Whether it's flats or cars, apparently no-one can afford to actually own anything these days. People talk about the "sharing economy", which makes us all sound very generous, doesn't it? In reality I think we're all just poor but hey, let's take the former.
And fashion is most definitely not immune to this trend (if you'll pardon the pun.)
Enter: Wish Want Wear.
While by no means the only designer dress hire website in the UK, Wish Want Wear is certainly one of the leaders. So, when their marketing team contacted me asking if I might like to review the website and try out a dress from the Student Style collection, and knowing I had a good friend's black tie 21st coming up, I pounced at the chance. (Thanks, guys!)
Wish Want Wear was launched three years ago and stocks both famous and little-known designers including Temperley London, Sass & Bide, M Missoni and Just Cavalli. As well as dresses, they also have accessories from the likes of Mawi and Erickson Beamon. (And I adore Erickson Beamon - so spaaarrrkkkly *eyes glaze over*)
The idea is simple: when you can't afford to buy designer, you should have the opportunity to rent it. Apparently the founders came up with the idea when they were cash-strapped students, and girls, I feel your pain.
There are tons of gorgeous dresses on the website, as well as coats, jackets, jumpsuits, jewellery and clutches... But it's mainly about the dresses.
I also really like the friendly tone of the site - there are stylists available should you wish to live-chat online (but luckily I had my sister at the end of a facebook message to help me make my decision instead.)
Reviews and photos from previous renters are also encouraged on Wish Want Wear, which I found really useful.
From browsing the site, it seems dresses generally start at around £45 for four days' rental, going up to a few dresses costing over £200. If you want to rent your dress for eight days, that costs more.
The dress I chose is this one:
|Although I obvs did not look as good as this fine lady.|
Wish Want Wear understand that each dress is very important to the renter, and I was provided with loads of updates on my delivery as it made its way towards me - that was really good. On the morning of delivery day I was also told the hour in which it'd arrive which was great. It did indeed arrive then too.
So, what did I think of my dress?
Well, I loved it!
It made me feel super slinky and glamorous, and I was even told I looked like a Bond Girl, which was rather nice to hear indeed. There's a cheeky little slit at the front too which you may not be able to see... Useful when it came to tearing up the dancefloor as my girlfriends and I inevitably did.
I may be 5'9" but even I needed my highest of heels for this baby. I see now there's a "Tall" sticker on the website, but I'm fairly certain that wasn't there when I initially ordered the dress. Luckily I am tall then because obviously you can't take up the hem of a dress you're renting.
You can, however, still have a great night without worrying. Minor stains or marks are covered, and each dress is thoroughly dry-cleaned afterwards. Phew.
I loved the back of my dress and the subtle fishtail, and I got a lot of compliments on it at the party. The low back and plunging front, however, did mean that I needed to get a special bra - an M&S strapless and backless one did the trick perfectly. I also decided to safety pin the front of my dress so it wasn't quite so low and revealing, but for some ladies I'm sure it'd be fine.
The night was spent dancing and mingling and I had a wonderful time in my dress.
You may be thinking how lucky I am that it was the right size...
Well, Wish Want Wear do this awesome thing where you can order a back-up size for free. how good is that? Because obviously if the dress arrives the day before your event and doesn't fit, well, you're in a bit of trouble.
On a similar note though, I was rather worried the shape of the dress just wouldn't suit me - you never really know until you try something on, do you? Luckily it did (I think/hope!).
After you've worn your dress you simply pop it back into the box it came in, stick on the provided label and drop it off at the post office for free. Simples! Initial delivery, however, is less free. As in costs £6.95.
Speaking of money, I have to say £100 is a lot of money for a student, and that's what renting my dress for four days would cost. Most of Wish Want Wear's dresses are rentals for the sort of prices I'd usually spend buying a dress, so to spend that amount on a dress to wear just once seems like a lot to me. Were I to sped £40 on a dress in Topshop I'd at least get multiple wears out of it.
However, renting a dress from Wish Want Wear for a special occasion is undoubtedly a nice way to add that extra touch or treat someone else. There's nothing like getting glammed up in a snazzy dress to make a gal feel a million bucks!
All in all I'm really impressed with Wish Want Wear. Customer service was great, I loved my dress and I think it's a brilliant idea.
What do you think?