Take the hire road to style

The model is wearing South Jersey culottes, available from Very. Photo: PA Photo/Handout

The model is wearing South Jersey culottes, available from Very. Photo: PA Photo/Handout

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Imagine having a wardrobe full of designer dresses to choose from, whenever the occasion called for a jazzy Christopher Kane minidress, or a dazzling Roland Mouret number...

Sadly, we can’t make that dream a reality any time soon, but in the meantime, did you know there’s a faster - and far cheaper - route to the luxury lifestyle?

Designer rental sites offer dresses that you can hire for anything from two days to two weeks or more, perfect if you want something special for weddings, parties and black tie balls.

Your chosen dress will be delivered to your door, then when you’ve wowed the crowds at your fancy do, simply send it back - you don’t even have to worry about the dry-cleaning.

Here’s our guide to the sites that will make your fashion dreams come true, if only for a day...

CHIC BY CHOICE

(Chic-by-choice.com)

Best for: Ball gowns and black tie.

Designer line-up includes: Christian Dior, Halston Heritage, Herve Leger, Jenny Packham and Temperley.

How much? Minidresses start from £50 for four days, while a floor-length Dior number with a £3,000-plus retail price will set you back around £450.

Perks: You get to pick two sizes per order to ensure a perfect fit (sizes run from six to 16), and you get £20 credit for every friend you refer. Plus, students get a 25% discount, handy for summer balls.

Any drawbacks? There are a couple of extra charges for insurance and delivery that add about £14 to the cost, which is high compared to other sites.

GIRL MEETS DRESS

(Girlmeetsdress.com)

Best for: Hot off the catwalk creations.

Designer line-up includes: Practically every big name brand, from Alexander McQueen and Balenciaga to Versace and Victoria Beckham.

How much? Prices are competitive, from £29 for a lesser-known designer to £279 for a fur-trimmed Christopher Kane minidress.

Perks: The majority of rentals are well under the £200 mark, and you can try up to three dresses at a time, then get a refund for those you don’t wear.

Any drawbacks? The standard rental period is only two nights, so make sure you return it on time to avoid late fees.

HIRE THE CATWALK

(Hirethecatwalk.com)

Best for: Sexy cocktail dresses.

Designer line-up includes: High-end labels like Forever Unique and Finders Keepers, alongside high street brands.

How much? Prices start from £29.99 with nothing over £50 for standard hire, plus postage.

Perks: You can opt for seven days of rental, instead of the usual three, for just £10 extra.

Any drawbacks? With lots of bodycon and low-cut styles, this site is more suited to a younger tribe.

DREAM WARDROBE

(Dreamwardrobe.com)

Best for: Affordable glamour.

Designer line-up: A separate designer section features the likes of Adrianna Papell, Badgley Mischka and BCBGMaxAzria.

How much? It’s one of the cheapest around, starting from £20 for short dresses to around £100 for gowns.

Perks: Four-day borrowing is standard, but you can extend rental periods up to two weeks and request two sizes at a time, then send back the one that doesn’t fit and get a refund.

Any drawbacks? Dresses only go up to size 14.

THE FROCK PROJECT

(Thefrockproject.com)

Best for: Brands you won’t find elsewhere.

Designer line-up includes: London Fashion Week favourites like Christopher Kane, Preen, Roksanda Ilincic and Vivienne Westwood.

How much? Rentals range from £50 to £150 for four days, or £10 extra for eight days.

Perks: More fashion-forward than other sites, The Frock Project doesn’t just focus on play-it-safe styles.

Any drawbacks? It’s a bit on the pricier side but the designer selection makes it worthwhile.

DEJA VU

(Dejavudresshire.com)

Best for: Wedding guests.

Designer line-up includes: High-end brands like Forever Unique and John Charles, alongside premium high street labels like Coast and Phase Eight, plus the occasional Vera Wang.

How much? From £29 to £89 for three days hire, plus £9.95 postage.

Perks: You can request an extended hire period by email and you can also rent out your own dresses via the site too.

Any drawbacks? There’s only one of each dress, which limits your choice by size.