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Rent Maternity Wear, a fashion rental website for mamas-to-be, launches

June 9, 2010 | 11:35 am

RentMat Outfitting yourself in style when you're pregnant can be sometimes feel like a fool's errand.

First off, the selection of clothing for the bump-toting isn't exactly mammoth. But even more offensive is how expensive keeping yourself looking good can be  -- especially when it comes to suiting up for formal occasions.

Which is where Rent Maternity Wear, a new online rental service dedicated to chic maternity wear, comes in.

The site, which launched Monday, stocks a well-edited selection of cute maternity apparel -- mostly formal wear -- from top-tier labels including Fierce Mamas by Christian Siriano, Olian Maternity and Maternal America, for rent by the week.

Prices start at $35 for a one-week rental of one of the site's more casual dresses, ascending to $45 for more expensive formal wear. You can also opt for a two-week rental for between $50 and $60, or pay $70 for a dress that's guaranteed to be brand new or worn only once before.

And while $70 may seem like a lot for a formal dress, in the later stages of pregnancy, the usual alternative is buying an expensive occasion dress that you might never wear again.

And the process of renting a dress is Netflix-style easy. At the end of the rental period, you simply load the dress into a prelabeled return shipping polybag and drop it into any mailbox. Best of all, you don't even have to clean the dress (they are even tolerant of small spills and stains); the dry-cleaning bill is included in the rental price.

-- Emili Vesilind

Photo: Beaded yoke long knit maternity dress by Olian Maternity, available on Rent Maternity Wear. Credit: Rent Maternity Wear.