Let’s face it. Going out and looking fabulous can be very expensive. And unless you’re a celebutante with an unlimited budget, designer gowns are pretty much out of the question, considering that people tend not to wear the same dress over and over. Well, this can all change with Rent Frock Repeat, a Toronto-based business founded in 2011 and modelled after Rent the Runway in the US. This service allows clients to rent gowns and dresses for a special event rather than purchase one that they’re probably not going to wear very often. Rental prices range from approximately $75 to over $100 for pieces that cost between $300 and over $900. Cost includes shipping back to the warehouse as well as cleaning.
Badgley Mischka (left) and LOVAS (right)
Currently, there are over 800 dresses in 150 styles available, including a recently launched plus size collection. Designers include well-known Canadian lines such as Greta Constantine and David Dixon as well as international names like Badgley Mischka and Cynthia Rowley, with David Meister being one of the most popular as it fits many women very well, according to founders Lisa Delorme and Kristy Wieber. The founders have also mentioned that there is no “typical” client – they range from teens to seniors.
There are, of course, people who are hesitant to use online rentals due to fit issues. However, when a client registers, she is able to create a detailed profile of herself that will include her measurements (bust-waist-hips), height, weight (not sure if this really helps, since bust-waist-hip measurements are more important for dress size) as well as the distance from shoulders to knee and shoulders to ankle. In addition, online consultations through Skype are available while those who can travel to the warehouse can book fittings. For those who are in the Greater Toronto Area who can go in, it’s always recommended that they bring along appropriate shoes and undergarments to get the best fit and look.
Each style features several models of varying sizes – just hover to see her height, measurements and body type
Perhaps the best thing about Rent Frock Repeat is that each dress features photos of models of varying sizes. Each dress uses at least three different models and even feature models who are slightly shorter than average (though it would be nice to show someone who is very short – perhaps 4’11” or 5′ even) as at least one of the models is 5’3″. This is a big help to clients as they are better-able to imagine the dress on themselves rather than seeing it on someone who is likely not their body type.
There is definitely something at Rent Frock Repeat for everyone. From long, formal gowns for galas to short and cute cocktail dresses, it is no wonder that Rent Frock Repeat has so many repeats customers.