When a special invite arrives and the occasion calls for a fancy frock (for me, that might typically be a friend’s weddings, fashion week or glitzy client events), I’ll admit I’m often at a bit of a sartorial loss. My style is quite eclectic, but veers towards the more casual side; as a result, the number of glam dresses in my closet is next to zero. Being quite an eco-conscious shopper, too, I find the idea of buying a piece I’ll only likely wear once or twice quite wasteful. (Plus, who needs the extra wardrobe clutter in Singapore?)
Thankfully, whether it’s for a black tie gala event, cocktail party or wedding, I’ve recently discovered dress rental companies like Covetella that provide formalwear-phobic ladies like me with a more simple and affordable way to find the perfect gown online. Founded by entrepreneur and all-round girl boss Carol Chen, Covetella enables you to browse hundreds of designer dresses and accessories, from Gucci gowns to Chanel bags, and rent them at a fraction of the price. With a few important events lined up for the rest of the year, I booked a styling appointment at their brand new showroom in the hope of sorting all my outfits for the months ahead.
Upon stepping into Covetella’s spacious and natural light-filled showroom at the Apex @ Henderson building in Alexandra, I’m greeted by Anastasia Vanderflit, the company’s ‘Fairy Godmother’ (it’s on her name card!), who helps ladies pick out their looks and gives personalised styling services. After quizzing me about my style and colour preferences, Anastasia starts flitting around racks of beautiful dresses, all coded by colour and length. (They have over 1000 pretty gowns, jewellery and accessories to choose from!)
Of those that are picked out, 75 percent are definitely out of my comfort zone (read: sequins and body-con silhouettes, combined!); through Anastasia’s enthusiasm, however, I am encouraged to give them a whirl.
Well, it turns out that good things come from feeling a little uncomfortable, because I loved every single one of the looks I tried on, and I felt like a princess! I was also shown various shoes, bags and accessories to pair with my looks, all of which are available to rent alongside the designer gowns.
Here are the looks I tried on, plus their retail and dress rental value comparison:
Prive Bustier High-Low Gown: rental, $300; retail, $1,500
This look was definitely a show-stopper, and is perfect for gala events.
Beaded dress by Mango: rental, $85; retail, $300
This piece is perfect for my friend’s big 30th birthday bash at CÉ LA VI – dinner, dancing and drinks!
Blue backless dress by BCBG: rental $115; retail $550
I’ll be sporting this number to a friend’s beach wedding in Bali.
Off-shoulder sweetheart sequin gown by Bariano: rental S195; retail $600
This piece is just what I needed for a charity gala ball coming up at the end of the year!
Blue dress by Vestito: rental $115; retail $575
Another ball-worthy gown because, let’s face it, it’s great to have options!
If you’re strapped for time and can’t fit in a personal styling appointment, you can easily order your outfit online, and it will arrive pressed and ready for your event on a date and to a location of your choice. Returns are fuss-free, too – simply contact the team, and they’ll send a courier to collect the dress, and they’ll pick up the dry-cleaning bill!
Brought to you by Covetella.