Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Small Friends Can't Borrow Reader's Clothes

DEAR HARRIETTE: I am a larger woman who typically wears an XL to XXL. Sometimes friends will express that they enjoy my outfit and want to borrow a top or skirt. Although I am flattered, these girls are twigs! There is no way my clothing could look like anything but a potato sack on them.

How can I react when my friends ask to borrow my clothes? I don't want to seem upset about my size, but there is no way I can share clothes with these size 2 ladies. -- XS to XL, Cincinnati

DEAR XS TO XL: Consider it a positive that your friends appreciate your style and want to borrow your clothes! That means you clearly have a look that they admire.

You have a couple of options on how to react when your thinner friends want to borrow your clothes. You can thank them for the compliment and lightheartedly point out that the garment in question would not fit them. You can also let them try on the garment. Occasionally, loose-fitting tops on lean bodies do look good, either when they are just flowing or belted. You may be surprised to learn that one or more of your clothing items could look great on one of your size 2 friends. As long as you are comfortable letting your friends play dress-up in your clothes, it can’t hurt to let them try on their favorite items.

DEAR HARRIETTE: After applying to over a dozen jobs for this summer, I have heard nothing -- not even a rejection. I have started calling places where I've applied to ask them if they've received my application. While I'm usually met with a startled employee, I believe that I am owed at least a rejection from a company. Is this not the case anymore? It's been a while since I've been on the job hunt. -- New Playing Field, Boston

DEAR NEW PLAYING FIELD: A form letter -- at the very least -- remains the protocol that a job applicant should be able to hope to receive. The reality is that there are so many applicants these days for virtually every available position that employers often do become overwhelmed and, in turn, less gracious.

Sorting through job applications to find the right fit for the position in question and discarding the rest has become the norm for many companies. Cold, but true in many cases.

What you did, calling to check on the status of your application, is a great idea. I recommend that you continue to place calls to the businesses where you applied. With an upbeat attitude, call and state that you are following up and are hopeful that the job for which you applied is still available. Launch into clear reasons why you believe you would be perfect for the job. Point out that you can imagine that they have been inundated with applications, and you want to make sure that they got a chance to see yours. Ask if you can resend it directly to whomever you reach on the phone. Your proactive approach may help to land you a job after all.

(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)