I love getting dressed up, but I hate buying clothes and accessories especially for an event. It costs so much money, and things often never get used again. To remedy the closet wastelands of bridesmaid and prom dresses, many web companies have popped up with rental services for everything from designer handbags to wedding dresses. (Best of all, most of the companies do professional cleaning so you get out of laundry and dry clean duty too!)

Special Occasion Dresses
Rent the Runway: This service has the largest selection of dresses. Rent the Runway offers designer looks perfect for prom, bridesmaids, weddings, galas, balls, New Year's Eve, a really important interview (dress for the job you want not the job you have!) and any other special event you can think of. The rental price varies based on the retail cost of the gown. If you want to wow in this $745 Carmen Marc Valvo gown (pictured top right), you can do so for a $125 rental fee. Sadly, sizes top out at a 12 for most items.

Little Borrowed Dress: This service is mostly geared toward bridesmaids. The standard rental fee is $75 plus a $5 insurance fee (so you're covered if any damage happens). The limited selection of dresses are simple, classic and flattering to most shapes. They all come in a wide variety of colors and sizes up to a 16/18. All of the dresses are made from the same material so bridesmaids can choose different styles if they like. You can also order a "fitting" dress for $5 to make sure you've chosen the right size.

Rent a Bridesmaid Dress: Here you can rent a dress or put one up to be rented. This service looks pretty new and isn't well populated yet, but I love the idea. If you have a stash of dresses like I do, you can rent them out if you aren't ready to part with them. You can also sell and buy through the site so you could score a dress you love at a bargain price.

Maternity Rentals
Rent Maternity Wear: Many special occasions can be handled with a well accessorized Little Black Dress, but when you're sporting a baby bump suddenly your trusted LBD doesn't quite fit. You can borrow a variety of special occasion attire from Sizes and prices vary by designer and retail cost.

Borrow For Your Bump: This is the most extensive rental service I've seen. You can rent everything you need to get through your pregnancy. You "borrow" jeans, tops, dresses, coats and pretty much everything else. You rent by the month so you can switch your clothes out as your bump grows. You can score a great coat, like the Poncho Jacket (pictured right), for only $33 a month. This is especially great for seasonal items like coats (you might not be pregnant during winter next time) or if you don't plan on getting pregnant again (at least for a while) so you don't want to invest in a lot of maternity wear.

Bags & Accessories
Bag Borrow or Steal: This company has been around for a long time. They rent designer handbags, jewelry, watches and sunglasses. Accessories can take your basic suit or LBD to the next level. If you want to add a little designer style to your wardrobe, this is the place to find what you want. You can lease items by the week, month, season or longer. If you love having the latest handbag, this is the way to do it without going broke. Prices vary depending on item and length of lease. Pictured right: If you've dreamed of owning a vintage Birken bag, you can rent one for $510 a month. Pricey, but pretty.

I'm Over It: Rent a large variety of designer jewelry for any occasion for 7, 14 or 30 days. This service is on a first come first served basis so you can't reserve in advance (so it's probably not a safe bet for wedding jewelry). They do have a huge selection and affordable rental rates depending on the cost of the item.

Adorn: If you're a true Marilyn and diamonds are your best friend, Adorn might become your new favorite website. Did you see a crazy $27,000 diamond necklace in a wedding magazine and now you have to wear it down the aisle? If so, Adorn will let you rent it for $270 (1% of the original cost). They will put a hold on your credit card for 5% the cost of the jewelry as a security deposit, but it will be released once your jewelry is returned.


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