Time was, you only had to worry about repeating a dress among the same friends or co-workers. But In the age of Facebook and Instagram, every acquaintance, colleague, sorority sister, childhood buddy you haven't seen in 15 years, and even the people you don't like but didn't know how not to "friend" will know. You repeated. Ridiculous, right? There is absolutely nothing wrong with wearing the same dress more than once. You bought it. You should wear it! We are not movie stars, with access to free designer dresses from next season's collection to parade on a red carpet and get judged every Friday night by Joan Rivers and her minions. (Most of us, anyway.) It bears repeating: there is nothing, absolutely nothing, wrong with repeating. And yet. You'd rather not. You'd like each special occasion to be celebrated in its own special dress. Not the one you wore to the office party last year. Not the one from your sister's bridal dinner. Or your college roommate's second wedding. But the price-per-wear equation is not working in your favor, which is why online outfits like Rent the Runway are still in business.
Well, here comes the local, bricks and mortar version. For Tonight, now open in Uptown at Calhoun Square, rents party dresses by contemporary brands like BCBG and Black Halo. These are not dresses for everyone—think: short, fitted, and sparkly. Each dress has a retail price and a rental price, which is generally about 15 percent of the purchase price. Three day and seven day rentals are available. The store takes care of dry cleaning. "Men have 20 locations in every city to find a tux rental, but women have nowhere. I plan on changing that," says For Tonight co-owner and founder Dan Vargas, who has had his hand in several local boutiques, including V-State, which he closed to make room for For Tonight. His partner is Terry Terwedo, who owned Atmosfere Women, and has folded that business into For Tonight (meanwhile, Atmosfere for men is about to move inside Calhoun Square as well). For all the emphasis on dress rentals, I was a bit surprised that For Tonight currently has just two small racks of dresses and a handful of evening bags and faux fur wraps available for rent. The rest of the store is filled with every day fashions for sale, mostly priced under $200. For Tonight plans to increase the rental selection as the concept catches on, Vargas says. Herve Leger, Robert Rodriguez, Rebecca Taylor and Marc Jacobs are among the lines the store is promising to add. Now, the question is, will women spend around $100 to rent a killer dress and never again have to worry about repeating. Or do would we rather cough up a little more to own, and keep complaining?