Fashion

Is Renting the New Shopping?

May 18, 2011

How many pieces of clothing do you own that you have felt in love with in the store, and you bought them, and then they have been there on the hanger in your closet forever, and you’ve worn them like twice in your life.

I have many of those. And I mean many indeed. I have been thinking about that lately, as I am trying to accumulate all my stuff from around the world in a single closet. And it is hard. Too many dresses too little hanger space. Purses too. And jackets. Who needs 12 jakets, of which you wear only  2 all the time.

We live in an age of accumulation and purchasing mania. We buy stuff, we like to own stuff, but then is that the really satisfying thing…owning a hundred dresses? Or two hundred pairs of shoes?

So when I read the Vivian Weng’s article on the Huffington post, I got to thinking about ownership and how it is changing… at least for myself. Indeed I do not own music – I listen to online radio and stream from youtube. Movies and series is the same- thank you magical streaming places!. There is nothing that is on my computer everything I do stream online. Most of my friends do too. (I say most because I still have traditionalists who buy vynils.) About books… I love books, the smell, the feel, the whole magic into turning a page, but with me moving so often all my books are in different places, even different continents, and as they are the heaviest things, usually get left behind. So lately I started to download books. (still not a die-hard fan though).. So for clothes. Why own so many? Why not rent my clothes too, and after I am tired of them just give them back?

We all remember the first “Sex and the city movie”, when Carrie found out about Bag, borrow and steal. But then again how amazing was the happiness in the line “and it ain’t rented” when the renting queen got her own Louis Vuitton.  So is there something magical about fashion and clothes that makes us be so traditional about buying and storing them or as the society changes and new technology and ways of acting and thinking get into it, is the fashion world going to change too?

Are we going to borrow instead of buy? I would. It is cheaper, more convenient and it definitely gives you more variety and options. You can carry a Birkin on day and a Louis the other. I feel it is like someone else is storing your closet for you, and gives you what you need just when you need it, with the click of a mouse. So what is left is the emotional value, the whole amazingness of the fact that you own a beautiful new dress/bag/shoes. But is it just me or in our fast moving, little attention span society, that moment of amazingness doesn’t last that long, and we are off to the next one and then the next one and the next. Hence the hundreds pieces of stuff that are never worn, but just hang in there.

So are we changing that fast? With the success of bag, borrow and steal, rent the runway and fashion hire, I must say yes we are. Buying is overrated, and stuff is easily accumulated. We as modern, fast-pace women need change, need new stuff and definitely need an easy access to that new stuff. And now we got it all, at the click of a mouse, right?

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