Unless you’re Kim Lim or Arissa Cheo and are born of billionaire blood, it’s unlikely that you can afford a wardrobe of designer garb. But with up-and-coming fashion subscription services like Style Theory, Mad Threads and The Treasure Collective, branded wear is actually within the reach of “hiao” plebeians like us.
It’s pretty ingenious if you ask me: designer clothing is ridiculously expensive, and they’re (usually) so distinctive that you wouldn’t want to wear them at too many events. This makes renting the perfect solution.
Beyond being great for one-off events like weddings and formal dinners, these designer subscriptions could also be an affordable option for those who just want to spruce up their outfits every once in a while. Here’s a comparison of the top fashion rental subscription services, and how how much they cost.
Designer fashion subscriptions in Singapore
|Designer rental service||Basic plan||Mid-tier plan||Premium plan|
|Style Theory||$69 for 3 pieces per month||$129 ($99 for first month) for unlimited rental, 3 pieces at a time||$179 for unlimited rental, 5 pieces at a time|
|Mad Thread||$99 for unlimited rental, 3 pieces at a time|
|The Treasure Collective||$149 ($99 for first month) for 3 pieces per month||$399 for unlimited rental, 5 pieces at a time (inspection required between rentals)||$449 unlimited rental, 5 pieces at a time (no wait time between rentals)|
Here’s how it typically works: You sign up for your preferred subscription, shop for your clothes online, and then receive them via courier. When you’re done with them, you arrange for pick up.
The listed prices are pretty much all-in. Cleaning is covered, but additional charges may apply if you damage the clothes. But in most cases, minor wear and tear is fine; you probably don’t have to worry about paying unless you completely ruin a dress beyond repair (in which case, you deserve it lah).
Delivery and pick-up is also included, so no additional costs there.
Style Theory — from $69 monthly, most affordable option
|Style Theory subscription plan||Monthly subscription fee||What you get|
|Starter||$69||1 box per month (3 pieces)|
|Unlimited||$129 ($99 for first month)||Unlimited boxes, 3 pieces each time|
|Pro||$179||Unlimited boxes, 5 pieces each time|
Style Theory is by far the most popular and well-known subscription service for designer wear. I reckon they’re doing quite well too — I get served their Instagram ads so often, I know their prices by heart. No joke.
With a starting price of $69 monthly, Style Theory is the cheapest. For that price, however, you only get 3 pieces per month. The $69 starter plan is good if you just want a couple of cute outfits for the weekends, or if it’s wedding season and you have a few fancy dinners in the same month.
I browsed through the catalogue, and they have a good mix of styles, from casual frocks to cocktail minis. Unfortunately, although there are a ton of wedding guest-worthy pieces, there are very few (if any at all) evening gowns.
So if you’re thinking of renting for a black-tie event (or even your own wedding), you may not find anything suitable. Think more along the lines of Fashion Bunker brands, like Finders Keepers, Self-Portrait, C/MEO, BCBGMAXAZRIA… etc.
Do note that the selection for starter plan subscribers is different from that of the unlimited and pro plan subscribers. The former only gives you access to 100+ pieces, while the others “unlock” the full range of 200+ pieces.
The most popular plan is the Unlimited one, which is $129 or $99 for your first month. Each box still comes 3 pieces at a time, but you can return and re-order as many times as you want within the month.
Mad Thread — $99 monthly for unlimited rental, most value-for-money option
|Mad Thread subscription plan||Monthly subscription fee||What you get|
|Unlimited plan||$99||Unlimited rentals, 3 pieces each time|
Unlike Style Theory and The Treasure Collective, Mad Thread only has 1 plan — $99 for unlimited rentals, 3 pieces at a time. That’s comparable to Style Theory’s $129 unlimited plan, so if you want to wear new styles every week, this is the most value-for-money plan.
Like Style Theory, the selection is similarly casual. I browsed the catalogue and although there are expensive pieces with retail prices that go up to $1,000, you won’t see any floor-length gowns. You may be able to find some semi-formal pieces from brands like Alice and Olivia, Adriana Papell and the likes, but the choices are few.
If you’re not looking for formal outfits, Mad Threads is a good choice. I like that the processing time is relatively short, and you can swap the clothes within a day. They also “promise” that there will be “no future price hikes”… Here’s a screenshot, in case they go back on their word:
If it’s your first time signing up, make sure you use the promo code GET10 for $10 off your first order. Also, new drops are released every Monday at 8pm so you don’t have to worry about the selection going stale.
The Treasure Collective — from $149 monthly, most premium option
|The Treasure Collective subscription plan||Monthly subscription fee||What you get|
|Club Trinity||$149 ($99 for first month)||3 pieces per month|
|Club Infinity||$399||Unlimited rentals, 5 pieces each time (inspection required between rentals)|
|Club Infinity Flex||$449||Unlimited rentals, 5 pieces each time (no wait time between rentals)|
Now, The Treasure Collective is by far the most “atas” designer subscription service. But it is also the only one with really, really designer brands — you know, the runway kind. You can rent 4-figure pieces by Dior, Celine, Lanvin and more.
The collection is generally more formal too, so unlike Style Theory and Mad Thread that are great for work and play, The Treasure Collective is better for dressy events. If you just want to try subscribing for a month, the $99 first-timer promo is quite competitive, and worth it, given the rental catalogue.
But beyond that, I’m not sure $399 or $499 is worth it to pay, even if you do get unlimited rentals. I mean, the average person just doesn’t have that many galas to attend, right?!
The Treasure Collective is actually a peer-to-peer rental platform, but I have no idea who the heck it is that are renting out their designer collections. It’s probably the millionaire socialites that inspired Crazy Rich Asians because to be a consignor, you need at least 30 designer items to lease out.
Siao. Suffice to say, it’s not for “normal” people lah.
Is it worth it to rent designer clothing?
If it’s for a one-off event, I’m all for it. I think renting formal clothes is great — it’s cheap (compared to buying), and it’s sustainable. But as for long-term subscriptions? I’m not so sure.
That said, I asked around the office, and most of us know of friends who have a designer fashion subscription. All of them hold client-facing roles (they’re in sales) and need to look good quite often.
It’s definitely not a must, in that you’ll be perfectly fine going for appointments in blogshop clothes. However, if you can afford it and want to look good for work, then go ahead.
If it’s not for work, and you’re just vain, then it’s time to do a bit of math. It’s entirely your prerogative to rent a designer sundress just for a random day out, but it’s definitely much more worth it to rent occasion-wear, which is typically more expensive.
But if you spend a lot of money for new, branded clothes very often, then you may just save a bit of money and get enough utility out of the subscription to justify its cost.
What do you think? Are these designer fashion clothing subscriptions worth it? Tell us in the comments below!