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I Tried 3 Dress Rental Websites To See If They Were Actually Any Good

Who needs to actually own stuff anyway?

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Hi, I'm Gyan, and if I've learned anything in my 25 years of being alive, it's that this time of year is bloody expensive.

Gyan Yankovich / BuzzFeed

Beyond getting ready for the holidays (read: spending money on food, wine, and presents), the end of the year brings another huge expense: finding stuff to wear. This expense only grows when you reach the age where people start inviting you to their weddings, and people you know have ~significant~ birthdays that you want to look nicer than average for.

With a wedding and two friends' birthdays coming up, I decided to try out three different dress rental websites to see if they made my life easier and cheaper.

I'd heard great things from so many people, I don't know why it took me so long to try them for myself tbh.

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- I would try three different dress rental websites that had been recommended to me by friends.

- I would not spend more money on a rental dress than I have on an outfit for a similar occasion before.

- While renting, I would consider how people on different budgets and of different body shapes would find the experience.

All prices in this post are listed in Australian dollars.

1. Glam Corner

Glam Corner, Gyan Yankovich / BuzzFeed

The shopping process: The very best thing about placing an order with Glam Corner is the option to add a "backup dress" for $15. Basically, this means you are delivered two dresses and just leave the tag on the one you don't decide to wear. For me, this took a lot of the stress out of my first renting experience.

This site also had an insanely huge range of dresses. As I was going to a friend's birthday at the races, I started my search using the "races" tab. I was also pretty impressed to see that this site offered a range of size 6 to 22. In terms of price, rental dresses started at $39 and went up to $399. Really, there was so much to choose from.

The dress: I ordered a Self Portrait dress for $169 for eight days.

Overall experience: The whole process on this site was so easy. There were email reminders of when to send the dress back, and the details, down to the box my dress and backup dress came in, were classy as hell. In hindsight, as much as I loved the dress I chose on the day, next time I use this site I will probably set my price range a little lower, but that's totally my bad.

2. Her Wardrobe

Her Wardrobe, Gyan Yankovich / BuzzFeed

The shopping process: My second dress was for a close friend's wedding, which was good because this site was much more "wedding" than "party". There weren't as many dresses on this site, with the largest size being a 14. The cheapest dress on Her Wardrobe was $79 and the most expensive $269.

Overall, the site was really easy to use. I also found out that ex-rental dresses are available to buy, which seems like another smart alternative to buying a new dress for an event.

The dress: I decided on a White Suede dress, which was $139 for eight days.

Overall experience: I really loved this dress. I find that weddings are the main time that I'm likely to spend money on a nice dress that isn't really appropriate for many other occasions, so I was pretty happy with the price tag on this one too. Delivery and returns were all super smooth.

3. Dress Hire Au

Gyan Yankovich / BuzzFeed

The shopping experience: First things first: I actually found it really hard to find something to wear on this site. The prospect of finding a Zimmerman dress or playsuit to wear to my sister's 21st for around $100 was damn exciting. What was less exciting was the moment I realised the one I liked most was only available in a size 0, which is an Australian size 8. On further inspection, I realised that the site only caters up to a size 12, which just seems incredibly limited. As a size 10 woman who has F-cup boobs that often take me into the size 12 range, it really sucked seeing so many amazing outfits that I didn't have the option of spending money on.

The "dress": I chose a $119 Zimmerman playsuit for a four-day rental period.

Overall experience: Once I found something in my size, I was happy. What makes me less happy is thinking of all the women this site doesn't cater to.

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- The earlier in advance you look for a rental dress, the more options you're going to have.

- Glam Corner had the most professional service and the best range of dresses.

- It was disappointing to see how limited the size ranges were on all of the sites, but especially on Dress Hire Au, which didn't appear to cater to anyone over a size 12.

- I suggest having a budget in mind before you shop. It's all too easy to spend more than you'd intend.

- For special occasions where you would buy a dress that you would only wear a couple of times, renting really is a fantastic, easy option.

Some of the rental services in this post were provided to BuzzFeed for review free of charge.

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