When Bree Laura and Teonna Ingram realized they were having a hard time paying for the necessary fashion to coincide with their busy social lives, they decided to open up a business that not only solved their financial style crisis, but others as well. The store they opened up wouldn’t be the usual retail model though, instead it is a rental store. Based on the model of tuxedo shops for men, the girls fashioned a business that allowed women to share in the fun of enjoying great fashion at cheap prices. Their shop, which is located in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago, rents women this season’s designer dresses at affordable prices. They carry lines that even Carry Bradshaw would be jealous of, including Alexander McQueen, Marchesa, Herve Leger, Dolce and Gabbana and more. Although the dresses retail for about $300 to $4,000, they are renting them for as little as $35 to $400. And at three days a rental, you can get your moneys worth. The owners believe everyone has a right to great fashion, so in addition to the cheap prices you will find sizes ranging from 0 to 18, with a few maternity pieces as well. When interviewed for boutiqueville.com Laura stated, “We just thought this business would be recession proof. Good times or bad, we would still be needed.” Ms. Laura makes a great point, with the economy in the state that it is, luxury items are harder to rationalize. Although $400 is still a lot to pay for an item only worn one night, it is still much more affordable than buying. However, with great discount stores like H & M offering designer duds at equal to cheaper prices, I am curious as to what you think is more cost efficient? Would you put style before your budget? If you have to attend a wedding, gala, or reunion this season what would you rather do, rent or buy?
Borrow a Dress Couture is located at 3221 N. Sheffield Avenue, Chicago, IL 60657. 773-904-8735
Herve Leger Dress up for rental for $300, retails for $1350 (picture courtesy of Second City Style)
Matthew Williamson for H & M, $349 to buy