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Dressing to impress with rented clothes

Riska Rahman

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Fri, November 23, 2018  /  10:04 am
Dressing to impress with rented clothes

Pick and choose: A woman browses through the catalog on the Style Theory app, which provides designer clothes rental to its subscribers. The app, along with other fashion-rental services in the city, enables millennial fashionistas to keep up with trends without having to break their banks. (The Jakarta Post/Gisela Swaragita)

For some Jakarta residents, dressing up may have such importance for their careers or social lives that they opt to rent clothes to look like they have a variety of attire, without breaking the bank.

Like 23-year-old legal consultant Raniya Ockvalynie who chooses to subscribe to a fashion rental app called Style Theory that allows her to have access to a wide range of designer clothes at the tip of her finger.

“I really hate the idea of spending money on expensive clothes that I really like but I won’t wear very often,” she told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday. “So renting clothes seems to be the best choice for me because it won’t fill my closet.”

For Rp 600,000 (US$41) per month, the app lets her choose up to 12 pieces of clothing that are delivered to her doorstep. Whenever she is done with them she opens the app and arranges for them to be picked up and returned to the app’s headquarters in Kuningan, South Jakarta, without having to wash them first.

Raniya said she had used her rented attire for work, as well as to hang out on the weekends with her friends. She even wore some of the rented clothes out of town when she went on vacation.

The Singapore-based app, which started operations in Indonesia last November, provides hundreds of choices of clothing like tops, trousers, skirts and dresses to accommodate its users’ different styles and occasions.

The clothes also come from a number of local and foreign designer brands such as Tex Saverio, Nikicio, BCBGMaxAzria, Ralph Lauren and Karen Millen.

Not only does the service help fashionistas prevent their closets from getting clogged with clothing, but it lets people whose jobs demand they look fashionable, like fashion reporters, keep up with trends at affordable prices.

Tax consultant Fadiah Hafizati, 25, said she preferred to rent dresses for special occasions instead of buying them. For a recent wedding she rented a dress worth Rp 3 million for Rp 300,000 for a one-time use. “Besides [it being] easier and cheaper, I also get to be photographed in a number of different outfits every time I go to a party,” she said.

Unlike Style Theory, which mostly provides designer clothes for daily use, other rental companies, like the ones Fadiah used, specialize in providing clothes for formal occasions like weddings, parties, or galas.

One example is The Reserve Jakarta, which was established last year. Cofounder Jane Tahir said her rental shop only provided formal dresses from international and Indonesian designers to her customers.

Rental prices, she said, range from Rp 300,000 to Rp 2 million per dress. “It depends on the type of the dress and rental period,” Jane said. “They also don’t need to worry about the dry cleaning because we’ll take care of it.”

When wearing designer clothes is not enough, some might also need to rent high-end handbags to complete a look. Entrepreneur Zafira Bustam, 24, provides luxury handbags from international brands like Gucci or Chanel.

“People could rent the bags for between Rp 1 million and Rp 1.5 million per day, but the rental service is only reserved for exclusive clients,” she said.

A senior fashion editor of women’s magazine Femina, Arni Kusumadewi, said the presence of these fashion rentals not only fulfilled millennial fashionistas’ needs to stay updated with trends, but also helped them reduce the amount of money spent on buying designer clothes. “I think these rentals are in line with the economic principal of people spending the least amount of money to gain the best results. In this case, the result is the look,” she said.