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Rent the Runway vs. Armoire: Can You Save Money By Renting Clothes?

Have you ever tried any of the services available to rent clothes? Rent the Runway is the most popular option. However, there are other services out there, too, such as Armoire. Let’s take a look at the similarities and differences between the two.

What Does It Mean to Rent Clothes?

If you’re not already familiar with these services, then you may wonder what they’re all about. They are subscription fashion services. You sign up and pay for a membership. Depending on the membership that you choose, you can rent a certain number of clothes. You get them, use them, and return them.

Is It Cost Effective to Rent Clothes?

Whether or not you save money by renting clothes really depends a lot on your own fashion situation. If you attend a lot of events and need/want to wear something new each time, then you can definitely save money by renting clothes. After all, it’s a lot cheaper to pay for a monthly membership than to buy a designer gown or even a professional work outfit every time you need one.

On the other hand, if you barely ever have a reason to wear a new outfit then you may find that a fashion subscription service costs too much for you. If you wouldn’t typically buy new clothes, then these services can entice you to spend money on fashion you wouldn’t otherwise spend. So, you have to assess your own fashion needs and budget to determine whether or not this is a frugal choice for you.

Rent the Runway vs. Armoire

Rent the Runway is the most well-known company available for this type of service. They launched with the idea that some women would like to rent designer dresses for a few days at a time. However, they have since expanded and now offer rentals for children. You can rent accessories through Rent the Runway. Furthermore, they’ve even partnered with West Elm to start offering home furnishing rentals.

Rent the Runway launched in 2009. Armoire is a newer business that just launched in 2016. Whereas Rent the Runway originally focused on designer dresses, Armoire sought to corner the market on providing rentals for everyday professional clothing. According to TechCrunch, Armoire’s target customer is a 30-60 year old woman with a median household income of $70,000 and is most likely a working mother. They also hope to begin targeting a slightly lower-earning woman in the near future.

For Women By Women

Both of these companies are women-owned businesses. They both launched intending to offer clothing to women. Rent the Runway has since expanded their business model with an eye toward encouraging all people to use their service. Armoire continues to focus on women and not just as customers. The team there is 90% women. Plus they source a large percentage of their clothing from women-owned brands.

Armoire specializes in maternity clothes (as well as day-to-day clothing for women). Rent the Runway also has a maternity section on their website.

Membership Plans

If you buy more than one piece of even somewhat expensive clothing monthly, then you can certainly save money with a fashion rental subscription.

Rent the Runway has two different membership options:

  • $89 / month for 4+ pieces, from 400+ brands. You can swap clothing monthly. Shipping and insurance are free.
  • $159 / month to “rent unlimited pieces on rotation.” You can swap them anytime, keeping them as long as you want. You can choose from 600+ brands. Shipping and insurance are free.

Armoire currently only offers one membership plan. You pay $149 / month for “access to endless styles.” You receive four items at a time to start, but you can upgrade to receive more per shipment. You can swap out items individually, exchanging as many times as you want throughout the month. The company does offer certain savings plans; for example, you get a discount if you prepay.

As you can see, the prices are fairly comparable. Rent the Runway offers a cheaper limited option for people who won’t need as many pieces to choose from in the month. Armoire is slightly cheaper for the “unlimited” option. Both companies regularly run deals and promotions. If you love an item, both companies often offer the option to buy it.

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Kathryn Vercillo

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