Your Source for Classic Menswear
Rent the Row is Chapel Hill’s purveyor of classic men’s tailored clothing. Founded by Erik Syverson, Rent the Row allows men to check out and swap garments, accessories and footwear without the commitment of making purchases. Their flexible, rental-based membership program includes:
- Annual memberships for $500
- Monthly memberships for $75
- One-time rentals for $200
Rent the Row specializes in American, British and Italian tailoring, and some featured brands include Norman Hilton, the Andover Shop, Anderson & Sheppard, Caraceni and more.
Get in Touch
- Current hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and by appointment on weekends.
- Address: 400 W. Rosemary St.
- Rent the Row can also be reached by phone at (984) 364-0642 or at www.renttherow.com.
As a young lawyer, Erik Syverson realized having sharp dressing skills led to success in many different careers, including his own. Now, with Rent the Row, he’s introducing the community to his passion for accessible, high-quality menswear.
Rent the Row is a Chapel Hill-based clothing business that sells memberships to those seeking to rent men’s tailored garments. With a membership, Rent the Row allows its customers to swap out garments as needed, saving them from having to purchase a different luxury suit for every occasion.
“You can just come into the store anytime you want and swap out,” Syverson said. “If you have an interview at work and then a date that weekend, come back in and swap out for something more casual.”
The business model for Rent the Row was inspired by Rent the Runway, a similar business. While both services help combat mass consumerism associated with fast fashion by offering more sustainable options, Rent the Runway does not include men’s clothing.
Syverson wants Rent the Row to be a resource for students, faculty and members of Chapel Hill at large. He understands many students lack both the money for expensive garments and the closet space needed to build a traditional wardrobe.
“This will hopefully be like a clothing library for the community,” Syverson said. “You go to the library, check out a book, after you're done reading it, bring it back, check out another book.”
One possible aversion to renting clothing is the knowledge that others have worn the garments before. But Syverson says it’s easy to forget that new clothes aren’t truly new.
“Even when you buy new clothing, unless you've had it custom made for you, it's really not unused because people try it on or return it,” Syverson said.
Suits from Rent the Row are already broken-in due to others having previously worn them. With many rented suits, the fabric doesn’t have life to it, which can cause the suits to be stiff.
“What I dislike about Men's Warehouse and similar rental places is it looks like you’re wearing a rented suit,” Syverson said. “My ideal is to make you look like you're wearing a suit you inherited from your grandfather.”
Syverson’s garments come from three different countries – England, Italy and the United States – which is how he organizes them in the store. They’re divided like this because each country has its own signature style when it comes to classic suits.
Rent the Row offers three kinds of membership. The first is an annual membership that costs $500, or about $40 a month, that’s collected all at once. For those who don’t want to commit to the $500 payment, there’s also a monthly membership starting at a minimum of three months, as well as a one-time option that charges on a per-rental basis.
Syverson first experienced wearing tailored clothes as a young lawyer. He quickly realized, in his field, the better he dressed, the better he performed.
“One of the things about the law profession is that the older you are the more desirable you are,” Syverson said. “One way I could appear to be older than my years, generate business and gain clients was to dress like the older guys.”
Swing by Rent the Row to learn more about their flexible membership options at 400 W. Rosemary St. Rent the Row is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.