PSL (pumpkin spiced latte) dropped already, and halloween candy is inching to front and center on store shelves. But, it is only September 6 and we still have a whole 16 days before Fall officially begins. This in-between time is want to be filled with transitional wear – a couple of layers, a slight but tasteful dimming of summer brights in search of deeper hues. End of summer/early fall weddings and parties call for THE perfect dress, so I asked Nikoleta, the co-owner of Best Dressed – a local Boston business – for her best tips for success both in the dressing room and as a successful female entrepreneur.
Is your calendar filling already with events for fall and for the holiday season?
Instead of buying dresses (and feeling limited by needing to get a dress that gets maximum wears i.e. works for several events) try renting for a change.
I share my first experience renting a special occasion designer dress below, followed by tips for success in the dressing room and as a female entrepreneur from Best Dressed co-owner, Nikoleta.
Find a dress that would travel well cross-country in a tightly packed carry on suitcase, and which is also fun and sophisticated.
I tried on several dresses at Best Dressed in South Boston. They represented quite different styles, as you can see here.
Neither of those dresses won (although they were both cute!)
A dress by Zac Posen was the winner. (Any Project Runway fans out there??) It fit perfectly, but it definitely took me by surprise – it is a color that I never wear and don’t own, and in a style that I had been wanting to try out but didn’t want to commit to by buying a dress.
I’ll show you how I styled this blue number in the following photos, shot in the picturesque Old San Juan Capistrano.
In the end, the dress was such a hit for the color (who is surprised? BlueBoots’ color is blue……) as well as the style that even B thought I should buy the dress!
What do you think? Should I go for this style more often? 🙂
I was happy because I was able to score this designer find thanks to Best Dressed – it traveled so well and didn’t even need to be steamed or ironed.
I attended the wedding of two friends, AJ and Jenny, in this outfit. The wedding took place in the Franciscan Gardens, and was beautiful!
Here are a few snaps.
Who is behind Best Dressed?
Two sisters. Best Dressed came into being by two sisters from Salem, MA, Vicky and Nikoleta Lirantonakis. After spending lots of money year after year on dresses to attend weddings, they created Best Dressed to offer another option – local gals could now look and feel glamorous at all of their special occasions by renting designer dresses at a fraction of the retail cost.
Located in both South Boston and Charlestown, the bright, clean interior showcases racks of gowns and dresses organized by size.
Nikoleta first welcomes customers, and lets them browse. She also offers suggestions once she knows a little more about the event. Often, people come out surprised with a choice that they wouldn’t have normally picked for themselves, but truly love!
Once you say yes to the dress (or sleek jumpsuit, on occasion), she does carry a curated collection of accessories, including a stellar collection of jewelry and also intimates designed for formal wear.
I love the gold earrings on the left!
TIP// If you have a lot of events coming up, you may want to sign up for Rent Best Dressed’s membership program – the Dress Obsessed Program, where you can rent several dresses at a discount, plus get a discount if any of the jewelry or accessories catches your eye.
TIP// if you sign up for their email list, you can get 20% off your rental, and hear about new store events – they often collaborate with local entrepreneurs!
TIP// If you share on social media, use the #bestdressedbabe for a chance to be featured!
5 Reasons to Rent:
Now, we get personal for a hot minute. I asked Nikoleta for her advice on a few things you might also find interesting:
Q: What advice would you like to give to women to inspire them to best enjoy a special event or wedding?
A: TO WEAR A DRESS THEY FEEL CONFIDENT IN. WOMEN LOOK THE MOST BEAUTIFUL WHEN THEY ARE COMFORTABLE AND CONFIDENT IN WHAT THEY ARE WEARING!
Q: When picking a dress to rent, what might women not think about that could actually help them find the perfect dress?
A: I THINK WOMEN SHOULD ACTUALLY NOT THINK ABOUT ANYTHING AND COME IN WITH AN OPEN MIND. 9 OUT OF 10 TIMES, CLIENTS LEAVE WITH A DRESS THEY DIDN’T EVEN WANT TO TRY ON BECAUSE THEY THOUGHT THEY WOULDN’ T LIKE IT.
–sidebar – that was my experience! —
Q: Some of my readers are entrepreneurs and your story of how you started this local business could help an aspiring entrepreneur to go get their dream! What is one piece of advice someone gave you that has helped you, or what is one piece of entrepreneurial advice that you would like to share?
A: A PIECE OF ADVICE I RECEIVED WHEN I WAS STARTING OUT WAS FROM MY DAD. HE TOLD ME THAT NOTHING COMES EASY AND YOU ARE GOING TO WORK HARDER THAN YOU EVER THOUGHT POSSIBLE TO ACHIEVE YOUR DREAMS, BUT WHEN YOU DO WHAT YOU LOVE IT WON’T FEEL LIKE WORK. I KNOW THAT’S KIND OF CLICHÉ BUT IT’S SO TRUE. I NEVER KNEW HOW MUCH HARD WORK I WOULD BE PUTTING IN TO OWNING MY OWN BUSINESS BUT I LOVE EVERY DAY OF IT AND WOULDN’T CHANGE ANYTHING!
Thanks for reading, now go check Best Dressed out at either of their Boston locations!
*Rent Best Dressed graciously offered me a complimentary rental to experience renting a designer dress. I am happy to offer you not only insight into my experience, but also an exclusive Q&A with a co-owner of this fantastic, woman-owned local business! Thank you for supporting the brands that I enjoy and as always, all the opinions here are my own.*