To buy or to rent.
Usually this question pertains to things like buying vs. renting a house. Or buying vs. leasing a vehicle. These days, however, you can rent jewelry, handbags, and dresses instead of forking out the big bucks for a designer item.
I'm already familiar with Bag Borrow or Steal which has plenty of designer handbags you can rent by the month. They also have things like jewelry and sunglasses. For people who don't have thousands of dollars to spend on designer luxury, this is a great way to pretend like you're rolling in the dough. Fake it 'til you make it?
There's also Rent the Runway. This site seems to be slightly more up my alley than BBS because I'd be more likely to rent a dress for a big night than a handbag. So, if I need a killer dress quickly, I'd be paying anywhere from $40-$450 depending on the type of dress and who the designer is. To be honest, if I'm going to spend a few hundred dollars on a dress to wear for a night, I'm more likely to go shopping and find a $200 dress in a department store that I get to KEEP. Not that I regularly go out and drop a couple of hundred dollars on dresses!
However, if we're talking about a $300-$500 dress that they're renting for $100 or less, I may be swayed into thinking this is a good deal. Depending on my mood of course. I'm not the type of person who likes to just throw money away, so renting a dress doesn't exactly come across as something that is incredibly desirable to me. I'd prefer to save up some money and invest in a quality, timeless item. When push comes to shove though, I do have good (read expensive) taste and I have a tendency to pick up the most expensive dress on the sale rack like I did that time at the Nordstrom Rack when a $1200+ dress was on sale for $800. Not exactly my idea of a deal. Overall, Rent the Runway is a good idea for super special occasions when you want to look like a million bucks, but not for every occasion.