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Reader doesn't need to break the bank on fashion

DEAR HARRIETTE: I work in the fashion industry and have been seeing my clothing budget quadruple just to try to stay fashionable. Everyone in the office wears trendy new clothing, so I would feel like a bum if I were to wear the same outfit more than four or five times. I have tried reinventing outfits, but I have gotten asked if I wore that same dress yesterday. Is there any way I can save my clothing budget while remaining trendy? I hate seeing money hanging in my closet and not in my savings. -- Fashion Week Every Week, Manhattan, New York

DEAR FASHION WEEK EVERY WEEK: Follow your heart, and do not spend all your money on clothing. Instead, build a wardrobe with key basic separates while adding a few signature accessories to spice up your look. It could be a necklace, earrings, a scarf or belt. Develop a narrative to go along with your wardrobe. Tell your co-workers you are following the French style of dressing, which means you may have one or two key wardrobe items upon which you build. In Europe, it is common for people to wear the same look twice in a week! Talk about quality versus quantity. Tell your friends, only when asked, that you seek out great pieces rather than constantly seeking out new pieces. Wear your wardrobe proudly. Do not flaunt your savings, but keep putting money in savings and investments. In the end, because you will have held the long view, you will have created space for your future to be solid. Rest well knowing you are being smart, even if your co-workers tease you sometimes.

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.


AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) -- Refuse to get caught up in someone else's dilemma. Acknowledge what others do, but proceed down a path that will ensure your happiness and success. Love and romance are highlighted.

PISCES (Feb. 20-March 20) -- If you offer to help others, you will create good karma. What you put out, you will get back. Kindness and consideration will suffice, so don't be indulgent or go into debt.

ARIES (March 21-April 19) -- Emotions will be difficult to control. Overreacting or doing something impulsive will cause problems within important relationships. Think before you say or do something you will live to regret.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20) -- Get together with friends or relatives or do something that will inspire you to begin a creative project. Don't let uncertainty interfere with your beliefs or lifestyle.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20) -- Think before you take on too much or let your emotions interfere with the outcome of an important matter. Don't feel that you have to part with your cash to impress someone.

CANCER (June 21-July 22) -- You'll be impulsive and excessive if you let your emotions interfere or take control. Separate yourself from any situation that may cost you emotionally, financially or physically.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) -- Refuse to let anyone upset you. Emotions will get in the way of good judgment. Stay focused on yourself and being the best you can be. Charm will help you bypass trouble.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) -- Emotions must be dealt with sensibly. You can feel sorry for someone, but don't take on problems that don't belong to you, or you will be blamed for meddling.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 23) -- A change of plans will play in your favor. If you take the path of least resistance, you will have time left over to spend enjoyably with a loved one.

SCORPIO (Oct. 24-Nov. 22) -- Step outside your comfort zone and test the waters. You will discover something interesting about who you are and what you are capable of doing. Don't hesitate to experiment.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 23-Dec. 21) -- If you put some muscle behind the changes you want to make at home, you will accomplish what you set out to do. Emotional interference will arise if you go over budget.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) -- Uncertainty must not be allowed to lead you into a precarious or vulnerable situation. Face whatever comes your way head-on, so that you can go about your business without worry.