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May 24 2024

Rent The Dress. Buy The Bag. The Occasionwear Strategy That Fashion Editors are Loving

It’s the season of celebrations, soirées, and special events! As our calendars fill up, it’s time to rethink our outfit strategy. This occasion wear season, we’re steering clear of one-time-only dresses. We've all played that game too many times, ending up with wardrobes full of outfits we promised to wear again but never do. So, this year, we’re embracing sustainability with a new motto: Rent the Dress, Buy the Bag. 

Why Should I Rent a Dress for an Occasion?

Admit it, we all have those dresses hanging in our wardrobes, waiting for the next event so we can wear them again. But when the occasion approaches, we often find ourselves scrolling for something new. Renting a dress allows you to find the perfect look for multiple events without the commitment of ownership, ideal for those of us who love variety in our wardrobes.

And with this lack of commitment comes opportunity. Opportunity to choose designer dresses without the hefty price tag. Leading rental sites like HURR and ByRotation offer an array of designer dresses and suits from high-end labels at a fraction of the cost. From wedding guest favourites like Zimmermann and Self-Portrait to trendy brands like Annie’s Ibiza and House of CB, you can find occasion wear to rent from just £55. And what can you do with those potential savings? Invest them in designer accessories.

Why should I invest in designer bags and accessories?

Unlike dresses that are often occasion or trend-specific, building a collection of premium accessories ensures you’re prepared for any event, any season. Take the Saint Laurent Le 5 à 7, for example. This sophisticated shoulder bag can be styled with a beautiful dress or worn casually over the shoulder to elevate a more laid-back outfit.

Investing in bags that seamlessly transition from day to night and from formal to casual settings ensures you get maximum mileage out of your investments. While the initial cost may seem daunting, cost-per-wear is a crucial factor to consider when choosing your luxury designer pieces. A quality preloved bag that stands the test of time, like the Le 5 à 7 mentioned, or a Chanel classic flap bag, becomes a savvy long-term investment when you calculate how often you’ll reach for it – making it unbeatable value.

The same goes for a pair of elegant heeled pumps, like the signature So Kate by the shoe-god himself, Christian Louboutin. These shoes are classics for a reason, thanks to perfectly elongating the legs, delivering the sexy plunging silhouette that has become a staple for fashion muses like Zendaya. A Louboutin pump will make you walk with confidence, whether you’re wearing a standout dress or a simple pair of jeans and a white T-shirt. While it can be tempting to choose from the array of colours available, our style recommendation is a pair of black or nude pumps—or both! This keeps the shoes versatile across various events and seasons. 

Another must-have for the occasion season is a pair of Saint Laurent Opyum heels. Instantly recognisable by the YSL-structured heel design, the Opyum collection offers a variety of styles, including full court pumps, peep toes, and barely-there strappy sandals, ensuring a silhouette to suit everyone. These statement designer heels come with a premium price tag when bought brand new, but opting for preloved versions can save you over 40%. A steal for heels that will become staples in your wardrobe for many events to come.

Often overlooked but ever so chic, a pair of designer sunglasses can add the final finishing touch to your whole outfit. Trending styles for summer 2024 include the narrow oval, beloved by celebrities like Hailey Bieber and Kendall Jenner. However, you can’t go wrong with a cat-eye for a Jackie O classic and timeless look, or an aviator style. The most affordable of designer pieces, a pair of luxury sunglasses from brands like Chanel, Prada, or Miu Miu will see you through the summer and well into winter. Whether it's keeping tears hidden at a summer wedding, attending the races, or celebrating in the sunshine, a pair of sunglasses will be something you reach for time and time again. So treat yourself and choose a premium pair that you will love to wear.

Is it more sustainable to rent a dress and buy a luxury bag?

Absolutely. By choosing a rental dress and investing in a preloved designer bag, you’re contributing to the circular fashion economy. Not sure what that is? Essentially, reducing the demand for new garments or items lessens the strain on resources and helps to reduce the carbon footprint of you and your wardrobe. During the occasion season, there is usually an influx of trend-led pieces, whether it’s a dress with a striking silhouette or the hottest new colour, that we all want to adorn ourselves in. However, by the next season, these dresses or pieces are often no longer in style or something we would wear again.

The cost of high-quality dresses and outfits has also increased, leading many to turn to fast fashion retailers for occasionwear outfits that won’t last beyond the week, let alone the season. Renting is a great choice to wear a quality piece that’s on-trend and won’t break the bank, or leave your wardrobe bursting at the seams. Additionally, investing in preloved luxury bags and accessories not only offers timeless style but also keeps these high-quality items in the cycle for longer. This shopping choice reduces waste and promotes sustainability by extending the life of designer pieces, ensuring they are enjoyed by multiple owners over time.

But, is acceptable to wear second-hand for an occasion?

Gone are the days of negative connotations with wearing secondhand. After all, the preferred term is now "preloved," and many fashion editors are choosing to rent outfits and promote this choice! It’s cool to be sustainable and not chic to be wasteful, regardless of the occasion, no matter the season.

So, if you’re attending summer nuptials, heading to a black-tie affair, or hosting a big birthday party, why not consider renting a dress this occasion season? Say goodbye to wear-once outfits and invest your fashion budget where it counts: on luxury accessories.

Discover all timeless luxury designer bags and accessories in our Occasionwear Edit. Find ultra-luxury, investment pieces from Chanel to more affordable pieces from Louis Vuitton, Saint Laurent and more. Looking to sell your unwanted occasion pieces? Simply list your unwanted luxury bags, footwear and accessories with Luxe Collective.