Beyond the Little Black Dress: Our Guide to Holiday Dressing

Just as Halloween has a way of sneaking up on us, so too does the Holiday season. Fall means catching up on work after summer vacations or perhaps finding yourself back at school, and the freedom to shop in leisurely fashion becomes elusive.

With the arrival of the Holidays is the inevitable deluge of events and cocktail party invites.

There’s the company party, your partner’s company party, a trip to see the Nutcracker, your annual family cocktail party and of course, the much anticipated (or dreaded..) New Year’s Eve. As invites pile up, so does your anxiety over what to wear. You want to express yourself, and fashion is, after all, a form of art. One of those holiday parties happens to have a guest list of folks at that company you’d like to work for. You consider repurposing an old favorite: a dress you wore to college formals and spilled prosecco on a few times, but still looks somewhat cute, right? You realize your sense of style has evolved considerably and that dress doesn’t make you feel like the grown-ass goddess you are. Besides, the holiday season calls for glitz, and you can save throwing a pair of tights under your standard LBD for the frozen depths of February. Don’t hate yourself for wanting to twirl and mingle in new (potentially sparkly) digs! 


Instead of overspending on a dress that winds up shelved for the rest of the year, fulfill your desire for something new by renting with Style Lend. Your budget will be as low, but the potential to turn heads remains quite high.

Read on below for our guide to holiday dressing… beyond the little black dress.


Eschew dresses entirely with jumpsuits! You’ll feel diva-ish channeling the 70s, and never underestimate the freeing effects of jumpsuits on the dancefloor.

Stone Cold Fox Jumpsuit

The Stone Cold Fox Jumpsuit is a classy, simple no brainer.


A Free People Sapphire Sequin Jumpsuit is ideal for those looking to indulge in holiday sparkle.


Dessy Collection’s Convertible Wide Leg Jersey can be styled several ways, which brilliantly allows it to be repurposed for different events. Wider leg openings give this a swingy effect, making it ideal for dressier occasions.


What better time to wear the sumptuous fabric that is velvet than the holidays? We love how regal it makes us feel.


This Intermix Blue Velvet gown is a minimal, trendy stunner. Night blue complements all skin tones, and the strappy simplicity of it lets the velvet do that talking.


Cushnie Et Ochs Black Velvet is truly a stunner. This dress features a crushed velvet design, structured bodice, and a super sexy slit.


The Line Lace Mini by Self Portrait is another excellent option for someone wanting to try velvet without looking Marie Antoinette-opulent. 

Blue is the new black

For those looking for a classic mini dress that transitions seamlessly between cocktails and the afterparty, these are for you. Opt for blue instead of black, but stay minimal with sleek designs.


Milly’s Cady Selena Dress is feminine, yet fashion forward.For those who didn’t get enough of last year’s off-the-shoulder trend… and why would you, it’s super flattering… this dress is a perfect go to.


The Torn by Ronny Kobo Angelica dress is a perfect balance of classy and sexy. A criss-cross v-neck makes way for juuuuust the right amount of midriff. The bold blue hue will make this one stand out in a sea of New Yorkers clad in black.

Get festive in RED!

If you tend to opt for more conservative looks or can’t quite let go of the comfort of your LBD, holidays are the perfect time to bust out something bold. People tend to go over the top this time of year with sequins, so you won’t feel out of place donning a fiery red number. Besides, is there a more on-season color?


The Self-Portrait Short-Sleeve Guipure-Lace Midi Dress is the definition of a stunner. Its deep red color is ideal for those put off by more orange-based hues, and the lace detail is a work of art. If it’s good enough for Holland Roden to wear on the red carpet, we guarantee it’ll pass for any genre of holiday party on your calendar.


Giorgio Armani Tiered Ruffled dress is simple, classy and oh so versatile. You can make her jazzy with sparkly tights and heels or keep the look classic with sleek black pumps. The back cut out provides an unexpected sexy flair.


The Robert Rodriguez One-Shoulder Cocktail Dress is the perfect way to play up any motifs of being wrapped up like a present. An artful cut keeps the ruffles from coming off as too girlish, so you can pull this one off for a swanky cocktail affair.

Bare some midriff with a two piece

Remember last year when Taylor Swift made the two piece (something we’ve donned for awhile, by the way…) a wardrobe staple?


Heading to a formal gala? Look no further than this Dress the Population :Sequin Two-Piece Gown. What could be basic is suddenly super mod thanks to the crop top, which bares a sexy slither of tummy.


We love the playfulness of this Sequin Embellished Two-Piece Dress by Ali & Jay. The high waisted midi skirt is super on trend and balances out the sequined top.

Accessorize to revive


Reformation opera bolero. Gorgeous velvet number, easy way to jazz up something you already have, or take your daytime look up a notch for a more casual event. 



Meet our lovely lender, Laura Dannels!


We’re so excited to introduce you to our featured lender, Laura! She has an amazing sense of style that has developed over her years of traveling and moving. Laura is originally from a city nearby Lake Tahoe, she then moved to Sacramento, Texas, and she is now continuing her adventure in SF! We are certain Laura is the best dressed woman working in Leadership and Organizational Development – who wouldn’t want to dress like her to work?! Lucky for us, Laura brought an entire suitcase full of fashionably chic outfits to our photo shoot!


when did you start renting/lending from style lend and why?

My closet has always been a “style lend” concept. I also have so many formal dresses my friends have been calling me to borrow items for years. When I found out Style Lend existed (it was posted in a gala Facebook event) I was so excited! I brought a handful of dresses over and have been continuously adding items. I buy so many beautiful gowns and unique dresses that can only be worn once or twice. Style Lend is a great way to get back some money spent on dresses and also still keep the ones I’ve fallen in love with.


fav go-to outfit?

My favorite go-to “look” would definitely be long dresses. This is one way to really complement my height (I’m 5’10). Maxis, Gowns and stunning strapless numbers always seem to call my name! Long dresses really accentuate different body styles and really make a women look elegant.

what are your shopping habits?

I am definitely an “in person shopper” unless it’s for a brand I wear all the time. The great thing about Style Lend is that if you know your size in a brand like BCBG it’s so much easier to order! Also, it’s important to know what looks good on your body style. I have broad shoulders and a large bust, so it can be tricky to find the right fit.


We LOVE this BCBG fringe suede skirt! Rent this entire outfit on our app!Laura_MG_0009_v11

FAV brands or designers?

My favorite brands are definitely Alice and Olivia (because its very flirty/girly), Maje, Sandro and Theory. I wear a lot of black so Sandro always seems to have something that’s sophisticated and classy. Other favorites are MARC by Marc Jacobs because its cool and a little edgy and an easy standby is BCBG, or even better yet their Runway collection.



where do you get inspiration for your outfits?

The outfits I chose for the photo shoot really show my eclectic fashion taste. However, they also highlight easy go-to outfits for running around San Francisco. With fall coming, I am really excited about earth tones, leather and anything with fringe! Also, since SF is cold I always try to style my outfits with some sort of jacket or sweater top.


how would you describe your style?

My great grandmother was a NYC suit buyer in the early 1900’s and my grandmother was the most fashionable women I ever knew. Even into her 80’s she was always dressed to the nines with the perfect outfit and accessories. She read Vouge religiously and when I’d shopping with her in NYC. The stores even knew her by name! I can hear the staff and Neiman Marcus greeting us to say “Welcome Mrs. Jampol”. I can still remember going into her spectacular closet and seeing row after row of beautiful designer shoes, handbags and unique coats.

I’ve always felt that fashion was the best way to express myself and there’s nothing I love more than hunting down the perfect outfit. I definitely don’t stick to one style and I consider myself a fashion realist – there’s a perfect out fit for every event! My looks range from preppy or bohemian to rock glam, vintage, sporty and sometimes flirty fun.

what would be your one “dream item” to rent on our APP?

I am definitely a realist and wouldn’t feel comfortable spending a few thousand on a dress for a one time event, so having Style Lend would allow me to rent gowns like a beautiful Marchesa Notte.



What are your fav things to do in sf?

I really enjoyed volunteering my time with organizations throughout the community. Because of my volunteering, I tend to go to a lot of charity events, galas or auctions (hence I always need nice dresses). I also love to get away on the weekends to wine country or down to Half Moon Bay.

WHy do you like the concept of renting vs. buying?

I love the concept of lending out clothing because I like to stay current every season and there are pieces that I LOVE but I just can’t wear very often. Lending them allows me to keep them around for when I want them but still make some money on the side in a very pricey city.


We had an amazing time getting to know Laura and her amazing closet! You can rent every item Laura wore from her closet on our APP! She has the best outfits for the best prices!

Say Hello to Nupoora!

Meet Nupoora! This talented woman has amazing taste in fashion, home decor, and art. Originally from Seattle, Nupoora was doing Beauty Marketing for Nordstrom. She now works at a startup called! She’s making an impact on our world by doing something she loves.


what is UDEMY.COM?

I decided to take a leap back into the startup/tech world and joined an incredible mission-driven education company called where we’re helping democratize access to education. Right now, we have over 7 million students in 190 countries, and I’m incredibly proud of how far we’ve come over the past year! There is nothing more satisfying that waking up everyday and going to a job you absolutely love.


Nupoora recently invited us into her creative and unique apartment for a fun photo shoot! In her home, Nupoora creates her beautiful work in her personal art studio!


WHere did you get inspiration for decorating your house?

I’ve wanted an art studio apartment for as long as I could remember! I’ve been pinning art studio inspiration images, and extracted my ideas from there! There’s also nothing like the Renegade Craft Fair to make you want to deck out your place like an Anthropologie window display!



I am an artist. It’s a statement that’s taken me a while to accept. started as a small passion project and became a full fledged small business for my artwork. I’ve been painting and drawing since I was little, and this year, I finally decided to make something of it. 100% of the profits from my artwork goes towards microloans for women in other countries through sites like I am lucky enough to have a wonderful full time job, so this website is my way of trying to make an impact while still doing something I love.


WHat’s your fav painting you’ve ever done?

My favorite painting is called “Sun on my cheek”. It’s a watercolor and pen painting I did late one night a few days before I launched my website. My dear friend just purchased the original, so I know it’s in a safe and loving home 🙂


When did you start renting/lending from style lend?

I started using Style Lend about a year ago after two of my close friends showed up to dinner casually donned in some Alexander McQueen dresses they rented from Style Lend!

WHy do you like the concept of renting vs. buying?

Let’s face it, San Francisco is expensive; we can’t afford to be shopping 24/7, and in addition, we have to be doing our part, no matter how small, to recycle and re-use!


do you have any shopping habits?

I tend to boutique shop online and pop into retail stores when I’m hanging out with my sister!

fav brands/designers? why?

Dream Designers: Zuhair Murad, Elie Saab, Preen, Sophia Webster, Peter Pilotto, Aquazurra, Atelier Versace
Designers for Everyday: Aquatalia Boots, Jason Wu skirts & dresses, For Love and Lemons, Stuart Weitzman pumps, DVF
Fast Fashion: Everything Zara, Aritizia, Jcrew, Urban Outfitters and local SF Boutiques

what’s your “dream item” to RENT on style lend?

Style Lend had a stunning deep emerald green Dior bustier dress a few weeks ago! I wish had an excuse to rent it :)!

We are truly inspired by Nupoora and her go-getter attitude! Visit and support her by joining to help women living in poverty around the world.

shop stylish closets and rent from style lend like nupoora on our APP!

Meet Jessica Kate–Style Lend’s OG!


beautiful, classy, and intelligent

Say hello to our Renter of the Month, San Francisco’s Jessica Kate! OG is an accurate nickname as Jessica started renting from Style Lend from the very start. Literally, out of our CEO Lona’s closet. 😉

We love her because her intelligence and beauty are equally on par. For the last 8 years, this stylish girl has worked as a psychotherapist.

Jessica recently showed us her gorgeous apartment in the center of Pacific Heights. With stunning views of the golden gate, and an adorable balcony where she has her morning coffee, we couldn’t stop taking photos. Her decor is a mix of Vogue/Restoration Hardware.

Take a peek into her home and see which Style Lend pieces are her favorites to rent.


I like simplicity with a few pieces that stand out. I prefer neutral colors and hues. I wanted to contrast the old world San Franciscan architecture of my apartment with modern, contemporary furniture/pieces and use artwork to bring in sparks of color.



Shoes. Jessica’s main fashion addiction. Alexander McQueen being one her favorites.


We’re dyingggggg over this chandelier!!!


“let fashion be an extension of yourself” – jessica


when did you start renting from style lend and why?

I began renting from Style Lend during it’s early days – basically as soon as I found out about it – I loved the idea that it was local, easily accessible and the renting options were very compelling….after my first rental, I was hooked and have been since.

shopping habits?

I don’t always plan shopping – it often “just happens” however my go to’s are Net-o-Porter, Revolve, ShopBop.

favorite brand/designers?

I love Vince for day to day wear – simple/clean looks.

Frame denim is my new favorite for jeans – the fit is amazing, I especially love their distressed denim.

I love Valentino shoes, more of an edge – I just recently purchased the Valentino Rockstud pumps (for rent on our app), in love with them. I’m also a big fan of Chloe and Stella McCartney.


what are events you like to go to?

I travel quite a bit, lots of weekend getaways – Laguna beach, NY, Napa. I attend a variety of events- park days at Mission Dolores to music festivals to galas. In the last 1.5 yrs, I’ve rented dresses/pieces for Art Basel in Miami, Hawaiian vacations, weddings in Steamboat Springs Colorado and Sayulita, Mexico, NY Fashion Week and NYE in SF.




I love how SF/Bay Area has a bit of everything within reach – mountains, ocean, snow, beaches. I love how each district offers something unique and entirely different than its neighboring area. Great food, dynamic people, fashion and culture.

What would be your “dream item” to rent on style lend?

My dream items are often the designer dresses that I wouldn’t necessarily buy but would love to wear, and certainly rent to wear! I also love the idea of renting jewelry for the same reason.



why do you like the concept of renting vs. buying?

I like the concept of renting vs buying, particularly for dresses, because often you want to wear something new or that you haven’t worn yet and renting allows you to do so in a way that’s easy, accessible and affordable!


DOWNLOAD NEW STYLE LEND APP HERE AND SHOP stylish closets like jessica’s!

Meet SF’s Social & Savvy Lauren Helm


Always polished with a hint of edge.  

That’s what I think of every time I see Lauren Helm– and her on-point witty humor. One of San Francisco’s “it” social, stylish, and savvy twenty-somethings, it’s no surprise that her closet and bedroom intersects this very idea of classic with a twist. Which is why we picked her to be our “sought after” closet to feature this month!Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 1.34.26 PM Straight out of a vogue editorial, her room is set to perfection. High wood-beam ceilings go 15ft high, a cozy fur found from an antique market in Stockholm is tossed elegantly across her bed and romantic candles are lit everywhere. It’s absolutely stunning. Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 1.26.59 PM Her favorite designer is Alexander Wang. Known for his urban designs, this city girl knows exactly how to layer and put an outfit together. Never boring, always sophisticated, here’s a peak:Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 1.27.30 PM

How do you accessorize.

I have two favorite items that I always wear. Two pearl strands that my mom gave me, and this Philip Lim necklace. I got it in college, freshman year, on shopbop.

When did you know you loved fashion?

When I found out about Gilt…everything escalated.

Lauren Helm Style Lend
Lauren’s Style Lend Closet

What you’re reading.

Slouching towards Bethlehem…short stories about the Bay Area and a portrait of SF in the 1960’s. I just read about it in Vogue.


Most eclectic piece in your closet.

My Louis Vuitton loafers. I bought them at a consignment store in LA. My sister made fun of me for getting them, but now that they’re back in style…I even wear them to work.

Fashion words to live by.

Definitely quality over quantity. I would always rather have a few nice things a season than a bunch of random stuff. Each season I’ll get a couple every day pieces, but then focus on more bold/fun items.

3 fashion/beauty essentials for SF living

  1. Booties- Perfect transition for day to night out in SF.
  2. Sunglasses- Can instantly spruce up any outfit, my new favorites are Barton Perreira.
  3. Leather jacket/ blazer- have way too many colors and styles.

Shopping habits (do you shop online, flash sales, in person)?

Almost always online, in SF it’s hard to find a lot of time. I’m really good about finding great price points without spending a lot.  The only time I do shop in person is when I’m traveling. I love stopping in all the local boutiques because you can find great pieces you couldn’t find anywhere else!

Favorite brands and designers?

First and foremost, Alexander Wang– eclectic and fun. Carven–newest obsession, especially this romper. Acne and Helmut Lang– street style chic. Equipment– the best shirts! I love checking out consignment stores every now and then to find cool, vintage pieces. Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 1.41.18 PM

Events you like to go to (can be from brunches, napa trips, to galas)

Saturday usually starts with brunch and a new reason to celebrate, whether it’s a birthday celebration, showing a friend from out of town the city, wine country, or going to watch the Giants. I’m a huge foodie so every couple of months my friends and I will choose a new restaurant in the city which makes it fun to experience together.  Love going to events- anything that requires a new dress.  I’ve been trying to explore outside the city more too, the Bay Area is so pretty!  Spent the weekend in Stinson exploring recently and it was great to get out and get some fresh air.

Your fashion motto

Be comfortable and be yourself, but don’t be afraid to take risks! (aka like this romper below)

Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 11.36.42 AM

Most recent purchase

Barton Perreira. sunglasses and a vintage pair of Chanel ballet flats

Why do you like the concept of renting vs. buying?

Easy- the price!  You want each event to be special with a new dress, and with Facebook and Instagram, I want a variety, if you’re going to be photographed! Facebook and Instagram, I want a variety if you’re going to be photographed! Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 1.26.13 PM

Download new Style Lend app here and shop lauren’s closet!

Featured Lender of the Month: Vanessa Pilar Minnis

When Vanessa agreed to be our featured lender of the month, we were over the moon! She’s got this whole cool city girl thing going on but still manages to be down to earth. We recently invited her to our office, told her to bring some of her favorite pieces and got to meet the girl behind one of our local fashion influencers on instagram, “Shop Save Sequin”.

Rent this Corey Lynn Calter Jumpsuit on Style Lend’s app, $48

#LILLYGATE She’s known for having a lust-worthy closet that’s filled with items from just about every price point. A lover of Target collaborations, Vanessa mixes luxe finds with chic items that won’t break a fashionista’s budget. I think that’s part of the reason why her followers are obsessed with her achievable looks. Vanessa recently told us about one of her most recent shopping experiences / purchases. The coveted Lilly Pulitzer collection from Target.

“Oh the few pieces I managed to scoop from the debacle known as #LillyGate …lol…Lilly Pulitzer for Target. What madness that turned out to be. I got lucky. I stayed up and waited out the website glitches and manged to get the few things I wanted. And truth be told, I love them all. Despite what critics say, I think the price point matched the quality just fine. I love Target. I love how I gave 0 effs about Lilly Pulitzer until Target announced a collaboration. Then it’s like suddenly I wanted whatever it was and I had too have it.”

Rent this Calvin Klein on Style Lend’s app, $38

Most Coveted That’s how Vanessa is. She’s a very smart goal-oriented women and when she wants something, she makes it happen. That’s how she got her coveted Miu Miu bag.

“Well, my favorite, my most cherished piece might have to be a miu miu bag I bought with part of a $5,000 gift card I got from Bloomingdale’s. I happened to win a style contest with Bloomie’s and they flew me out to New York, set me up in a hotel and gave me $5k to shop with in their flagship store. And so my lovely little miu miu bag entered my life. The bag is timeless, but I love that there’s a fun story attached to how I got it.”

SL_Apr23_Vanessa_033_v1 Rent these statement pants on Style Lend’s app, $20

Oh those expensive statement pieces . . . While Vanessa splurges on certain pieces, she’s smart about what she chooses to buy. She recommends that her followers,

“Invest in those statement pieces because it’s worth it. Yes, Zara is great. But a DVF wool, camel-colored trench coat is going to be there for you year, after year, after year.”

That’s why Vanessa loves the idea of Style Lend so much.

“Renting certain pieces gives you the freedom to actually save money for those investment pieces of which I spoke of above. OR pay your bills! Sometimes it’s hard justifying these ludicrous price tags for pieces we’re just going to wear once or twice. And I really like the idea of being a lender and lending out pieces I haven’t worn in forever but can’t bare to part with. Makes sense to me! :)”

Reader LOVE As successful as Vanessa’s blog, instagram, and Facebook is, she attributes her success to her fans and followers,

“My readers are awesome by the way. It’s all thanks to their enthusiasm for what I do that the blog continues to grow.”

We asked what she wanted to rent next…

“I’d rent out something from For Love & Lemons. As a blogger I’d love to shoot something of their’s. Who doesn’t love their whimsical lacey productions?!”

We hope to see a post featuring this soon from her! We know her personal touches will make it all the more cool!

Join the movement!


Breakups – they can be bittersweet, sad, and just overall bad. However, breakups can also be for the better! That’s why we are creating a movement to breakup with our old shopping habits and make them a thing of the past! Join our movement, #thebreakupletter.

Our mission is to encourage all women to break up with anything and everything that prevents them from banding together and supporting one another to dress, look, and feel better! We are breaking up with fast fashion, buyers remorse, and most of all, our wallets.

By doing so, let’s start to lend and rent clothes from each other instead! I think we can all agree that everyone deserves access to high quality clothing. We shouldn’t have to spend our hard earned paychecks on clothing that we will only wear a few times. Instead, we should be able to do and focus on the things that are important to us. We’re starting the movement in San Francisco because it is full of beautiful, fashionable, forward-thinking trendy women. Together, we can empower one another, one compliment at a time.

Let’s all help each other out and lend our clothes to one another.

Let’s band together to put an end to our old shopping habits.

Let’s break up with the things that prevent us from looking our absolute best.

Let’s create this movement to help and empower all women to dress and feel confident.


Join Style Lend on May 16th on our fashion walk from Russian Hill to Marina Green from 12-2pm. Come join us for beverages and find out more about how Style Lend’s new app will help shape this movement into something bigger and better. #TBL


Sign up HERE

Girls' Night Out – How To Dress For Your Personality Type

There’s no better way to escape the winter doldrums than a night out with your girlfriends! Whenever you make a pact to leave the guys at home, it’s pretty much guaranteed that the good times will roll.

Sex & The City will forever be a favorite TV show among girls (and plenty of guys too, but they won’t admit it!). After the series hit it big, women everywhere chose their Sex & The City counterpart (Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, or Miranda).

Sex & The City

Today, we broke down our outfit selections based on four personalities (and you can guess where we got the inspiration!). Here are some looks to help you and your friends get decked out and take the town by storm!

The Good Girl

She has had a lot of practice with dresses from attending church every Sunday growing up. She’s wholesome, feminine, a little preppy, and will opt for classy over sexy looks. That said, she still knows how to have a good time. If this is you, here are some looks for the next time you go out with your BFFs.

GNO Good Girl 1
We love the mixed prints, and fit & flare of this look.

Good Girl

Good Girl Dress

The Wild Child

She’s extroverted, unpredictable, and always the life of the party (though she might get you kicked out of the club occasionally). She’s an infamous party girl and has the hook up at all the hot spots. Style-wise, she’s bold, sexy, and not afraid to try out a new trend. Here are some looks if you’re the benevolent troublemaker in your group!

GNO Wild Child 1
Scarlett Johansson From

Wild child

sienna miller sequin dress

The Overachiever

Her head has been buried in books since kindergarden, but as a result her life has been on an upward trend pretty much straight out of high school. She’ll be the last to arrive at your meeting place, and will likely show up in work attire, having come straight from there. If this is you, here are some looks that travel well from work to evening.

GNO Over Achiever

Over Achiever Pinterest

day to night dress

The Artist

She’s empathetic, a bit introverted, and travels to the beat of her own drum. She most likely attended a fine arts program in college and believes in following your passions in life above all else. Fashion-wise, she’s unlikely to notice trends, let alone follow them. She may look a bit mismatched to the outside world, but it all makes sense to her. If you are the artist in your group, here are some looks that you might like.


Gold Coast Maxi Dress from Bloomingdale's
Gold Coast Maxi Dress from Bloomingdale’s
BCBGMaxAzria Runway Sidonia Dress

Rent Dresses For Your Next Girls’ Night Out on Style Lend!

Rent a dress for your next girls’ night out on Style Lend, and have more cash to put toward champagne and cosmos! Style Lend is different from other fashion rental websites because it’s a peer-to-peer exchange. That means you can rent dresses and also loan your own dresses to earn cash toward monthly expenses, weekend getaways, and that Prada handbag that you desperately need! Style Lend harnesses the top designer dresses of fashion-conscious girls in San Francisco to create the ultimate dream closet. Take a peek here: