In my favorite scene from The First Wives Club, poor
Elizabeth Berkeley Sarah Jessica Parker is convinced to buy all of Goldie Hawn‘s old crap with the words, “Jackie O. had one just like it.”
Kate Middleton occupies a similar position today. People want whatever she has. I’m fairly certain my mother bought a wardrobe of Aden + Anais swaddling clothes because she heard the Duchess of Cambridge used them on Prince George, and my mother does not have any babies to swaddle. The “Kate effect” is a well-documented pattern of items selling out immediately upon association with the Duchess of Cambridge, and one clothing rental company has just had the best idea ever: Start renting Kate Middleton’s dresses.
Designer dress rental websites have been a great boon to women with lots of weddings to go to. They allow people to go to lots of events without having to wear the same dress at all of them. The U.K.-based Girl Meets Dress sorts its wares by designer, occasion, or dress type, and one of their sections even allows people to rent dresses in styles that Kate Middleton has been photographed wearing.
It’s a pretty good way to make sure one is on the best-dressed list.
According to The Huffington Post, at the moment Girl Meets Dress stocks 14 dresses by Beulah, a line both the Duchess of Cambridge and her sister wear. Kate Middleton has been photographed in Beulah’s dresses on at least three occasions, and those dresses can be rented for about 10% of their retail cost.
One is a floaty, powder blue chiffon dress she wore to a mosque in Malaysia. Normally it would retail for £540, but it can be rented for £59, or about $97.
Another is a glamorous, long-sleeved gown in red silk jersey, which Kate Middleton wore to a fundraising gala in 2011.
Right now the service is only available in the U.K., but given how much people want Kate Middleton’s clothes over here, we think a U.S. version would do pretty well. Now if only it were possible to rent her height, or her hair.