June 12, 2021

50signs

The Fashion Spirit

6 best fashion rental services UK 2021

5 min read

@yazjohnsonn, @eloisejaksicInstagram

Over the last year, there seems to be a marked increase in the number of fashionistas choosing to rent clothes, rather than buy them afresh. Aside from being a more affordable way to incorporate this season’s top trends into your wardrobe, fashion rental services are also a far more sustainable option than purchasing new outfits each week from fast fashion brands. If you like the idea of hiring outfits, but still feel a little reluctant to try it for yourself, because you’re unclear how faff-y the process is (do you have to clean the items? Is returning a pain?), then this is for you.

Naturally, we wanted to see what all the fuss was about and whether it’s actually worth doing, so we gave the UK’s leading sites a spin to find out how it works:

  • By Rotation
  • Rotaro
  • Hirestreet
  • Hurr
  • Bag Butler
  • My Wardrobe HQ

Scroll through to see what the Cosmo team thought of each clothing rental service and how they compared on cost, product range and platform usability.

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1

By Rotation

Rented: Faithfull the Brand and Rejina Pyo dresses, Dior and Roop bag, Sleeper pyjama set
Product range: 5/5
Cost: 4/5
Platform: 5/5

“I hadn’t tried fashion renting before but this platform made me fall somewhat in love with it. For starters, you’re spoilt for choice with a wide range of options including everything from high-end designers such as Dior and Rejina Pyo to Insta-famous brands like Sleeper and Roop. By Rotation is also the UK’s first peer-to-peer fashion rental app, meaning you can follow other lenders’ accounts, including celebs, which is kind of like following your favourite style stars on Instagram (and then borrowing their outfits).

The items arrived looking clean and in good condition. An added bonus is that you don’t have to worry about washing the clothes after you’ve worn them – the lender tends to look after that side of things. I’d definitely use BR again for occasions like birthdays and weddings, or if I’m contemplating forking out on an expensive designer piece but want to test it out first.” – Natasha, Fashion Editor

2

Rotaro

Rented: A.W.A.K.E. Mode bag, Shrimps jumper and bag, Jakke coat, ROTATE Birger Christensen dress, VienSo blazer
Product range: 4/5
Cost: 5/5
Platform: 5/5

“Sometimes I have to attend smart events for my job – like fashion shows, dinners, or awards nights – or at least I used to, pre-Covid and hope to again soon! Plus I’m at the life stage where there are lots of 30th birthday blowouts, baby showers, and engagements. Rotaro is the perfect affordable solution for life’s fancy events when I’m on a budget – or in a hurry. With dresses, coats, bags, and blazers ready for speedy overnight delivery, I can rent something special that makes me feel confident, rather than buying something cheap and ill-fitting that I’ll end up guiltily donating later.

The sustainability angle, plus the cool selection of buzzy brands, makes this feel like a fun, grownup way of expanding my style.” – Maddy, Acting Shopping Editor

3

Hirestreet

Rented: ASOS Edition Curve Sequin Wrap Midi Dress
Product:
3/5
Cost:
5/5
Platform:
5/5

“I’ve always been interested in using a fashion rental service, especially in the lead up to party and wedding season. But the one thing that has stopped me from renting fashion items has been the lack of size inclusion. I was pleasantly surprised to see that Hirestreet has a dedicated Curve edit, albeit far more limited than their main collection. Hirestreet provides a variety of trendy curve options for an affordable price, from brands such as ASOS, Lavish Alice and Saylor.

The rental service also includes a tracked postage sticker, which makes returning the item simple and easy. I’d be interested in using the service again, especially for a special occasion.” – Lauren Nicole, Contributing Curve Editor

4

Hurr

Rented: Gucci bag velvet shoulder bag
Product range:
3/5
Cost:
3/5
Platform:
4/5

“Overall I was impressed with Hurr’s offering and super easy-to-browse platform and particularly like the widget that tells you the environmental savings on renting vs purchasing. Some of the items could do with more photography to show you how they actually look on a body, however. I’m quite curvy and found it hard to always tell if something was going to work with my shape or not. I also noticed that a lot of the items were catered towards smaller sizes, with minimal items in sizes 16 above. Would love to see that change!

In the end, I decided to rent a bag as it was easier than clothing, and I was impressed with the quality of the item when it arrived. The prices vary considerably depending on what you’re renting. For me, this is super affordable if renting items for one-off events and stops people purchasing, wearing once, and throwing away. It’s not, however, sustainable on a regular basis for the average girl.” – Jess, Executive Editor (Digital)

5

Bat Butler

Rented: Dior Small Book Tote, Dior Saddle bag
Product range: 4/5
Cost:
3/5
Platform:
4/5

“Fairly new to the rental game Bag Butler, as the name suggests, focuses on a small but well-curated edit of killer handbags (with a side of jewellery). Want to road-test the latest style from of-the-moment celeb fave Bottega Veneta? Or perhaps a timeless Chanel classic worth your entire months’ rent, three times over? This rental service gives you guilt-free, overnight access to sixty-ish OTT bags you could only-ever-dream-of-owning, from some of the world’s most luxury designer names.

Bag Butler might not be the cheapest option out there – their minimum rental is 7 days – but there is no subscription fee, and their stock comes in mint condition. Comparatively, they offer a reasonable price point (7% of the item’s retail price) if you value access over ownership to the dreamiest of arm candy.” – Natalie, Acting Fashion Director

6

My Wardrobe HQ

Rented: Gucci blazer (owned by Arizona Muse), Needle & Thread dress (owned by Poppy Delevingne), David Koma dress
Product range:
5/5
Cost: 3/5
Platform:
5/5

“I’m a clothes hoarder. I still own coats from when I was 17, and tops and leather boots from my university days. Basically, I have a tough time parting with things and, when I do, I get pangs of regret months later, so I was apprehensive about renting as I knew I would struggle to let something I love go. I was comforted by the My Wardrobe HQ site showing you the ‘buy’ price alongside the daily rental fees – an excellent ‘try before you buy’ system if you end up falling in love with the item you’re renting.

They also show you the original RRP which satisfied my bargain hunting tendencies. The incredible list of designers they have on offer, as well as celebrity and influencer-owned pieces, are ideal for one-off fancy occasions. If you want a little guidance for an event or trip, there’s also a Golden Service where HQ’s in-house stylists will pick out items for you.” – Sophie, Bookings Editor

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