With the Golden Globes behind us and the Oscars approaching in a month, many of us enviously watch celebrities strut across the red carpet in designer couture, simultaneously admiring People magazine's best dressed actors and actresses. While this top-of-the-line fashion may seem out of reach, these gowns and tuxes are more attainable than you might think.
Renttherunway.com has received high praise for its upscale dresses, clutches, and even jewelry available to rent for a few days. Particularly for those of us who hate to see a dress go to waste, yet equally abhor wearing the same dress twice, Rent the Runway (RTR) is a gloriously inventive fashion phenomenon.
This simple approach to chic can easily deceive your peers into believing you are among the fashion elite. You can rent $250 to $2000 gowns for a mere $50 to $200.
Though the retail price of these dresses may seem daunting at first, upon further consideration, the rental price is quite a bargain. With the recent dissolution of Blockbuster because of the takeover of Redbox and Netflix, it is easy to see why RTR is a desirable alternative to shopping in stores. Why purchase a DVD for $18 when you will only be watching the movie once or twice? Similarly, why buy a $250 dress for a one-time wear?
Two students from Harvard Business School started up RTR when they saw the problem of ill-fitting, expensive dresses as a common dilemma that women face.
Ranging from occasions like "holiday party," "date night" and "birthday," and featuring designers like Alice + Olivia, Hervé Léger, Nicole Miller and Vera Wang, RTR offers unmatchable prices and a wide selection.
After scrolling down the page of any category, girls of all body types will be able to find a stunning dress for the Spring Gala, a ladies' night at Little Tokyo or a weekend trip to New York City without breaking the bank.
Upon selecting a desired dress from RTR, the site suggests jewelry and handbags to complement the ensemble, and even shapewear and tights to wear underneath.
The most ingenious element of RTR is that you receive two sizes of whichever dress you choose to rent.
Especially if you haven't worn anything by the designer before, it is hard to determine whether you might fit a 4 or a 6. Personally, I would have loved to know about this site for my high school proms; it would have saved me a lot of frustration and money.
Dresses are delivered in mint condition, but can be returned with a stain or two and even a snagged zipper. RTR vows to dry-clean each of its dresses prior to sending it to the next customer. This professional, reliable service is another perk from this already convenient website.
For those who would prefer a purchase and are disinterested in the fleeting pleasure of wearing a fancy dress for only a few hours, a slew of websites never fail to offer a sweet deal.
When you think of online discount deals, you think eBay, but a recent wave of websites like Gilt, Ideeli, Ruelala, and HauteLook offer the trendiest items from top brands daily. From sunglasses to ankle boots, and tuxes to ties, these sites offer brands ranging from Converse to Gucci for guys and girls alike.
For all of the aforementioned sites, there are no registration fees or monthly payments. However, as a result of the sites' attempts to maintain a certain level of exclusivity, members must be sponsored by friends who are existing members. This ensures a small, yet rapidly growing, circle of fashionistas.
As the saying goes, one man's trash is another's treasure. For those who would rather partake in a cyber consignment store, Rehash.com is the perfect website to get rid of old clothing and receive 'new' clothing in return. This environmentally friendly method of shopping can quickly replace an old wardrobe with new ensembles.
It's a new year and a new semester. Adopt a new procrastinating method and seize some of the remarkable fashion opportunities available exclusively online. Whether you prefer to rent, buy, or trade, the Web has something for every college student on every kind of budget.