Renting Indian Outfits: A Complete Guide
by Raj Desai | 4/11/2020
No matter if you’re into lehngas, anarkalis, shararas, salwar-kameez, or saris…putting together a wardrobe full of Indian outfits doesn’t come cheap. I LOVE the outfits by Poonam’s Kaurture and don’t regret my purchases whatsoever, but the salwar-kameez I have from her is around $400 and the velvet lehnga I have is $700. The most recent lehnga I ordered from Viva Luxe (had a rough experience shopping on that site, btw) was around $300 – and that was the discounted price thanks to the random sale they were having. A local boutique that sells quality clothes fit for a wedding? It’ll run me in the neighborhood of a few hundred dollars, too.
I don’t know about y’all, but I don’t go to enough weddings in NC or events in general to justify the prices that I’m paying for these outfits. Every few years I’ll splurge and get a staple piece to add to my wardrobe, just to have, but with trends in Indian fashion changing so quickly and the mini heart attack I give myself and my spouse with every lehnga I purchase, I need a new affordable way to switch up my Indian wedding outfits.
The solution? Renting! I was pleasantly surprised to find out how many companies exist to solve this exact problem. Companies started by women who are frustrated with shelling out tons of money for outfits – AND jewelry – worn once in a blue moon. Not to mention, if you’re inviting non-South Asian folk to your wedding who want to dress the part, they don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars for one outfit for just *one* of your events. Instead, they now have the option of renting beautiful clothes for affordable prices to wear to ALL of your events.
The best part is that most of these companies are recognizing the need for rentals for your wedding guests and bridal party, even for brides themselves, and will work with you to curate looks or create group discount codes. And be it the hosts or the guests, who doesn’t love to save some money on wedding shopping?
Borrow The Bazaar
Borrow The Bazaar has a gorgeous collection of Indian outfits for every wedding event curated from 9 different South Asian designers. Use their sizing guide to pick the perfect fit for you, select your delivery date, and choose a rental window of 4 or 8 days. And if you’re traveling out of town for a wedding you even have the luxury of having your outfit shipped directly to the hotel you’re staying at, which is super convenient. Bonus: Borrow The Bazaar ALSO rents out jewelry! For more answers to your questions about the rental process, check out their FAQ page.
Brides, do your guests a solid and check out the Events page on Borrow The Bazaar’s website or send them an email at [email protected] You can partner with them to create a custom discount code for your guests.
View this post on Instagram
Always be a flamingo in a flock of pigeons Outfit: “Venus” – rent via link in bio! Designer: @renee_label Jewelry: @indianrentalwear Model: the lovely @sruthijayadevan #btb #borrowthebazaar #btbeauty #lehenga #sari #saree #rentindianfashion #designerlehenga #slowfashion #bollywood #indianwedding #desi #desilooks #desifashion #indianfashion #indianbride #lengha #renttherunway #indian #weddingseason #desibride #engaged #Indianclothes #desistyle #bridalwear #bridalfashion #instafashion
Interested in mixing and matching some pieces with clothes that you already own? Rani Runway gives you the flexibility to rent individual pieces like blouses or skirts (Black Bustier Blouse, I’m lookin’ at you!) or a full outfit. You’ll have your outfit available for a period of 4-8 days.
What makes Riya Collective stand out? A lot! They have a range of rental options for your guests – women (jewelry PLUS the clothes), men, and kids – and a bridal collection. The folks at Riya Collective take it one step further with a customized wedding page (with a discount code!) for your guests explaining the dress code with personalized recommendations that you can link to your wedding website.
And if you’re nervous about ordering outfits online without seeing how they fit you first, you’ll want to take advantage of Riya Collective’s showroom appointments which are available in select US cities including San Francisco, New York City, Los Angeles, or Washington D.C. For brides interested in getting their bridal party in on the action, you can schedule a private 2-hour appointment with 15 of your closest family members or friends. And if you’re not based in one of their showroom cities, they’ll travel to you! Check out this page for all the info.
Since COVID-19 is making that an impossibility for all of us until who knows when, you can still get the experience of a showroom appointment by scheduling it virtually with one of their stylists or team members.
View this post on Instagram
Quarantine life has us missing dressing up and soaking in the views. We are reminiscing on how our #riyarenter rocked this @saltandspring piece! #tbt #RIYACOLLECTIVE . . . . #lotd #ootd #whatiwore #aotd #loveit #liketoknowit #fashiongoals #influencer #styleblogger #fashionblogger #fbloggers
One of the newest companies to step on the scene, LUKH is different in that every outfit you see on their site is a custom design from their company. And their pieces are FIRE (I have a *major* obsession with the Shakti Sharara). Keep an eye out for their men’s collection which will be dropping at some point this summer.
How does it work? Choose from a rental window of 4, 6, or 12 days. To help out your guests with a discount, fill out this form and you’ll get a unique code that can be applied at checkout for 30% off of orders over $150. Bonus for your friends and family – LUKH monitors what guests are ordering so that there aren’t any outfit repeats.
Interested in getting your bridesmaids decked out in LUKH? Book a consultation and get your bridal party dressed in a color scheme that matches your wedding. You can also peruse the color schemes they’ve already built out for friends and family members who are interested in matching.
Rent The Runway + Sani
The OG of all rental sites, Rent The Runway, has partnered with the design team at Sani to make some of their outfits available for rent. Retailing from $450-550 and renting for around 80% less than that, your guests can choose from a selection of 3 pieces – an anarkali and 2 lehngas – to wear to your wedding events.
View this post on Instagram
We've always wanted to give South Asian fashion a global platform. When we reached out to the CEO of Rent the Runway over a year ago, we knew it was a long shot, but we asked her if she wanted to work together on launching a new vertical for the platform together. Somehow, @jenniferyael responded and here we are today. For the first time ever, South Asian fashion is available on @renttherunway. We could not have asked for better partners (seriously, they have the BEST team) and we are so excited to grow with them. Link to shop is in our bio!
Rent It Rani
Brides – are you debating whether or not it’s worth it to spend thousands of dollars on fine jewelry for your wedding that you’ll never wear again? Well, Rent It Rani can help you out with fine jewelry rentals for all of your wedding events for a fraction of the retail price. Browse their collection of gold (18 and 22 karat), precious stones, and cut diamonds and rent for a period of 4 or 8 days. Check out how it works here.
View this post on Instagram
#fridayfeels ????. Remembering how amazing @ifstyledanced looked wearing our gold jewelry collection. . . #Repost @browngirlmag (@get_repost) ??? We love how this two-tier gold necklace set and kara bangle from @rentitrani completely transformed Manisha aka @ifstyledanced's outfit! This bling is everything. Click on the link in our bio to check it out! ??? [? via @nujent]
Jewel Me Best
You and your guests may have your outfits squared away, but you’ll *probably* need jewelry to complete the look. Enter Jewel Me Best, whose pieces are also featured on Borrow The Bazaar. Brides – check out the Maharani set for your ceremony outfit or the Raabta set for your Sangeet or Reception. Or duke it out with your family and friends over the pastel and on-trend Pistachio set (love!). Browse the collection on their website or reach out to their team for styling tips on pairing jewelry with your outfit. Jewelry is available for a rental period of 5 or 8 days.
View this post on Instagram
Jewelry is such an important accessory for South Asian marriages, something which brides cannot avoid for any of their functions. Nonetheless, that same jewelry is usually left unused right after the wedding. . Every bride has their own choices, but what is kept constant in our traditional desi weddings is the size of your necklace. How much ever you try your mom won’t let you settle for something light and small. . It is just not bride-enough according to them and let’s be real Bollywood has taken over all of us in terms of fashion. Right from Deepika to Sonam to Anushka we all find our inspiration from them. All of us here have dreamt of being that Sabyasachi bride. But have you ever thought of what would you do with all the heavy Sabyasachi inspired jewelry after your wedding is over?. . . C’mon Let's find a few possibilities A) wear it at your next cousin's wedding? Umm well, you really don’t want all your Chachi-mamis to constantly look at you throughout the wedding instead of the bride! Nope, not a good option. ? B) wear at your best friend's wedding? Wait a minute won't you have your bridesmaid duties to finish that day? ? C)most probably wear at your brother’s or sister’s wedding? A biggg Nooooo-Nooo you cannot do that to your sister or to your Bhabhi at any given cost.????? D) The only possible option I could think of is to wear at your baby shower after 4 years ?!! Well, who cares if it gets outdated or rusted by then ???? or doesn't match your saree..you have to be a true desi and #fullyvasool it I guess. . . Instead, why can't we consider such an easy and affordable option of renting for once???? . . . . . . #southasianweddings#desifashion#jewelryonrent#sadablingyraho#southasian#indiansinnewyork#indiansinjerseycity#indiansinusa#indianfashion #onlineshop#kundanjewellery#kundanjewelry #weddingjewelry #bridesmaids #desibrides #makeupartist#makeupartistinnewyork #desimakeupartistinusa#dallasdesimakeupartist #indianwedding #punjabiwedding#punjabibrides #indianjewellery #desimakeupartist #bangladeshibride #bangladeshiwedding #
Indian Rental Wear
Indian Rental Wear offers jewelry for both renting and for purchase designed by trusted South Asian jewelry designers like Riana Jewellery and Zevar by Geeta. They have a versatile mix of traditional South Asian sets and more modern and unique pieces like the Circle Spike earrings (OBSESSED), which retail for $80 and rent for $10 (!).
When we told you there were a lot of companies out there solving the problem of expensive Indian formal wear, we meant it! So pass on the word to your friends and family members, hook up your bridal party, and even rent an outfit and a jewelry set for yourself. You’ll save you AND your guests money (good lookin’ out!) on purchasing brand new versus renting quality and affordable pieces. Win!
Tips or comments about this article? Have a topic you want us to research and write about? Drop us an email at [email protected]
Founder & Chief Visionary, proud fur mom of 2, amateur artist, Netflix binger, wino, and chocolate addict.