The invitation reads “cocktail attire” but you’ve stared into your packed closet, muttering, “I have nothing to wear.” That sparkly plum dress is looking dated and your slinky little black number doesn’t feel special enough. By renting a dress from an online service or local boutique, you can get the latest looks for a fraction of the cost of buying.
These three dresses — all available for rent — highlight some of the hottest holiday trends: gold, back, patterns and long sleeves.
Calhoun Square, 3001 Hennepin Av., S., Minneapolis; 612-823-4699. www.shopfortonightmn.com.
The dresses: Dresses range from long and sparkly to short and, well, sparkly. If you’re headed to Vegas or looking for a New Year’s Eve showstopper, this is your spot. Brands include BCBGMaxAzria, Adrianna Papell and French Connection.
The prices: Dresses retail for $500 to $1,500, but rent for $75 to $150 for a weekend. (Longer rental times are available.) An insurance fee of $5 is added to each dress to cover the cost of normal wear and tear. However, if you ruin the dress, you’ll be charged for its full price.
Pictured: This Basix Black Label evening gown retails for $1,200 and rents for $125.
Dress for the Occasion at Stephanie’s
758 S. Cleveland Av., St. Paul; 651-690-3802; www.stephaniesshop.com.
The dresses: While there are a few floor-length gowns, this shop excels at the stylish cocktail dress as well as more modest looks for professional events. Sales associates help you choose the most flattering look. Sizes currently range from 2 to 10. Brands include Nicole Miller, David Meister and Tibi.
Prices: Dresses retail from $208 to $698 and rent for $38 to $125.
Pictured: This David Meister cocktail dress retails for $585 and rents for $115. A “buy it now” option — $295 for this dress — is available for each dress.
Rent the Runway
New York. 1-800-509-0842. www.renttherunway.com.
The dresses: Thousands of dresses from hundreds of designers make up an endless sea of glam. Dresses can be searched by color, age, style, occasion and range in size from 0 to 22. (You can even search for dresses worn by the likes of Katy Perry, Michelle Obama and Jennifer Lawrence.) The service boasts an easy-to-follow ordering process and “go-to girls,” who are available to answer questions.
Prices: Dresses retail for $178 to $3,490 and rent for $40 to $450 for a four-day rental, plus $5 for insurance and $9.95 shipping. Worried about size? Two sizes come with each rental. Accessories, handbags and shapewear are also available for rent. After your night out, send back your items in the prepaid envelope provided.
Pictured: This Theia cocktail dress retails for $595 and rents for $100.