IT is a sartorial crime that many commit.
Buying a dress for an event, wearing it once and stashing it in the wardrobe, never to see the light of day again.
Taya Calder-Mason knows all about it.
The film-maker turned businesswoman stopped buying one-off outfits years ago, instead opting to rent pieces from a dress hire company whenever she had an event to attend.
Two years ago, she recognised a gap in the market for dress hire in Newcastle and decided to launch her own, Goldie's.
"It was New Year's Eve in 2019 while I was getting ready to attend an event and I thought, 'Why don't we have a hire store in Newcastle? I should do that'," Calder-Mason tells Weekender.
"In the Uber on the way to the party I bought the domain name for the website. I arrived at the party and told my friend, 'I'm starting a dress hire business called Goldie's. What do you think?'. I started buying dresses and went for it. I knew there was a gap in the market and that if I didn't fill it, someone else would."
Other designer dress rentals operate online in Newcastle, but none offer a storefront where the items can be tried on beforehand.
Calder-Mason says that's her point of difference.
Hiring an outfit instead of purchasing it as a one-off allows customers to wear quality fashion without committing to the high price tag, and also play their part in reducing fashion wastage.
She points out that 85 per cent of textiles end up in landfill, so she ensures that all of the pieces purchased for Goldie's are timeless and classic rather than following seasonal trends.
"Sustainability is a big thing for me when I'm buying dresses," she says.
"I have customers message me and ask if I will be getting a certain dress in, but often they are 'one hit wonders. I would rather buy something that is classic in colour or style because I am conscious of my fashion wastage. I don't want items that only last one season."
Goldie's stock dresses from designers such as Zimmermann, Thurley, Aje, Bec and Bridge, and Alice McCall in sizes ranging from four to 16, as well as bags from high-end labels including Gucci, YSL and Louis Vuitton.
So how does the dress rental work?
Customers browse the stock online and choose their favourites before making an appointment to visit Goldie's to try on the clothes. Items are hired out for four days, collected from Goldie's, and then returned via a dropbox at the shop (dry cleaning is included in the cost).
Goldie's has built up a collection of 350 designer dresses since Calder-Mason launched the business in March last year.
She found a space in Newcastle East to work from and put the website live, initially operating by word-of-mouth. One week later, the pandemic forced Australia into lockdown.
"It was the worst time to start the business," says Calder-Mason.
"But, look, everyone was in the same boat. I couldn't do anything about it, so I focused on getting everything ready for the busy season in September when it was all opening up again."
She added to her collection, purchasing stock, and photgraphing all of the imagery for the website herself.
She does not use stock images, instead preferring to show the clothing modelled on "normal" women, and includes detailed sizing guides on each dress description.
In September, Goldie's moved into bigger premises on Swan Street in Hamilton.
The new site is a spacious, peach-hued fashionista's dream, with racks full of dresses for all occasions - black tie, weddings, cocktail nights.
Calder-Mason's focus is on creating a space where women feel comfortable and relaxed.
"I really wanted the concept to be like you go to a girlfriend's house and it's judgement-free. I want people to be able to feel comfortable to walk out in the dress, sit or stand, take a photo, and see how they look," she says.
"The first thing I ask when people come in the door is, 'OK, what is it? What don't you like to show? Is it your arms, your legs, your toe, have you got a weird elbow? What is it?'.
"Because everybody has something, so let's get to the bottom of it and I will find you a dress."