Top designer clothes rental sites

Top designer clothes rental sites

Rent posh clothes for a fraction of the retail price or earn cash offering up your own wardrobe

Whether a fancy frock for a Christmas soiree or some killer heels for a wedding, it's possible to hire designer togs at a fraction of the retail price via fashion rental sites, including the new service from M&S which launched this month. Plus, if you're looking to rent out your own clobber, they're a handy way to make extra cash.


So we've split this guide into two – the first section is if you want to rent clothes to wear and the second section is if you want to rent out your clothes. Some say the beauty of these sites is they mean fewer items are worn once and sent to landfill, though others say there is an environmental cost to delivery and dry-cleaning, so you'll need to weigh up if it's right for you.

How to rent designer fashion items to avoid forking out a fortune on outfits

Clothing rental sites let you hire designer garments – typically for one day to a week – from their own stock or people's private wardrobes for much less than the retail price – in some cases up to 95% less.

It's simple: you sign up, peruse the clothes and then book – the company or owner posts the item out to you, and you post it back when you're done. We've updated our top-pick rental sites below, including the new M&S designer collection now available.

Designers we've spotted include Jimmy Choo, Chanel, Gucci, Ted Baker & more

Here are some examples of costs (rental prices include fees):

  • Jimmy Choo heels £16.50 for one day's rental (retail price £345)
  • Erdem coat £11.50 for one day (retail £300)
  • Chanel blazer £154 for three days (retail £3,500)
  • Gucci men's shoes £30 for three days (retail £450)
  • Ted Baker dress £29 for four days (retail £180)

If you're only going to wear something once or twice, then renting is an affordable solution, though of course if you own something you could eventually recoup a little by selling it on.

Nine need-to-knows on borrowing clothes

You can jump straight into our top-pick rental sites, but if you want to know more, here are some useful need-to-knows:
  1. Rental sites tend to have more women's options but men can still find stuff – the choice will just be more limited.
  2. As these services are online/via apps, you won't be able to try on items officially before booking your rental, but if you know an item is in a nearby store, you could go to that store and try it on first, before booking your rental online through one of these services.
  3. If an item doesn't fit, some sites will give a refund or credit, but it's important to check as policies differ. You'll usually need to send the garment back within 24 hours.
  4. The owner tends to take care of dry-cleaning but some do add a cleaning fee, and this should be clear at the checkout.
  5. You need to return items on time or risk a fine. Most sites charge late fees, typically £25 a day. Use a tracked delivery service and keep proof of postage.
  6. Factor in return postage costs if these aren't covered. Some include a 'free' label, so you don't pay extra to send items back, but with others you pay.
  7. Rules vary but if you seriously damage or lose an item, you're often charged market value. Some give the option to add insurance costing about £6 to cover damage.
  8. Go through to the checkout stage for the true price. The total can really add up once you factor in a minimum hire period, dry-cleaning and delivery.
  9. Check if you can get it cheaper second-hand. Before renting, scour the likes of eBay, Depop and Vestiaire Collective to see if someone’s selling the same clobber second-hand for less.

Top sites to rent clothes from

Here are our top-pick fashion rental sites/apps to try. Sometimes rival sites have the identical pieces at different prices, so it's worth checking more than one.

Where we give examples, we always use the minimum hire length available (one day, four days and so on) and include fees such as cleaning and delivery. You may need to pay return postage on top with some sites – we've noted which ones below.

By Rotation – has the biggest selection, cheap prices and shorter rental period options, but fewer size choices

This Android and iPhone app lets you rent directly from owners. It has a huge 10,000 garments, such as Staud, Rouje, Faithfull the Brand and Zimmermann, as well as luxe brands such as Stella McCartney, Dior and Dolce & Gabbana.

Some rental periods start from just one day, which can cut the cost. As items are from people's personal wardrobes, sizing can be random, and we found it caters more towards smaller sizes.
 

By Rotation quick stats

  • Prices start from: £9 dresses, £11 tops and £9 jewellery
  • Who pays return postage: The renter, so it can add a bit extra
  • Sizes: 4-26
  • If it doesn't fit: Unfortunately, you can only get a refund if the item was misrepresented
  • Rental periods: From one day (up to the owner)
  • Late fees: No set fee – it’s up to the owner
  • Examples: Jimmy Choo heels £16.50 (retail price £345); Zimmermann dress £15 (£490 normally to buy) – both for one day

Hurr – good selection, offers refunds if items don't fit but is slightly pricier

Hurr has a huge selection of over 10,000 pieces, specialising in contemporary names such as Rixo, Reformation, Ganni, Rotate and The Vampire's Wife. It features a range of plus-size brands, including Anna Scholz and Wray.

You borrow from private owners' wardrobes, but there's also an option to rent from brands' own stock, including Selfridges and Nanushka.

Hurr quick stats

  • Prices start from: £15 dresses, £17 tops and £15 bags
  • Who pays return postage: The renter, so it can add a bit extra
  • Sizes: 2-32
  • If it doesn't fit: It has a 'fit guarantee' where you get a refund if you notify it within 24 hours of the rental start (excludes postage and cleaning fees)
  • Rental periods: Four, eight, 10 or 20 days
  • Late fees: £25 a day
  • Examples: Rotate snake-print dress £28 (retail price £162); Ted Baker dress £29 (retail price £180) – both for four days

M&S – new to the rental market, offers a selection of its women's clothing, including popular M&S x Ghost dresses

M&S has launched a rental service including a range of 40 women's pieces – mostly dresses, but also some coats, tops and skirts. It uses the established Hirestreet website to rent out its clothing (see more on Hirestreet below) but we've separated M&S here as it's a big name entering the market.

Rental starts from £18 for an M&S x Ghost floral midi dress (retail price £69) for four days, £31 for an M&S wrap coat (£149) and £35 for M&S leather trousers (£179). Prices include a £5 rental fee.

You can rent them for four, 10 or 30 days, and the rental fee covers delivery both ways. When we checked, each item had a good range of sizes and stock, but bear in mind popular outfits and sizes may get snapped up during busy periods such as Christmas.

If you prefer new clothing, of course it's more MoneySaving to buy second-hand or in a sale. But if you plan to wear items only once or twice this party season, renting generally works out cheaper.

M&S quick stats

  • Prices start from: £18 dresses and skirts, £20 tops, £31 coats (including fees)
  • Extra rental fees: £5 per order on top of item fees, which includes cleaning and delivery both ways
  • Who pays return postage: The company
  • Sizes: 6-16
  • If it doesn't fit: Gives rental credit on unworn items returned with tags attached (one per order). Contact Hirestreet within 48 hours of delivery
  • Rental periods: 4-30 days
  • Late fees: £100 after 10 days

Hirestreet – fewer high-end designers & more high-street fashion, but it has affordable options

Hirestreet is less about high-end designer names, which can give more affordable options and keep the rental cost low, though of course the retail price will be much lower too. It has 5,000 outfits from brands such as Asos, M&S (see above), Ghost, Whistles and Zara. Here, you're borrowing from the company rather than people's wardrobes, so more sizes are available.

Hirestreet quick stats

  • Prices start from: £10 tops, £11 dresses and £12 skirts (including fees)
  • Extra rental fees: £5 per order on top of item fees, which includes cleaning and delivery both ways
  • Who pays return postage: The company
  • Sizes: 4-24
  • If it doesn't fit: Gives rental credit on unworn items (one per order) returned with tags attached. Contact it within 48 hours of delivery
  • Rental periods: 4-30 days
  • Late fees: £100 after 10 days
  • Examples: Topshop maxi dress £15 (retail price £49); Dancing Leopard green dotty dress £13 (retail price £49); M&S x Ghost floral midi dress £18 (retail price £69); Asos mini dress £17 (retail price £55) – all for four days

Front Row – not as MoneySaving but good for the highest-end designers, for example, Chanel/Gucci for a special occasion

Renting a Givenchy blazer for £155 for three days isn't MoneySaving, but it certainly still works out cheaper than forking out £2,200 to buy it. If real high-end fashion is what you're after for a special occasion, this is a site to consider.

Front Row offers a selection of 1,500 high-fashion garments from the likes of Fendi, Chanel, Gucci, Armani and Miu Miu. Pieces are from private owners, but Front Row manages the process, including cleaning and delivery.

Front Row quick stats

  • Prices start from: £29 dresses, £36 tops and £45 bags
  • Who pays return postage: The company
  • Sizes: 6-12
  • If it doesn't fit: Email within four hours of receipt and it will refund the rental fee (excludes accessories and handbags)
  • Rental periods: Three or five days
  • Late fees: £40 a day
  • Examples: Needle & Thread sequin gown £36 (retail price £225); Fendi ski goggles £36 (retail price £250) – both for three days

Those are our top picks but there are other sites you may want to give a go:

Girl Meets Dress specialises in frocks, with 4,000 gowns from biggies such as Victoria Beckham, Self-Portrait, See by Chloé and Needle & Thread. It also has a 'borrow as many dresses as you like' option for £99 a month. Some dresses won't be the latest styles, so it's worth checking eBay and others to see if you can find the same for less. See Girl Meets Dress quick stats.

My Wardrobe HQ features 500 designers including Stella McCartney, Gucci, Prada, Anya Hindmarch, Chanel, Mulberry, Givenchy and Rixo. It has a kids' rental section, although the idea of being liable for damage makes us a tad nervous. See My Wardrobe HQ quick stats.

Rotaro has 2,000 items available to rent from contemporary designers such as Shrimps, Ghost, Reformation, Stine Goya and Cecilie Bahnsen. Items are from the site's own inventory, so are available in more sizes than some other sites. See Rotaro quick stats.

Which fashion rental sites do you rate? If you think we're missing any, or have feedback on the ones we've included, share your thoughts in the Rent your clothes forum thread.

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Earn cash by lending your own clothes

Of course, this works in reverse so as well as renting, these sites are a brilliant way to offer up your own clothes. Depending on what brands you have, you could net £100s a month for togs that are just languishing on the rails. 

Here's MSE Jenny's story for inspiration…

I joined Hurr and By Rotation, stuck a couple of dresses up and was surprised by the number of requests. I only buy clothes second-hand, so find it only takes one or two rentals to pay for the dress. For example, I bought a pink polka-dot Rixo dress for £40 lightly used on eBay and rented it out twice for £42 a pop.

It's really fun too and there's a real community feel. One renter sent me a lovely pic of her wearing one of the dresses at Ascot.

Six need-to-knows to get the fashion rental cash rolling in

Listing is free, but you pay a fee when someone rents your item. Before we get into the top sites, here are some quick tips:

  1. Take high quality photos as it'll attract more rentals. The sites say sharp, clear photos work best, and ideally one with you or a friend wearing it. Include a few close-ups to show any details. Keep photos so you've proof of how it looked in case there's any damage.
  2. Set your rental period to at least three days if the site allows. You'll earn more as rentals are charged per day, and people often request the minimum number of days possible.
  3. To avoid disputes, use a postage service that can provide tracking information showing that it was delivered.
  4. You take care of dry-cleaning. Ensure items are spick and span before posting. If you rent out regularly, it's worth comparing a few dry-cleaners locally, as some may have offers, for example, 'four items for £15'.
  5. The rental company will usually help you get back the cost of repair or the item's market value if it's lost or seriously damaged. Rules vary, and you may have to pay a mediation fee on that value, for example, By Rotation charges 30%.
  6. Many sites let renters make offers to buy your clobber (it's up to you whether to accept). Yet rental sites' fees are often beatable, for example, My Wardrobe HQ takes 40% of the sale price vs eBay's 12.8%.

Before you start counting the dosh, there's a possibility some of it may belong to the tax office

For most people this won't be the case, especially if you're just doing it for a bit of extra cash. But get serious with it, or already have income from self-employment, and you might need to pay tax.

The trading allowance means you don't have to report the first £1,000 you earn from self-employment or selling goods/services 'for profit'. However, if you earn more than a grand from renting out clothes, or have income over £1,000 from this and other self-employment, you'll need to declare it to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), regardless of whether you're self-employed or on pay as you earn (PAYE).

HMRC told us everyone must do this by registering for self-assessment, if not already registered, and filling in a tax return. If you're on PAYE, it says it can collect your tax bill through a change to your tax code, providing you meet specific criteria.

Top sites to rent out your clothes

You'll see fewer sites here than above as not all of them allow private owners to use their platforms. Our top ones that do are Hurr and By Rotation as they offer the best fees. They're much of a muchness in terms of this, so it's worth listing on both, as it can help you net more rentals by maximising exposure. Just check your calendar before accepting a rental so you don't double-book.

Hurr – charges 15% of rental price, lets you list items with retail value of £120-£2,500 & less than two years old

It's easy to use and you have control over which rental requests you accept.

If you're short on time, Hurr Concierge can manage the whole thing. You send images via WhatsApp, it lists items for you and deals with posting and dry-cleaning.

  • What it accepts: Hurr says you can list items with a retail value between £90 and below £2,500. They have to be in great condition and less than two years old (unless it's vintage)
  • When you get paid: 6-7 days after the rental period finishes, into your bank account
  • How to list: Set up a profile and select 'list an item'. Add a few details, for example, brand and colour, then upload at least one photo. You decide pricing and how much to charge for delivery/dry-cleaning. Hurr then approves your listing, which can take about a day

By Rotation – charges 15% of rental price, but won't accept high street

By Rotation's slick app makes listing easy and you have control over which rental requests you accept.

If you're short on time, it offers a wardrobe management service, where you send it items and it deals with listing, posting and dry-cleaning. Of course, you won't be able to wear your items while they're there. See full details.
 

  • What it accepts: By Rotation says it accepts mid-to-upmarket fashion, no high street. Items will usually retail for above £75
  • When you get paid: Once the transaction's complete, you're paid into your bank account in 5-7 business days
  • How to list: Select the '+' button and follow the steps to list an item. At least one photo needs to be of someone wearing the item, so you need to be happy to model (or rope in a friend). You can choose how much to add for postage and dry-cleaning

Finally, there are a couple of other options worth considering, but fees are steep which is why they're not our top picks. With My Wardrobe HQ and Front Row, you post off items to their offices and they deal with the whole process, from listing your items to delivery to dry-cleaning.

Fees reflect this: My Wardrobe HQ charges 40% commission and Front Row 35-40%. But if you have a lot of swanky pieces and are short on time, they could be worth looking into.

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