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SHOPPING : THE BIG DEAL

The shadiest sublets

June 08, 2008|Erin Weinger | Times Staff Writer

BAG BORROW OR STEAL -- the website that rents out status handbags and gets a glam-cameo in the "Sex and the City" movie -- is getting into the designer sunglass rental biz.

It sounded a little creepy to us, too. But here in L.A., where the right shades actually do matter, it's tempting to think of scoring a pair of saucer-size Fendis for as little as $22 a week. So we repressed the cringe and clicked on www.bagborroworsteal.com.

There were more than 170 pairs to choose from, searchable by size, color or designer, and not just the flashy logo brands. Proenza Schouler, Matthew Williamson and Linda Farrow Luxe were there, right along with Chanel, Fendi and Dior.

The site promised that every pair is buffed, polished and tightened between users. And our pair of Tom Ford tortoise shell frames arrived like new in their original soft case. They even came with a cleaning cloth. But the white velvety case was riddled with lint, tiny hairs and even a crumb of food. Gross.

Ford's frames, called Jack, cost $51 a week, or $123 a month. Those who pay a $9.99 monthly membership fee can borrow the same pair for $40 a week or $90 a month. If you're worried about sitting on your glasses, there's insurance. Really.

And if you decide you can't part with them, Bag Borrow will sell them to you. But our Tom Fords were listed at $450. Say what? The same pair is just $360 at saksfifthavenue.com -- Saks! -- and they haven't been worn by a gaggle of random renters.

So save the $123 a month, and a pair of brand-new Tom Fords can be all yours in 90 days. And you won't have to wonder where the crumbs came from.

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erin.weinger@latimes.com

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