Special occasions call for special dresses. And often times, we spend special prices. This summer were attending weddings, proms, graduations and loads of events calling for fierce cocktail dresses, gowns and sultry body con numbers. We want to be at our most glamorous for those posey snapshots we love to share on Facebook and Twitter. But what happens to those dresses once we’ve worn them? Many of us loathe repeats. As a result, our expensive and ultra chic designer dresses ends up in garment bags in the back of our closets.

Enter the age of fashion-for-rent. Online members-only companies like RentTheRunway and Wear Today, Gone Tomorrow offer high-end designer dresses for those moments to remember. These websites allow members to rent fresh off the runway looks just like our favorite starlets from designers like 3.1 Phillip Lim, Stella McCartney, Zac Posen and more!

Take the uber popular accessories- for- rent website Avelle, the new BagBorroworSteal. Notorious for its ‘Sex and the City’ shout out. In the film version, Jennifer Hudson’s character rents different designer handbags from Avelle weekly. But is it worth it? Avelle has this Gucci patent satchel (pictured left) going for $77 per week and $225 per month. If you save your coins, you can own a similar look at Bluefly (pictured right) for $2,316. Quite the hefty price tag, but its yours forever.

Handbags are personal. They are investment pieces and extensions of our personal style. Fashion heads can’t imagine life without them, much less return them.

Take the wisdom of The Budget Fashionista. Kathryn Finney advises us to divide the retail price by the times you’ll wear it. If I divide my favorite Prada satchel by the times I’ve worn it, it’s nearly priceless.

But what of those expensive dresses in the back of our closets? Could renting save us coins to spend on investment bags–or more responsibly to stash for a rainy day?

Are you into renting fashion? Are you more likely to rent a bag or a dress? Share your thoughts!

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  • girls have it so much easier!

  • I’d be more likely to rent a dress than a bag. Accessories are investment pieces that can be used to add the right accent to an outfit and if you buy well-crafted pieces, they should last for a long time. However, I would probably rent trendy/fad pieces (bag or clothing) and buy classic pieces in general.

  • binky

    nah, I wouldn’t rent a bag. But a dress on the other hand, sure! Especially if it is for an event that is super dressy and formal, I would rent a dress because 9 times out of 10 you won’t wear that said dress again so I understand renting dresses but not so much bags.

  • Alexandra

    Yeah, I would rent a dress. I’m not big on bags.

  • I’m loving these discussions!

    I would rent a dress, but not a handbag. I usually fall in love with those.