It is the usual dilemma during the social season. Weddings every weekend, big birthdays, days out at the racing, a Christening or two and, of course, your office party. So many events and a wardrobe stretched to its limits.

Thankfully, help is at hand. What’s Mine Is Yours is a brand-new luxury dress hire business based in London. Founder Tara Ridgway speaks exclusively to Elegant Traveller about her exciting new venture and shares her life of international, fashionable, luxury travel.

Australian born Tara is perhaps one of the few fashion influencers that can truly claim to have international style credentials. In her personal life she jets to India, South Africa and the Caribbean, which demands a versatile and ever-evolving clothing collection, but she’s made London her home and remains a frequent face on the city’s social scene. Never one to go with the crowd, Tara benefits from her knowledge of Australia’s independent fashion arena and her new website is a platform for these lesser-known designers to showcase their talents and make waves in the UK.

Happily, the signature laid-back luxe of Australian life has infused the philosophy of What’s Mine Is Yours and customers aren’t committing to forever purchases, because let’s face it no one really wants to be seen in the same dress over and over, but the quality, style and luxury of one-time-wears isn’t compromised. It all makes for an exciting invitation to enjoy beautiful style with ease.

Tara, can you tell us why you started What’s Mine Is Yours and what inspired the premise behind your new business?

I absolutely adore Australian style, it is chic, laid-back, modern and versatile, I’ve been wearing Australian labels such as Sass and Bide, Zimmermann and Alex Perry, among others for many years. When I moved to London two years ago so many of my friends fell in love with these brands too but found them difficult to buy themselves due to international shipping, taxes and varying sizes. The brands are also only stocked at a few select retailers, if any, here in the UK too, which only added to the difficulty.

I thought it would be amazing to have pieces here in London available for them to hire, wear and also to get a feel for the sizing, so they are more likely to purchase directly from the brand in the future, thereby supporting the fashion industry back home in Australia too.

Tara Ridgway, Founder of What's Mine Is Yours
Tara Ridgway, Founder of What’s Mine Is Yours

Fashion is obviously a passion of yours, how do you hope to inspire others with What’s Mine Is Yours?

I hope to make designer dresses more affordable and more accessible so everyone can feel amazing on their special occasion!

You’ve obviously chosen to start with your heart by focussing on Australian style, are there any other international designers you’d like to feature as the What’s Mine Is Yours collection expands throughout the seasons?

I would of course love to increase the number of dresses and accessories available on What’s Mine Is Yours. Some of my international favourites include Chloe, Self Portrait, Erdem and Stella McCartney.

Tell us about your life in travel, which destinations inspire your style?
I love dressing for summer, amazing maxi dresses or billowy shirts and skirts so places like Australia, Italy and Indonesia. I also love a super tailored city-chic look, in places like New York, London and Paris I feel much more comfortable experimenting and layering my favourite pieces on top of one another.

You live in London, a city known for its fashion, why is London the ideal home for What’s Mine Is Yours?

Londoners are known for adopting new trends quickly and adapting their personal style to include current pieces, each in their own way. London is such a social hub too, women are always looking for new pieces or something special for big social occasions.

With an ever-expanding career and so many social commitments you must love getting away from it all from time to time? Where are your go-to destinations for relaxation?

I love going home to Australia, back to the beaches where I grew up. I’m planning to re-visit Kangaroo Island early next year, near my hometown of Adelaide in South Australia. Next on my bucket list are Thailand and South America but I also love going back to Italy, where I have so many special memories!

Tara Ridgway, Venice
Tara Ridgway in Venice

You’ve been lucky to travel to some of the world’s most beautiful destinations, is there anywhere you haven’t visited yet that are on your bucket list?

Next on my bucket list are Thailand and South America. I’ve seen the most stunning photos of the beaches and islands in Thailand and the Mayan ruins in South America – I want to see and experience both for myself!

What are your jet set style essentials?

I always take my own scarf or poncho to wrap around myself during the flight or to wear when I arrive in a cold destination but one that can easily be rolled up in a bag when you step off the plane somewhere warm and sunny! I also swear by in flight moisturisers, lip balm and loads of water!

Follow @whatsmineisyours_london on Instagram to keep up to date with the latest designer fashion. 

Tara Ridgway, Founder of What's Mine Is Yours
Tara Ridgway, Founder of What’s Mine Is Yours

Feeling Inspired?

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