Pros and Cons of Renting Your Clothes

It seems like no other fashion business has shaken the retail fashion world more than Rent the Runway. The subscription fashion service allows you to rent designer clothes for a monthly fee. As a sustainable fashion advocate, I love the idea of creating a sharable closet for the masses to enjoy. However, as a frugal spender, I’m cautious about subscription fees that tap into my finances.

If you’ve been debating whether to renting your clothes is for you, there are some major things to keep in mind. Below is a list of the pros and cons of renting your clothes.


Save on special occasions

Finding the perfect outfit for a special occasion is never an easy task. Picking something that is both classy and fun can take a toll on your energy and budget. Too often, these pieces are only worn for that occasion and never get used again. Fortunately, renting your ensemble offers an alternative to paying for one-time use.

Subscription services offer its customers the ability to rent a unique designer item for a low cost. The best part? You don’t have to worry about dry cleaning. They’ll take care of that for you.

It promotes access over ownership

For too long, designer items have been exclusively available for individuals of a specific stature. Thanks to options like Rent the Runway, designer pieces are available to the masses for a low price. This is a great opportunity for consumers to try brands and styles without committing to the purchase long term.

It’s good for the environment

I love the idea of clothes having multiple lifecycles. With fashion rental services, clothes and accessories can be worn and appreciated by many. This means consumers make fewer purchases for items they’ll only wear once.


You can’t get too attached

Contrary to the pro of not committing to a purchase, falling in love with an item and having to return it must not be easy. As a frequent outfit repeater, I love giving my clothes multiple lives by styling them in different ways. Unfortunately, you have to return everything you rent, so try not to get too attached to your rentals.

It’s another reoccurring monthly expense

Every week during our money date, my husband and I examine all our expenses for the prior week. This includes any one-time purchases or reoccurring expenses. If you’re hoping to save some money this new year, adding another monthly expense might not be a good idea. Monthly fees start at $89 a month.

Delays and cancelations

Receiving an email about a last-minute cancelation on a dress for tonight’s event seems like no fun. Unfortunately, that nightmare has been too common for Rent the Runway users who claim to have chosen a dress only to find out they wouldn’t receive it on time for their event. While this is a risk we all take when online shopping, it’s something to be extra cautious of when considering the subscription rental service.