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Going to the races is not just a competition for horses, there’s also the competition for best dressed. Even if you’re not in the runnings for fashions on the field, we still love any opportunity to dress with a point of elegance and class.

It can be a pricey ordeal when you want to look the part in a beautiful designer dress, which after wearing once will never see the light of day again.

Fortunately for us, we can be more sustainable with our purchases and venture into designer hire territory.

Mine Till Monday is a great Melbourne based hire boutique that lets you look your best without hurting your pocket.

MTM helped me feel florally joyful at Caulfield Cup with the hire of a Manning Cartell beauty.

I chatted with Monika, the owner of MTM and got her thoughts of the booming new market of designer dress hire.

R: Tell us about yourself and the journey to how you started MTM

M: I have always been passionate about the world of fashion and always love to dress up, however dressing up gets very expensive very quickly. This is where MTM began; with a vision to enable females to wear that new designer dress right now without paying the hefty price-tag and not feeling guilty for wearing it just that one time.

The best thing about dress hire is that you can now save on the dress by hiring it and justify splurging $1,000 on those Valentino heels and getting much more wear out of them than that one designer dress.

 R: Why did you decide to start a dress hire boutique over a traditional online shop? 

M: Going to an event for a female can be expensive – the dress, the shoes, the bag, the make-up, the hair, the lingerie to suit the dress, the manicure, the pedicure – the list can go on.

Our biggest issue is this – we buy the dress and we wear it once. We all do it. So that gorgeous designer dress just sits in your wardrobe. You still love it however naturally as women we want to wear something different to the next event.

This is why we went for an online rental boutique rather than an online store. So that gorgeous dress can see more than one outing.

R: How do you accumulate the dresses for hire?

M: MTM stays on top of the latest designer fashion shows, what the socialite’s are wearing, what’s trending now and what’s coming in the next season. We aim to have the latest trending designer items available for our clients by keeping up to date with what’s on the runways and what’s coming in stores.

R: Is there opportunity for people to donate/sell their designer dresses to you to have for hire? 

M: Absolutely, we are open to girls donating their designer dresses in return for a gift certificate to an agreed value by both parties. Of course this is up to the discretion of MTM as to what dresses we believe our clients would want and the condition of the dress.

R: Why do you think dress hire businesses are starting to gain traction in the fashion industry? 

M:  Sometimes it doesn’t come down to affordability. Women are highly sophisticated, motivated and hardworking individuals who are very much capable of paying for that designer dress – it’s the justification of only wearing it once.

Whereas buying those designer shoes/bag designer jewellery or the casual clothes for a Sunday brunch you will get more use out of is a much wiser wardrobe investment. This is why the dress hire businesses are booming right now!

R: Tell us a fashion story about your own wardrobe/event and why you love getting one off dresses for special occasions?

M: At last years Spring Racing carnival, the glamorous Jen Hawkins turned up on Cup Day in this show stopping, bright coloured Maticevski dress. A few weeks later I was in Myer browsing and I came across the same dress that stood out from miles away and there was one left and my size.

I looked at the price tag and I thought ‘there is no way I’m buying this; I just want to try it on for fun’. So I did and yes it looked absolutely amazing and fitted like a glove and I wasn’t going to put it back on the rack. So I bought it.

Mind you I had no special occasions coming up to wear it to; I just wanted this dress in my wardrobe. Now I had to go home and explain to my husband why I have this $1,300 dress with me that I had no event to wear it to and even when something came up, he very well knew I’d wear it once and then buy something new again.

So I started with “This old thing?! I’ve had this in my wardrobe for ages. I can’t believe you haven’t seen it hanging in there!” – Yeah well that line didn’t work this time. Usually it does. I like to think so anyway. The dress did eventually get a use a couple of months later.

R: What are some pros and cons about having a dress hire business?

M: What MTM looks forward to mostly is seeing the dresses on our stunning clients each week and getting to see how they have styled it up from shoes to accessories.

The cons – We might not always have what people are after in regards to sizing. We’ve tailored our sizing to suit the majority of the demand but there will always be some gaps. Although we are always open to requests of particular dresses or sizes and we will do our best to fulfil those.

R: What’s next for MTM? 

M: A common request is for people to come and try the dress on, so for those in Melbourne we’ll be looking to open a physical store. For those interstate, we do offer a ‘Try-On’ service. Please visit our website for more details on how this works.

img_1519 img_1525img_1502Thank you MTM for making me feel my absolute best at Caulfield Cup and also to Rebecca Wheatley MUA for her amazing talents.