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Ensemble for Rent

You don’t have to make a mortgage-size investment on something you’ll only put on once. Here, six e-shops (plus some brick-and-mortar alternatives) offering special-occasion wares on loan.


Illustration by Gluekit  

Wedding Dresses

Borrowing Magnolia, which launched this past summer, matches brides-to-be with women interested in loaning out their gowns after the big day (former brides get a cut each time their dresses are leased). At any given time, you’ll find hundreds of options that run the gamut from simple, darted J.Crew sheaths to sculptural Vera Wang fit-and-flares, with plenty of Anjolique silk trains and Claire Pettibone Downton Abbey-esque cap sleeves in between. Try on three dresses for $99 (leave ten days for the big box of gowns to arrive, shipping included), and send back the rejects with the included shipping materials. Two-week rentals start at $375; borrowingmagnolia.com.
Brick-and-mortar option: Rent new bridal styles by smaller brands at Fancy Wedding Center. Three-day rentals start at $200; 1888 Stillwell Ave., Bensonhurst.

Veils, Headpieces, and Tiaras

A bead-and-sequin-embellished Justine M. Couture veil would normally set you back $1,000óbut you can rent it for just $200 from Happily Ever Borrowed, a start-up that partners with high-end bridal designers to loan out veils, sashes, and combs. While traditional options abound, there are a few more daring finds, like a large Swarovski-crystal-studded comb by Enchanted Atelier. Do a test-run on the day of your dress fitting or hair trial with three pieces for $50 ($25 of that goes toward your wedding-day rental). Four-day rentals start at $30; happilyeverborrowed.com.
Brick-and-mortar option: Designer-indifferent brides will find a small selection of veils and headpieces at Alias Costume Rental, like 1980s crowns and tiaras. Weeklong rentals start at $15; 231 W. 29th St., Room 608.

Bags and Clutches

While bagborroworsteal.com wasn’t designed with brides in mind, its more than 500 options include big-day-worthy rhinestone-studded Judith Leiber clutches, Fendi wristlets, and white Tory Burch cross-body bags. The only caveat: There’s no reservation systemóso plan to start your cherry-picking a month before your wedding. Monthlong rentals start at $45; bagborroworsteal.com.
Brick-and-mortar option: For a century’s worth of vintage bags dating as far back as the 1880s (highlights include beaded evening bags from the 1950s and gold leather clutches from the 1960s), visit Helen Uffner Vintage Clothing, which also stocks some vintage-jewelry options. By appointment only. Weeklong rentals start at $50; 30-10 41st Ave., Long Island City.

Fine Jewelry

Haute Vault’s husband-and-wife duo Jonathan and Taylor King will loan you a Monroe choker with 29 carats of round, pear, and marquis diamonds for $1,620 per weekóchump change compared with the list price of $81,000. Brides and grooms who successfully apply for membership (there’s a mandatory identity check since the items are so high-value) are granted access to necklaces, earrings, bracelets, cuff links, and watches from the likes of Bulgari, Chanel, and Cartier that retail for up to $150,000. Weeklong rentals typically range from $250 to $500; hautevault.com.
Brick-and-mortar option: For a way-more-affordable route, choose from more than 150 pieces of costume jewelry (most of it diamond-inspired and tear-droppy) at Super Dolls Lounge. Weeklong rentals start at $20; 70-23 Austin St., Forest Hills.

Tuxedos and Suits

Tuxedo rentals are nothing newóbut well-fitting, polyester-free ones are. The Black Tux uses Italian Merino wool for its slim-fitting light-gray suits and midnight-blue tuxes. Pick your getup online, and get it delivered to your doorstep a week before the wedding along with a prepaid return-shipping label. If there’s an issue with fit, they’ll overnight you a new size. Ten-day rentals start at $95 for a full suit; theblacktux.com.
Brick-and-mortar option: Rent your tux from the same people who helped outfit the cast of Boardwalk Empire: Baldwin Formals offers brands like Michael Kors, Givenchy, and Calvin Klein. Four-day rentals start at $110; 1156 Sixth Ave.

Bridesmaid Dresses

Vow to Be Chic has more than 50 bridesmaid styles, including a lace cap-sleeve Nicole Miller, a one-shoulder knee-length Swoon, and a strapless Jenny Yoo, all of which are available in a range of colors and sizes. Submit your measurements, and dresses arrive in any two sizes in advance of the big day. Ten-day rentals start at $95; vowtobechic.com. If names like Donna Morgan and Joanna August are meaningless to you, the stock at budget (and label-free) Rent the Dress maxes out at $55 per weeklong rental. Rentthedress.com.
Brick-and-mortar option: The gowns at Little Borrowed Dress are all designed in-house to fit and flatter women of all sizes: Even pregnant bridesmaids have success here. Two-week rentals start at $50; 344 W. 38th St., Ste. 401.

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