Luxury rentals for your wardrobe

June 3, 2008 9:00:00 PM PDT
You can rent a movie, a car, even an apartment. But how about a dress or a purse?It'll save you from spending big bucks, especially on something you might only wear once.

Eyewitness News reporter Lauren Glassberg has more.

It's a great way to grow that closet of yours without spending the money to do it, and with the economy posing lots of challenges, it may be the best way to shop.

"I love dresses," Linda Pratka said. "If I could live my life only in dresses, I would."

So it's no surprise that Pratka is in the dress business. But she doesn't make them, she rents them.

"The concept of the store is that this is your extended closet," she said.

Her tiny store, Ilus, is filled with only in-season dresses from top designers, and they're in a range of styles from day to black-tie and those in between.

One dress is made my Nicole Miller. It sells for $495, but at Ilus, you can rent it for $80. And that's not per day, it's $80 for three days.

Perfect for a long weekend.

"We make it easy for you," Pratka said. "We also do small alterations."

When you're done with the dress, you don't even have to dry clean it. Linda will help style you, offering handbag and jewelry accessories to go along with your dress.

You can rent the whole look. And if you fall in love with it, you always have the option to buy.

And when it comes to renting handbags, also check out FromBagsToRiches.com or BagBorrowOrSteal.com. They are two Web sites that will rent luxury handbags by the week or month.

Rates range from $40 to several hundred a month, depending on the designer.

Ilus carries dresses in sizes 0 to 10. There's even a frequent renter program.

The store's phone number is (646) 454-1678

There is also a Web site with only the store overview and contact info, Ilus-NYC.com. The site will be fully functioning and allow for online rentals by mid-June.


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