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High fashion comes at a high price—if you buy.
Mim Williams Abrams, 29, of Raleigh, married Elliot Abrams in October. She wanted something special to wear to their rehearsal dinner at Coquette and spied a Herve Leger dress on Rent the Runway. It retailed for $1,690. Her cost: $200.
“Renting is awesome because you get to wear a fabulous dress and then send it back,” says Williams Abrams. “It means you can be more daring or stylish with your looks because you’re not worried about where you’ll ever wear them again.”
Options include rentals for four and eight days; both include a second free size, just in case your typical size doesn’t fit—one of the downsides of renting online (no try-on).
“All designers are different, and you’re not exactly sure how the item will look on you,” says Williams Abrams. “That said, they have tons of reviews—lots with pictures—from real women who have worn the items. This has helped me in the past to know what sizes to choose.”
Some companies allow you to add a second dress to your order for a minimal cost—another “just-in-case” precaution. Williams Abrams paid an extra $32.50 for that option.
“Having a choice, in case I hated one, was really comforting. Certainly worth the $30.”
Worst-case scenario: If both dresses are disasters, most companies will overnight you a new item, often at no charge.
The wine-spill clause
• The insurance policy (for $5) covers minor stains and damage.
• If the dress is damaged beyond repair, the company will charge you the retail price.
• If you never return the dress, you’ll pay double the retail price.
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