How to rent the runway -- when you can't get into Rent the Runway

rent the runwayIf you're a fan of the purse-leasing site Bag, Borrow or Steal (now called Avelle), you'll be thrilled to hear that two Harvard business school grads have just launched a company that extends high-end renting to your wardrobe, according to the New York Times. The service, called Rent the Runway, offers red-carpet brands like Catherine Malandrino and Lela Rose -- for fees that are as low as 1/10 of the retail price.

If the idea sounds fabulous to you, don't get too excited yet. The best you can do right now is join RTR's membership waiting list. Until you're accepted, you can't even browse the inventory -- and membership is far from guaranteed. RTR is working with a limited inventory and probably won't be able to accommodate, say, 10,000 members right off the bat -- especially hundreds of them are likely to clamor over the same latest Alexander Wang frock or Peter Som cardigan.So what to do while you wait for your RTR application to be approved? Try some alternatives. Couture leasing is steadily growing in popularity among fashion-savvy business owners -- check your local area for a borrowing boutique like BADC (Borrow a Dress Couture) in Chicago. And if you're willing to part with some closet pieces that have lost their luster, check out stylish online clothing swaps like thredUP and Dig 'N' Swap. There are so many delicious options that by the time your RTR membership wish is granted, you'll have to keep them waiting.
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