DEAR HARRIETTE: I have almost a dozen black-tie events to attend this holiday season. I have a new job, and it requires me to go out a lot. What it doesn’t offer is a wardrobe budget. I can’t afford to buy fancy dresses every other week. It’s crazy. How can I go to these functions and show that I know how to do my job without going completely broke? -- Cinderella, Bethesda, Maryland
DEAR CINDERELLA: You are in luck! Today there are a number of retail establishments that offer rental options for all styles of clothing, including eveningwear. Many will mail dresses to you in several sizes for a week’s fee, which is much lower than the cost of the dress. In this way you can rent a dress and return it, giving you more budget to rent for the whole season. Some reputable sites include renttherunway.com, gwynniebee.com (for plus-size fashions) and couturecollective.com. Look online yourself. There are lots of choices, both local and national, that can help you look great without spending too much money.
(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)