Boutique rents dresses for special occasions

THE WOODLANDS, TX We have all done this at least once -- bought an expensive, fancy dress, worn it once and then leave it to collect dust in the back of the closet. The solution might be to rent it, saving you money.

When Misty Crow was looking to start her own business, she looked at her own closet for inspiration.

"I was spending a ton of money on my wardrobe, on gowns, going to charity events and galas, and business suits and I couldn't wear them again," Crow said.

So Crow opened up a rental dress boutique called Couture House Rentals located in The Woodlands.

"Couture House Rentals is a lavish apparel and accessory house. We allow our clients to come in and borrow high-end couture, handmade gowns for one flat rate," she said.

The prices are $69.99 for a long gown and $49.99 for a short gown.

For example, we found a lavender evening gown that retails for $450 that you can rent for $69.99. The rental shop carries dresses from size zero to plus size, but not all dresses come in every size so the boutique has the ability to alter certain dresses to fit you.

"We have found some tricks of the trade. For instance, our ruffle gown, when we have clients that are shorter , we remove a whole band of ruffles and then we Velcro them back on for our taller clients," Crow said.

If a dress is a size too big, Crow adds a belt to cinch the waist. If a client has a small bust line...

"We add elastic in here, temporarily for that evening, so that we don't carry this same gown in four or five different sizes," Crow said.

Couture House Rentals also rents out evening bags, jewelry and shoes for $9.99. Sashes rent for $9.99 to $19.99. The shop also carries a selection of special occasion outfits for girls, like tutu outfits for $29.99 or flower girl dresses that rent for $49.99 each.

If you are still not sure how you feel about your rental, at the boutique you'll get your picture taken in your dress and instantly get an idea of how you look.

The rental period is usually three days but the boutique works with clients in the event they need the dress for a longer period of time. You don't have to worry about getting the dress dry cleaned. They do that at no additional charge when you return the dress.

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