Why you should care
Just because a bride is making a commitment doesn’t mean her bridesmaids have to.
Future bridesmaids of the United States of America, you do not know how good you have it. The most distasteful of your long-endured duties may be nearing its end.
No, you’ll still have to sweat bullets over heartfelt toasts and chase your bride’s deadbeat college bestie down after she fails to pay her fair share of the bachelorette party tab. But chin up: the days of dropping hundreds on a pastel pink dress you’ll never wear again are as good as over thanks to a growing number of options for renting exactly what you need for the big day – and not a day more.
“Let’s be honest, women really don’t wear bridesmaids dresses again,” says Kelsey Doorey, whose e-commerce company, Vow to Be Chic, launched last year and rents $500 designer bridesmaid’s dresses for as little as $95.
As for icing, you’ll find that on Adorn a bride can walk the aisle in a $27,000 diamond necklace for a $270 rental fee or ask her bridesmaids to rent $145 Swarovski crystal headbands for $45.Little Borrowed Dress, which announced a $1.25 million round of seed funding in February offers a similar service. With rentals starting at $50, the company has a collection custom-designed by founder Corie Hardee. Made in New York, there are 12 crinkle chiffon styles in 18 colors that can be mixed and matched. Bridesmaids receive their dress in two sizes two weeks before the wedding, along with a pre-paid envelope for returns.Brides usually kick off the process by green-lighting choices for ‘maids, who in turn browse online for dresses by designers such as LulaKate and Jim Hjelm and submit three standard measurements (bust, waist, hips). An at-home try-on feature means bridesmaids may test-run two sizes months in advance. The chosen dress arrives in time for the wedding— and, best of all, gets shipped back to where it came from when it’s over.
“There are all these options now that are shared economy, green and ecofriendly,” says Vow to Be Chic’s Doorey.Fear not, more options await from just-launched NextSuit, which sends men’s suits by monthly subscription. Wear one or two, for up to 30 days, then send your stash back and wait for the next to arrive. It’s geared toward young fashion-inept professionals, but offers an equally elegant solution for guys who don’t want to show up at wedding-after-wedding in the same tired duds.It’s hardly a girls-only affair. While renting a tux is nothing new for guys, startup The Black Tux aims to improve the Men’s Wearhouse experience by offering high-end suits and tuxedos for $95 alongside borrowed accoutrements like shirts, vests, cuff links and shoes – that start at $15. “No more driving to a drab shop in a strip mall, or dealing with pushy salesmen,” the site declares. It’s been so popular, inventory is currently booked through July 1. Not bad things to be wed to.