionally these items were’t constructed to last. Renting with Armoire is the best way to access a constant selection of new items to try every month without the hit to your wallet. Style on a budget without buying disposable fashion, yes please.
5. Quality matters.
Instead of buying “fast fashion” that gets thrown out in under a year, rent high quality items instead. Quality clothing is expensive due to materials and construction and many materials and brands can last for years if cared for properly. Unfortunately take a look at your closet. I’m sure it’s filled with high quality items you haven’t worn in months, maybe years. Most of us keep items in our closet way past their expiration date. How many times have you looked at something and said “this is too good to giveaway and I might wear it again” and then donated it a year or two later? Feel good about wearing the ruffle silk top, cashmere animal print sweater, wool floral blazer, wild pattern dress or pink sequin joggers. Wear them once or twice, but send them back for someone else to rent. Don’t send more items to a dumpster or the back of your closet to be given away at a future date.
6. Take small risks.
When you rent your clothes, you don’t have to ask “What is my cost per wear and will I still want to wear this next month or next year?” Try the green floral print jumpsuit and brocade baseball jacket without commitment. Taking risks in life is associated with confidence building, increasing self trust and adds excitement to your life. Wearing a color or pattern you wouldn’t normally try is a small risk. What’s the worst thing that can happen? You exchange it after one wear and try something else.
7. Guilt free consumption.
Buyers remorse is real. The thrill of the hunt and acquisition is often quickly followed by guilt. Do I really need another cashmere sweater or sequin top? Of course not, but if you rent you can experience the joy without the guilt. Renting gives you the feeling of consumption without the regret.
8. Share your power.
Part of our mission at Armoire is providing a platform for women to learn and support each other. We want to share our boss lady power with you. We also want you to share it with your community. The dress you wore on the stage at a big industry conference, the blouse you were wearing when you got promoted, the jacket you wore when you were elected for public office; we believe you can pay it forward by sharing that item with another boss lady.
9. Always look the part.
We all play multiple roles in our personal and professional lives. Buying a wardrobe for every role doesn’t make sense for so many reasons, most importantly time and money. When you rent clothes, you can always dress the part with a little planning. Traveling for work, speaking at a conference or have an important client meeting? Rent the look you want for any of these events and don’t worry about cost per wear. You’re renting, not buying.
10. Learn something new.
Renting is new to most women. Don’t give up after your first shipment or your first month. Give it a chance. On average, it takes more than two months before a new behavior becomes automatic. It takes time to integrate rental into your daily routine. There are countless studies about how learning something new is good for your brain. Renting isn’t like learning python or open heart surgery, but it will transform your view of ownership and shift your idea of “shopping.”
There are more than 10 reasons why you should rent clothes versus buying. These are some of our core values and align with why we started Armoire.