Formal Wear

Sartorial Saviors: Couture House Rentals

File this one away for your next gala-season meltdown.

By Sarah Gabbart February 27, 2014

Monica Danna-Garcia was embroiled in a moment of panic. With a last-minute invitation to the Discovery Green gala burning a hole in her pocket and no time to order a rental gown from a popular online retailer, she took her dress dilemma to Google. As luck would have it, her search for “Houston gown rental” yielded the perfect solution: Couture House Rentals.

Monica Danna-Garcia, with her husband Joey, in her beautiful gala gown from Couture House Rentals. Photo by Jenny Antill.

“We help a lot of people last minute. Maybe they ordered the dress online and they get it—it doesn’t fit,” said Misty Clow, owner of Couture House Rentals. “It’s always a disaster, so we do a lot of saving. That’s how many of our clients find us.”

The business started four years ago as a way to serve the needs of a city that boasts a social calendar to rival Kim Kardashian’s, Clow knew that there was a gaping hole in the formal attire retail market and wanted to fill it with something that could serve the needs of women like herself. 

“I was spending a lot on my own wardrobe going to lots of events and just thought ‘There’s got to be a better way!’’ said Clow.

Candy-colored dresses are on display and ready to rent at Couture House Rentals.

The Woodlands:
26511 I-45 North (behind Secret Expressions)
The Woodlands, TX 77380

Couture House specializes in special occasion gowns—both short and long—and accessories. For the $99 rental fee (plus $15 first appointment fee), you have your pick of any dress. The pricing and the concept come from Clow’s belief that a stunning gown shouldn’t come with a shocking price tag. 

“We never want you to feel like you have to make a decision between dresses because of price,” enthused Clow. “It’s your special night—this should be your Cinderella night and you should be able to pick based on fit and what you love, not on affordability.”  

1711 Durham Drive (across from Cyclone Anayas)
Houston, TX 77007

You can also add on alterations, done on-site, for $10 and up, which sets this business apart from competitors like Rent the Runway who only lend off-the-rack sizes.

“What we found was, when we originally started, was alterations were a necessity when it comes to formal wear.  Designer gowns are made for people that are six-foot-two—nobody really fits that model physique profile.”

The turnaround time is 2-4 weeks, depending on alterations. If none are needed, you could walk out with a dress that day. So if you dropped the ball on getting a dress for the Mardi Gras Ball, then you're in luck. 

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