How to loan your wardrobe

Because renting clothes is the new way to “shop”

If you’ve been reading the fashion pages in the papers recently, it won’t have escaped your notice that there’s a new way of getting a wardrobe refresh: clothing rental. While not an entirely new thing – I tested a dress rental company for a feature when I worked at The Times about 10 years ago – these next generation companies are about more than just hiring a dress for a special occasion (although they’re great for that too). Featuring thoughtful edits, cool brands and tempting subscription offers, they’re a convenient way of getting a fresh hit for a holiday, party or just everyday life, without the guilt of buying something new that you’ll only wear 7 times, if we are to believe the terrifying statistics. So I thought I would try one of them out and let you know the results.

Of all the rental companies I’ve come across, On Loan spoke to me the loudest. You take a short style survey, and they will send you suggestions for what’s available to hire that they think you might like. The clothes get sent to you in a nifty RePack bag – a reuse-able postage bag which you can send them back in when you’re done – and arrive pretty quickly (mine were here within two days). You also give them a bit of info about what you will be doing for the month – parties, holidays etc – so that they can tailor the edit to suit the events. There are various levels of subscription but I went for the £69 monthly membership, which entitles you to two pieces of clothing for the month. You can pause your subscription at any time, so you might just want to use it at Christmas and over the summer, for example.

On Loan

ALEXACHUNG striped dress and Mother of Pearl blouse, rented for 1 month from On Loan (

I was really impressed not only with the edit, but with the brands on offer – this is a great way of wearing labels that you might not ordinarily consider because of the price tag. I opted for this striped ALEXACHUNG dress and more stripes with this blouse from Mother of Pearl, which is a little out of my comfort zone, style-wise, but I rather fancied pushing my limits without the worry of something lying unworn in my wardrobe. Because obviously the joy of this model is that someone else has already enjoyed this shirt before me, and it will go on to have fun with other people afterwards, too.

Anyone who feels a bit icky about clothes sharing (although, why you would I don’t know!), you need not worry as the clothes are immaculate when they arrive. Cleaning, minor repairs and shipping are also all included in the price of your subscription. I don’t think I’ll be using it every month, but this is definitely a service I will be taking advantage of in the future. On Loan have kindly offered my readers 10% off their first month too – just use the code ENBROGUE on the website.

On Loan

Looking for something different? Here are 5 more wardrobe rental companies to look out for. NB I haven’t tried these ones out yet, so can’t vouch for them myself, but they look great!



picture from @hurr

Dubbed “the AirBNB of fashion” by Forbes, Hurr is different from On Loan in that it’s a two-way model; you can rent your own clothes out as well as borrow them yourself. Rentals are for 7 or 14 days and you can choose whether to meet the person lending you the clothes or have them sent to you.

My Wardrobe HQ

My Wardrobe HQ

picture from @mywardrobe_hq

My Wardrobe HQ is a closed group but you can register to get in on the action. With a focus on luxury, you can expect to see labels worthy of special occasions. Like Hurr, you can become someone who borrows, or someone who rents.

The Nu Wardrobe

The Nu Wardrobe

picture @thenuwardrobe_london

The Nu Wardrobe works slightly more like a massive, digitally savvy swopping party. You sign up to join a network of women in your area (currently London), pay a subscription fee and upload items you’re happy to loan to other members to the app. Clothes will be delivered in person or by bike, and they will calculate the carbon and water savings you’ve made by borrowing rather than buying something new.

By Rotation

By Rotation

picture from @byrotationofficial

Another peer to peer model, By Rotation boasts rental of coveted sold out items like this adorable Jacquemus mini bag – ideal if you love high fashion and want to dabble without having to fork out for it for keeps.

Hire Street

Hire Street

picture from @hirestreetuk

Clothes hire isn’t reserved for the luxury market; Hire Street rents high street labels such as Whistles, Reiss and French Connection. You can loan for 4 to 16 days, although I don’t think the hire prices necessarily reflect the lower price point of the clothes on offer, which is why I personally prefer On Loan – more bang for my buck!


  1. How are the plus-sized offerings of the services here? Do they include brands with inclusive size ranges?

    • Hi Ellie! I’ve personally only tried On Loan and since they tailor the edit to suit each person I don’t know for sure but from memory I think there was a good range of sizes. They are a very friendly team though and I’m sure would be happy to answer your questions if you drop them a line. The peer to peer loan companies might also be a good bet – I think The Nu Wardrobe in particular would be good once it’s been up and running for a while.

  2. Hannah, thanks for your blog and for your post here.
    An interesting idea, renting one´s clothes. I knew about it for special occassions but this concept could be an everyday one and could save me from wardrobe mistakes.
    For me, the rule of “Buy the best quality you can afford” never really worked because I never know if I truly love clothes or shoes before I´ve worn them for a while, no matter if they were cheap or expensive. I still own a Primark blazer from before Primark was considered “bad”. ; ) and got rid of some really expensive clothes that I just didn´t love to wear.
    So having clothes for a while sounds good.
    But: If I actually fall in love with an item I rented, is there an option to buy it and make our relationship permanent?

  3. Thanks for this Hannah, I love your blog even more now you’re focusing on Sustainability. I signed up to OnLoan after reading this article and I think it’s absolutely brilliant!
    It means I can be braver with my choices and try things that I like but wouldn’t necessarily fork out for. I got loads of compliments on my first month’s items and really like the psychological element too – I felt excited about my next ‘edit’ and am looking forward to receiving a couple of new Immaculate designer items to wear in a day or two. The people at OnLoan are great too, communication is very good – I can thoroughly recommend it! Plus I didn’t feel the need to buy any new items of clothing in the last month.
    Thanks again and keep up the great work!

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