The party season starts here…

Top marks to Topshop for their latest innovation “Dress Me Up” dress hire. Kicking off in the Topshop flagship today, it’s a short n sweet retail concept that allows customers to hire – and possibly buy – a one-off dress for the party season. Between now and 6th December, you can browse the rails and drop the hangers all over the floor try stuff on before booking your chosen piece to hire between 7th and 23rd December. All dresses have been donated by designers and celebrities* and can be hired for two nights for a pretty reasonable £40 although a bigger deposit will have to be left in case you run off with them of damage. All dresses will be auctioned at the end of the event. (Can I just say before anyone gets any funny ideas that I have first dibs on the Richard Nicoll. Thank you.)

As much as I like the idea, I’m most impressed with Topshop’s choice of charities set to benefit from this initiative – proceeds from the hire fees and auction will go to Help The Aged and Age Concern. I love that Topshop, the brand that’s synonymous with youth, has decided to raise money for our elders. Nice one Toppers!

In a similar vein but without the fanfare and charity donations, is Dresseduptothe9s, a site where you can hire high-end dresses or rent out your own posh frocks to make some extra pocket money. It all makes perfect sense to me, why not give your dresses a second life if you’re not going to wear them but don’t want to throw them away?

*PS, word is that Lady Gaga has donated a dress to Topshop …. Let the bunfight commence.