Did you know renting clothing was a thing?? I sure as hell didn't until recently! I blew all the money I earned from summer camp on a prom dress I wore once when I could've rented one and blew my money on food instead (which in my opinion, is a far superior investment). There are clothing sharing companies and start-ups all over the world. No matter where you are, I assure you will be able to find one. If not, start one! Jks. Unless you're an entrepreneur. In which case, insider tip: this is market with potential, so go ham!
Since I know that researching is tedious, I've done it for you. If you live in the following major cities (randomly selected based on my sheltered exposure to the world), these are clothes renting companies you can check out (shameless plug: go check out FreshRents GO GO GO!!!)
Where: FreshRents, BORO, RentFrockRepeat, Rent the Runway, and so so many more
Best for: Special Occasions! Renting is the best option for special occasions where you know you would only wear the piece once. This includes weddings (whether you're the bride or a guest), special events (black-tie, formal, semi-formal, etc), and vacation.
You most definitely know a thrifter. If not, you are the thrifter. Thrifting is the new trend and we all know it. Ask any hipster where they got their jean jacket and 99% of the time they'll say the thrift store. Meaning you can't buy the same one; Meaning it's one of a kind; Meaning that conversation was not beneficial to you whatsoever. But hey, at least now you can go thrifting and be that person.
Thrifting is a ton of fun and you never know what treasures you might come across. You're also not limited to the current fashion trends since thrift stores carry all types of clothing and aren't confined to whatever fad is all over instagram. So go out and find your nearest thrift store! Never accidentally twin with some random person at a party ever again (If you didn't coordinate it, it's just plain awkward)!
Where: Salvation Army (worldwide. Or they claim to be. I take 0 responsibility if they're not), WorldServe (worldwide. Maybe. It has the word "World" in it so it must be?). Do some research in your local areas, I guarantee you will find unique, local thrift stores!
Best for: Unique, one of a kind pieces! It's usually pretty cheap and if you dig you will find something that fits and suits you. Depending on which store you go, you can find literally anything. Jeans, sweaters, jackets, scarves, belts, corsets, shoes, whatever you want. The sky is your limit, my friend.
Ever watched Sisters of the Travelling Pants? See how well borrowing turned out? That could be you. Borrowing is great because you already know what that garment looks like. It's probably cute and you don't have to pay for it. Just remember to take care of it because you still gotta return it.
Where: From your friends? Cousins? Parents?
Best for: like, anything, really…
Trading is so satisfying because if you ever took intro to economics, you would recall that TRADING MAKES BOTH COUNTRY BETTER OFF!! That country could be you. I can already see it. Trading allows you to get rid of pieces you don't want anymore and get new pieces all at 0 accounting cost! It's perfect when you want new clothes but don't want to spend more money.
Where: Clothing trade shows, clothing exchange Facebook groups
Best for: Casual clothing
5. HANDING DOWN
There are probably people who are older than you who have gone through whatever you're going through now, like going into the workforce, being pregnant, getting married, etc. They probably don't have any use for some of those clothes anymore, so take advantage of that! People are happy to get rid of items that are no longer useful, especially if it benefits someone else.
Where: Friends, family, colleagues
Best for: special-time-in-life wear? Is that a thing? Well, you know what I mean.
Aaaaaand now, we're giving back! While this doesn't exactly "expand" your closet, it does declutter your closet and makes space for better pieces! Get rid of what you don't need anymore. See if you can trade, sell, or hand down anything first. If you can't, or are just too lazy, donate it! Someone, somewhere, will look at that neon pink skirt you spontaneously bought first year of uni and think "damn, I need to have that skirt". And someone, somewhere might rock it better than you did. No offense. You're still perfect in my eyes, just not in that skirt.
Where: Donation boxes throughout most cities, thrift stores
Best for: getting rid of pieces you don't wear anymore. It will declutter your closet and make you feel so much better. It will also go towards people who might need it or have better use for it. It’s a win-win.