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In today’s Daily Mail there is an article about fashion rental, quoting Girl Meets Dress founder Anna Bance. By TOM WITHEROW BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT FOR THE DAILY MAIL

Read the whole piece here. Or see below.

Former Topshop boss heralds ‘enormous’ trend of women renting designer outfits from retailers to save cash and cut waste

  • Former Topshop boss Jane Shepherdson is director of London Fashion Fund
  • A weekly rental price is typically a tenth of the price of a new designer outfit
  • Main focus is women in 50s and 60s looking for outfits for weddings and work
  • Miss Shepherdson started renting when invited to event at Buckingham Palace

Shopping for the perfect outfit is so last year, according to a former retail boss who says more women than ever are renting clothes for big occasions.

Companies offering expensive designer items for a fraction of the cost of buying them have sprung up to cater for those who want to save cash and cut waste.

Jane Shepherdson, a former Topshop and Whistles boss who is now a director of London Fashion Fund, which helps new firms get off the ground, said: ‘It’s an enormous trend. Rental has to be the answer, as it allows you to really enjoy fashion without wearing it once and throwing it away. It hasn’t broken through to the mainstream yet, but people are accepting it as something that’s a possibility.’

When bought new, the items range in value from a couple of hundred pounds to thousands for designer dresses by high-end brands such as Victoria Beckham, but a week’s rental is typically a tenth of the price.

Women in their 50s and 60s looking for outfits to wear at weddings, parties and work are said to form a significant proportion of the market, while others just don’t want to add to the piles of clothes cluttering up their wardrobe.

Miss Shepherdson revealed she started renting clothes when she was invited to an event at Buckingham Palace. She said: ‘I could either wear something I already had, spend £1,000 on something new or I could rent. It was an obvious thing to do.’

The rental firms claim their process is similar to buying and returning clothes when shopping online. Some also offer insurance for damage, such as drink stains.

Mika Simmons, an actress who has appeared in a number of ITV and Channel 4 dramas, is a renting convert after trying the service for a red carpet event. ‘I’d rather rent than wear a dress that I’m only going to wear once and which harms the environment,’ said the 44-year-old, who hosts the Happy Vagina podcast about women’s health.

The UK’s fashion rental companies are hoping to mirror the success of US firm Rent The Runway, which has millions of users.

Anna Bance, founder of one of the UK’s biggest rental firms, Girl Meets Dress, said: ‘When we launched in 2009 during the recession it was about saving money. Now a key reason our customers rent is sustainability.’

While it stocks many designers, it also features high street favourites such as Phase Eight. Items start at £19 but stretch to £119 for a £995 Amanda Wakeley gown or £149 for a £1,100 Stella McCartney dress.

Other firms cater for women looking for a taste of red-carpet luxury. Newcomer My Wardrobe HQ offers a £5,000 Alexander McQueen dress for £500 and a £2,500 Tom Ford dress for £177. Founder Sacha Newell said: ‘We offer statement pieces that women are unlikely to wear more than once.’

How to Wear a Dress in the Winter?

So it’s one of the coldest weeks of the year in the UK, due to what the news has labelled the ‘beast from the east!’ As a result of this, the UK has been plagued with snow, which has caused major disruption to our daily lives, even so as people have been rushing to the supermarket and emptying the shelves of bread. With those who can get to work, the key is about dressing warmly and I know that the last thing on your mind ladies is to wear a dress, let alone hire a dress to wear for work, but paired with tights and the right boots or shoes, you’ll be dressing for success and here at Girl Meets Dress, we have composed a list of dresses for you to hire that you can wear even though there is this so called ‘beast from the east.’

See by Chloe – Textured Dress

Hire this long sleeved navy dress by See by Chloe to embrace your inner a preppiness. The ribbed style is finished with shirt-style detailing, peeking out as a collar and cuffs.  This long sleeved navy dress is a perfect dress to rent for the office and buy black tights to pair with brown brogues, you’ll have a winning outfit.

McQ Alexander McQueen – Fringe Peplum Dress

Rent this navy peplum dress with frayed edges by Alexander McQueen for that foolproof office dress; whether you have meetings throughout the day or just have to look professional at your workplace, this navy dress is conservative yet fashionable. Buy black tights to pair with knee high black boots and you’re guaranteed to get compliments. Form-fitting design with a rounded neckline and crafted from a stretch material.

M Missoni – Open Back Sweater Dress

Hire this pink metallic-knit with a sultry scoop open back by M Missoni for a casual yet fabulous look. Wear this loose style with a golden statement necklace and rose-toned ballerina pumps for a fresh spin on classic sophistication. Pair with nude ankle boots and of course buy black tights  for a sassy-chic cocktail style.

Sonia Rykiel – Apples Velour Dress


Hire is long sleeved navy mini dress by Sonia Rykiel is a versatile look and is great for day or night.  Buy black tights and team up with sneakers or suede navy ankle boots to jazz it up.

Alice + Olivia – Sarah Mini Dress

Rent this black long sleeved mini dress by Alice + Olivia to make a statement at your next event and show them that no beast from the east will stop you from being glam. The jacquard skirt of this black long sleeved mini dress by Alice + Olivia is a real showstopper . In flocked metallic sliver, it demands attention and shines under any light. The fitted black top keeps the piece grounded, with a body-conscious finish that contrasts the A-line bottom. Keep hair and make-up simple to let it shine. Buy black tights and team up with suede black ankle boots to complete the look.

MiH Jeans – Protest Denim Dress

Rent this denim pinafore dress from MiH Jeans  and team it up with a white chunky cable knit turtle neck for an ultra toasty ensemble. Finish the look off by buying knit tights and wearing brown tassel moccasins.

For those who live in London, Girl Meets Dress offers same day delivery, for all orders placed before 1pm, so its not too late to hire dresses of your dreams!

For all our other UK and European customers, we offer next day delivery for all orders placed before 1pm.

With Girl Meets Dress, you can now rent the runway, as the dresses you see on the Girl Meets Dress website, are always fresh off the catwalk.

Do you have lots of events to attend each month and want to wear a new designer dress each time? Why not become a Girl Meets Dress member?

If you need any suggestions or styling advice for any event, email: Enquiries@girlmeetsdress.com

Remember you can also book a Girl Meets Dress, London showroom appointment by emailing: showroom@girlmeetsdress.com

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