Big Changes At Little Borrowed Dress


Rent bridesmaid dresses that look just as hot as the ones that cost the big money

by Maddie Eisenhart, Managing Editor

Big Changes At Little Borrowed Dress | A Practical Wedding

When the subject of renting wedding dresses comes up, the first thing anyone says is always, “Yeah, but is it going to look good on?” Because you love your wedding party. And you just want them to feel good, look hot, and not go broke wearing a dress. Little Borrowed Dress has long been one of the best wedding planning solutions out there: for a fraction of the cost of a bridesmaid dress you would buy and keep, your wedding party can rent high-quality dresses, made right in New York, for just fifty dollars. And today they are upping their game in a huge way (it’s taking all the restraint I have in my body not to write this whole post with Caps Lock on).

Big Changes At Little Borrowed Dress | A Practical Wedding

Now, before you go asking yourself if renting bridesmaid dresses is even a good idea (because I can practically hear my nagging aunt asking about all the possible problems that might come up), let me tell you that Little Borrowed Dress has the process down to a science. Their easy, stress-free rental process includes:

  • A free backup dress in a different size with every rental just in case (and the designs are created in such a way that they are meant to fit a range of body types and shapes).
  • The option to try dresses on first in their New York City showroom or stop by an LBD trunk show near you.
  • Your choice of eighteen gorgeous fabric colors, or if you can’t decide, simply order a free swatch!
  • Free returns! A prepaid envelope comes with every rental, so just drop it off in the mail when you’re done.
  • Affordable prices and high quality. Short dresses are just $50 to rent, and long ones are only $75. Or you can buy the dresses, starting at just $150. All dresses are made in New York, and Little Borrowed Dress is known for their outstanding customer service.

Big Changes At Little Borrowed Dress | A Practical Wedding

So now that your nagging aunt is quiet in a corner somewhere, let me tell you the really exciting news. Little Borrowed Dress has made a ton of changes to their business in 2014, all of which are a direct response to things you guys have asked for in the past. So without further ado, I’m thrilled to announce:

Little Borrowed Dress’ Brand New Site!

When the ladies behind Little Borrowed Dress mentioned that they were redoing the Little Borrowed Dress website, I figured maybe it would get an updated logo, and a few new features. No way, Jose. The new Little Borrowed Dress has been totally redesigned (it’s so sleek) making it easier than ever to find what you need, and fast. But my favorite part (well, other than everything I’m about to tell you) is the revamped “Real Weddings” section. I’m talking tons of Little Borrowed Dress wedding parties in action, on real people, at real weddings. Score.

Kickass, Diverse Models showing off their dresses

You guys, I practically squealed when the new pictures from Little Borrowed Dress came through my inbox. THE MODELS. They look like… you! And me! And my friends! And what’s even more awesome is that you can see exactly how each dress fits on different body types (just click through the galleries of each dress to see how it fits on different bodies.) Nothing makes me more excited to buy something online than seeing how it looks on someone like me first. And on a personal note, I really appreciate that Little Borrowed Dress has seamlessly integrated their new models into the new site. Yes it makes me feel loved when I see women like me modeling clothing I might buy, but it makes me feel like a real human being when I see those models standing next to people who don’t look like me (instead of shoved in a corner delegated to plus size women only). It’s a small gesture that goes a big way towards better practices in both the wedding and fashion industries.

Big Changes At Little Borrowed Dress | A Practical Wedding

New Dresses, Better Fit

New Year, New Dresses! Little Borrowed Dress has added a whole new range of dresses, plus they’ve updated some of their most popular existing styles for an even better fit. They even updated their fabric: Little Borrowed Dresses are now made using crinkle chiffon, which looks great on and is less prone to wrinkling. Nailing it, guys. Nailing it.

Big Changes At Little Borrowed Dress | A Practical Wedding

Speaking of new dresses! (lbd goes bra-friendly)

  • The Kate: You asked for it, they made it. Kate is a gorgeous wrap dress with adjustable sleeves that is stylish and sweet. And the best part is you can wear it with a regular bra (for those who detest strapless bras, or for people like me, who are detested by strapless bras). This one is the obvious winner.
  • The Emma: With a scoop neck and flowy skirt, this style is perfect if you are looking for a more classic style. The Emma can be also be worn with a regular bra.
  • Mia: LBD’s popular strapless style dress has a new twin sister. Mia is still flirty and fun, but has more detailing around the bust that gives the dress more structure.

When you run a small business, especially one that involves manufacturing, it can be really difficult (and costly) to make changes to your business model. So when a small business makes changes like these, it’s a HUGE deal. For years Little Borrowed Dress has been listening to your suggestions, and today they delivered hard. With an even more awesome collection, plus the ability to see how the dresses might fit before you buy, all while keeping their $50 price point (for short dresses. Long dresses are $75), LBD has pretty much removed all of the guesswork out of renting bridesmaid dresses. So if you’ve been toying with the idea of borrowing instead of buying, head over to Little Borrowed Dress and witness all the new bells and whistles for yourself. I didn’t think it was possible, but I’m pretty sure bridesmaid dress renting just got a million times easier.

Maddie Eisenhart

Maddie is the Managing Editor of A Practical Wedding. She’s been writing stories about boys and crushes since she was old enough to form shapes into words, but received her formal training (and a BS) in the art of talking from NYU in 2008. In her spare time, she takes pictures of people in love. Maddie lives on a pony farm in the Bay Area with her husband Michael, her Mastiff named Juno, and her roommate named Joe.

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  • MisterEHolmes

    Wow, yay so exciting! My bridesmaids live far far from NYC, but I rented some try-on dresses for them that should arrive this week. I’m glad LBD has released news styles and choices and I LOVE the photos on the revamped site–so much easier to “see” what the end result will be. I’ll be passing this on and my ‘maids may want new styles now!

    • MisterEHolmes

      Question for APW folks: Did some of the styles get dropped? One of my ‘maids (one of the difficult ones, of course) picked “Julie” but I can’t see it on the site now. I hope maybe they’ll still have it even if it isn’t listed, but am I just missing something?

      • Melanie

        I actually had the same issue because my bridesmaids had decided on the Julie dress but only half had ordered. People who have already ordered it are fine and if you get in touch soon they will grandfather the style in as needed.

  • emilyg25

    Cheers to LBD for being so responsive to their customer base! And for diversity! This is truly awesome.

    In other news, I totally would have rocked the Madison dress at my wedding. Adorable!!

  • http://notsolittlethings.blogspot.com/ stephanie3

    By far the most exciting part of this is that a lot of the dresses actually seem to look better on ladies with boobs. As a member of the big boob club who has constantly had to take shallow breaths for fear of splitting a seam (dear god, don’t cry with happiness or all is lost), thank you.

  • Emily

    They all look great! Wish they came in white too!

    • Eenie

      So I thought I read something about white dresses being more expensive because they needed to be lined. So this might explain the lack of white dresses since they manufacture everything in the US. Also probably not their target market. Very few would put their entire wedding party in white, and one dress for a bride vs four plus for the bridal party doesn’t make sense financially.

      • Emily

        Yeah, wishes aren’t necessarily logical or fiscally reasonable.

  • Another Meg

    This is so fantastic! My wedding’s in June so my ladies are just now starting to choose their dresses from LBD, and it’s really heartening to see that the models actually look like them, not to mention the super cute new styles! I’m even more excited to see what they pick!

  • Lindsey d.

    Ooh, lovely… I can’t wait to see my bridesmaid in her LBD in three months and a few days!

  • Meg

    Pretty bummed I couldn’t get my bridesmaids/sisters on board for using LBD. They said I was trashy and made fun of me behind my back for suggesting it. They’re so pretty :(

    • K.

      :( I’m sorry! Not that it excuses being jerks about your taste, but it sounds like they may just caught up in the WIC. Too many people think that if something is a cheaper option, it must be tacky. That’s falling for the general wedding industry’s marketing tactics hook, line and sinker.

      Still really sucks that they made fun of you, that must have hurt. Especially since I imagine at least part of the motivation was trying to make things easier for them. But I think the dresses are beautiful too! I would use them even if they weren’t rentals – that’s a bonus.

    • Jen

      Soooo, they’d rather buy expensive dresses? Their loss!

  • Sarah

    Diverse models? Check.
    Models with big boobs? Check.
    Dresses THAT I CAN WEAR A NORMAL BRA WITH??! CHECK!

    Love that you can skype with them to answer questions! The only thing I would change now? Adding a couple of shots of the BACK of the dresses (even on a mannequin).

    (Also, why are there some dresses listed twice on the site? I see two Madisons, two Kates, and two Olivias.)

    • Ellen

      YES- Shots of the backs of the dresses are key! I love one of them but can’t picture how the back would work!

    • Sarah

      And would they ever consider having dresses available in white for folks who’d like to buy them as wedding dresses? I mean, that would be AWESOME.

    • Maddie Eisenhart

      I could be wrong, but I think the double listing is to show each dress once or twice, to get an idea of how it would look on a different body? Rather than having all the same model, or only one model for each dress on that page.

      • Sarah

        I guess… just seems weird that it’s not consistent.

    • Sarah

      Also thought it would be neat if there were a simple search function:
      -length
      -regular bra vs strapless vs something else

      Maybe it’s too soon for that, but it would be neat to filter and quickly see all the “regular bra” dresses (rather than having to read each description).

      But these are for the future! They get lots of kudos and fist bumps for this progress.

  • macrain

    I’ve been to the showroom and I can attest- these are as pretty on as they are in the pictures.
    Also, big fat YES to those models.

  • Corie

    I LOVE the idea of being able to sort by being “bra friendly”! That will definitely be added to the list of improvements. And we are working on being about to sort by color/length so you can see all the styles in the same color at once :)

    @MisterEHolmes:disqus – we have discontinued the Julie style. We did a gigantic survey of all our customers last year and segmented the results by the style that each person ordered. The Julie was really polarizing – people either loved it or didn’t like how it fit at all. Based on what we found we added the new styles and decided to discontinue the Julie. As most of our customers don’t get to try the dress on prior to ordering it, we want to ensure our styles look great on EVERYONE! That being said – if your bridesmaid had her heart totally set on the Julie have her give us a ring. We can make it work :)

    • MisterEHolmes

      Thanks Corie! Hopefully we can work it out. Dangit. Oh well, just another bump in the road.

      • corie

        Definitely have her call us! We know some people have their hearts set on that style so we will be still offering it for a limited time. It isn’t on our site but we can still get it for your bridesmaid. Have her ask for Emily when she calls :)

    • MerlyBird

      On the subject of sorting… I just figured I would toss it out there that basically the only thing my sister requested for her bridesmaid dress to have was (drum-roll) pockets! Which is a fabulous idea if I do say so myself, but it turns out that it’s rather hard to search for anywhere and not just LBD. So maybe it can go on somebody’s back burner idea list to get some styles with that option and make it searchable? Anywho, just thought I’d mention it. Thanks for making such great dresses! :)

  • Ashlee

    So exciting! We got our swatches not long ago of the new fabric, and it’s super nice. I was still feeling slightly on the fence about LBD, just because the models were a bit…homogenous (is that a terrible thing to say?), and the limited availability of real wedding shots. I totally believed you guys when you said the dresses were made to be awesome on all body types, and pregnant/non-pregnant bodies, but it makes such a huge difference to see it, and to see the site promoting it. As does seeing the site showing off a more racially diverse group of models, and taking to heart the concerns folks had voiced before. Visibility is just so important to inclusivity.

  • Sonora Webster

    Yay! I looked at LBD at some point a few months ago for my maids, and was so disappointed that it seemed like you couldn’t wear a bra with a single one of the dresses. My maids will all have had babies in the year before the wedding. So BOOBS! None have bought dresses yet, maybe they will want to do this instead of buying!

  • Corie

    P.S. I LOVE even more that you guys LOVED our “models”! We actually used all real women – none of them were professional models. Two are wedding planners/stylists – shout out to Fallon Carter and Erica Taylor! And three were our photogenic friends who spanned the gamut of ages and body types (including 8 months pregnant!)

  • laddibugg

    will you ever consider carrying dresses larger than 16/18?

    • Corie

      hi laddibugg – that is definitely our plan to launch expanded sizes in the near future. while we aren’t a large enough company to offer our entire collection in plus sizes, one thing that we have been brainstorming about is offering one of our best selling dresses in an expanding size range – including plus sizes, an extra tall and an extra short. that is hopefully not far off in the future! i will be so excited when we can announce that and it will certainly be on apw.

  • Lizzy

    I wanted to use LBD before but this makes it even better!

  • http://www.thehousealwayswinsblog.com/ Rachel Wilkerson

    I hadn’t even read the full post yet and I was already thinking “YAY DIVERSITY!!!” at the first picture. So…awesome! This shit matters and it’s great to see LBD is on it!!

  • Hannah B

    I was just at LBD on Monday and they are the SWEETEST people and the colors are absolutely gorgeous. I briefly considered changing my wedding color from sea foam green to purple because the purples are so f-ing pretty. In the end, I am going to stick with their Sea Glass (which is pretty close to my imaginary sea-foam-green color that I can’t find anywhere, so I took a deep breath and decided to LET IT GO, IDINA MENZEL, LET IT GO, since it was still very close and very pretty.) The dresses are gorgeous (they feel NICE, not flimsy, which is what I was worried about). My bridesmaid could not stop talking about how amazing they felt and how much more she liked it than a $300 bridesmaid’s dress she recently had to buy for another wedding. Half the reason I looked into LBD was because my friends are very budget conscious and this bridesmaid (one of the most budget conscious) felt pretty sure she wanted to buy it instead of rent. I am sorry if is the gushiest comment, but I just can’t help it…I have 8 bridesmaids in an array of shapes and sizes and my MOH is going to be verrry pregnant…so, done and done. Thanks for promoting this, APW, and thanks to LBD for filling a niche that is totally vacant otherwise.

    • Sarah

      I visited them on Tuesday, and also chose the sea glass color (after also wanting a sea foam green!!). Doppelganger alert! As you might expect, then, I also totally agree with your gushing! I love the rental concept – I had been feeling really guilty about having all my bridesmaids buy a $200-$300 dress that even if they thought was pretty wasn’t what they’d be spending that money on otherwise, especially for those that are flying across the country to be in the wedding! Basically, LBD rocks. I feel great going with them!

  • http://www.smittenchickens.com/ Sarah Hoppes

    I’m going to a fancy wedding this summer, and I might just use LBD instead of searching for something fancy enough to buy! That cap sleeved confection is calling my name! (Why are there not more fancy dress options with sleeves?!)

  • Guest

    I was already excited about the company for the sustainability and the money saving aspects, but am even more excited about these changes & the new styles! I’m also happy about the trunk shows, which allowed me and will allow most of my bridesmaids to see the dresses in person before ordering. There are a variety of options for everyone to look & feel their best AND I can help my girls save some serious money in the meantime! Yay!

  • http://theartofhintz.blogspot.com/ Jenniferjuniper

    I wanted to use LBD for our wedding (this weekend! eeek!) but couldn’t for many of the reasons that they made changes to on their site – primarily the availability of styles that can be worn with a bra. I’m so happy that they’ve listened and made these changes!