Friday, February 8

How to Fake It

    We all want to live the life of luxury that celebrities do.  Limited by our much smaller bank accounts, however, we must learn to fake it instead- that is look like a million dollars without actually spending a million dollars.  Two ways for the "Dollarless Diva" to feign her riches are "Buy, Borrow, or Steal" and "Rent the Runway."
    "Buy, Borrow, or Steal" is an online site for renting jewelry, sunglasses and designer handbags.  You can also sell your used designer bags or buy other people's gently used bags for a fraction of their cost.  The standard rental period is for thirty days, but if at the end of your monthly lease you decide that you're just not ready to part with the goods then BBS will automatically renew your lease for another month.  While perusing the BBS website I discovered that several bags, which I already owned, were available for rent anywhere from $175 to $375 a month.  A good friend of mine recently told me about the site and while I haven't used it yet, I will definitely be renting and selling soon.  Of course, this doesn't mean that I won't still buy the occasional designer bag for full retail value.  After all, some bags are meant to be had for a lifetime, rather than possessing them for a mere one month tease.
    For less expensive rentals, which are for a much shorter period of time, I recommend "Rent the Runway."   RTR is an online site used for 3 day rentals of dresses, jewelry and bags for special occasions like proms, weddings or holiday parties.  I used the site for the first time last November when I had a wedding to attend.  For the event, I rented the Monique Lhuillier diamondback lace dress in navy blue and a silver Whiting and Davis clutch.  The dress retailed for $398, but I rented it for just $85 and was given a $25 discount for being a first time customer.
     Each rental from RTR includes up two different dress sizes of the same dress giving customers a back up size in the event that one does not fit properly.  RTR also permits its customers to rent a second style of dress or an accessory for just $25 more. When you're done with the dress and accessories at the end of your rental all you need to do is put the items in the return shipping bag provided by RTR and place it in the mail.  They handle the dry cleaning of the garment (even though the cost of the cleaning, along with insurance, is factored into your rental price). 
      In my experience, I was unable to rent a second size because the size I needed was already reserved by another customer for the same time period.  Unfortunately, the one size I did receive was too small.  According to RTR's return policy if your dress doesn't fit and you send it back within 24 hours they will give you a full merchandise credit towards your next rental.  Because the dress I received had several very noticeable pulls in the front of the garment customer service gave me a full refund for my order.  They even refunded the cost of the bag, which I decided not to use for the wedding, although it was in perfect condition and appeared exactly as pictured on the website. 
    Overall, I would say that my experience with RTR was a good one.  I was particularly impressed with how customer service handled my return.  That being said, I would definitely give renting from the site another try.  In the future, however, if my backup size is not available I will rent a second style of dress just in case the first style doesn't fit.  The only downside to using this service is the extremely short rental period.  One is likely not to get the garment until the day before it is needed and therefore is taking a huge risk in the event that it does not fit.  Word to the wise, if you're going to be using this service make sure you have something already in your wardrobe that you can wear in a pinch or, if possible, try the dress on in a store before renting so that you know ahead of time how it fits.
     In conclusion, you don't have to actually be rich to look the part and using these two sites is a great way to Fake It! The best part is no one will ever know you're not the true owner of that Oscar de la Renta gown or that Chanel clutch unless you tell them.

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