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The 7 best places to get your last-minute holiday party outfit

You have five holiday parties and one ill-fitting Christmas sweater. Here’s what to do.


Amrita Khalid


Holiday party season is officially here, and just like last year, you have absolutely nothing to wear. Everyone from your alumni association to your apartment building to your dentist has sent you an invite to their special Yuletide shindig. Unfortunately, it seems like last year’s little black holiday cocktail dress has seen too many run-ins with the party punch bowl to revive for another season. 

Rather than splurge for a new holiday outfit, why not rent a few outfit options online? If you’re a woman, a multitude of online fashion rental services like Rent the Runway and Bag Borrow or Steal can outfit you head-to-toe; from your dress to your purse to jewelry. Men’s fashion has fewer options, but they exist. You can even score a last-minute Santa outfit or ugly Christmas sweater if you need.  

No matter what you want to wear, options abound. Here’s where to score your last-minute holiday party outfit online:

1) Rent the Runway

If you’re a woman, it’s hard to go wrong with mainstay Rent the Runway. The online fashion rental empire has got you covered for every occasion from your swankest winter wedding to a fun night out for holiday cocktails. Rent the Runway offers every designer from Badgley Mischka to Vera Wang and plus-size options abound. The site also includes shoes, purses, sunglasses, jewelry and scarves. 

Here’s how it works: Pick a delivery date one to two days before your event, and pick an option to rent for either four or eight days. After you’re finished, just toss your dress in Rent the Runway’s handy, sealable bag and drop it in the mail. 

The only drawback? Word has caught on. It’s slim-pickings at Rent the Runway from now until Jan. 2. Luckily, the store has brick-and-mortar locations in Chicago, Washington, D.C., New York, and Las Vegas where you can book by appointment and scout out some other options. 

2) Menguin

Getting men to rent a tuxedo or a suit online without getting measurements done by a professional might sound like a risky enterprise, but luckily, Menguin has stepped up to the plate. The smattering of tuxedos and suits at Menguin will have you covered for every event from white-tie to black-tie to any unexpected James Bond or Mad Men-themed parties that crop up in your future. Menguin asks a few basic questions about your fit online and has sizing experts review each order. The service includes 24/7 customer assistance and can ship replacements. You can also rent cuff-links, vests, shirts, and shoes on Menguin. Prices start at $89. 

3) Gwynnie Bee

Plus-size clothing rental subscription company Gwynnie Bee has a great selection of dresses for the holidays in sizes 10 to 32. You can rent one, two or three outfits at a time, and then return for new picks when you’re done. Plans begin at $35 per month. 

4) Le Tote

If you’re already curious about clothing rental subscription services, it might be the right time to try out Le Tote. Dubbed “the Netflix of clothing,” the popular service will send you three outfits and two accessories for an unlimited number of times per month. A two-month subscription to Le Tote will set you back $88. Depending on how many events are on your calendar, this could be a worthwhile investment. 

5) Santa Suit Express

You’d be hard-pressed to find more options for dressing up like Santa than on Santa Suit Express, which offers everything from belly-padding to wigs to beards to boots.  The site exclusively devoted to Santa costumes include options for “Victorian Santa,” “Old World Santa,” and even Mrs. Klaus and the elves. While there are no rental options, those on a tight budget will appreciate the “Economy Santa” outfit for $45.99. 

7) Tipsy Elves

Tipsy Elves fills a need we didn’t know society even had: a vast selection of ugly Christmas sweaters for men, women, and children. Their leggings, sweater dresses, two-person sweaters and plain old ugly any-occasion sweaters that will surely make you stick out from the crowd. And they also sell ugly Chanukah sweaters, so you will be truly set for any party.  

Image via Andy Castro/Flickr CC BY NC-ND 2.0)

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