Style

fashion

Sister act

Sisters Nikoleta and Vicky Lirantonakis were part of a group text when a girlfriend shared a picture of a black and champagne dress she had rented for a wedding at a popular website.

“We didn’t love it, and she said, ‘I don’t either, but there’s nothing I can do about it’, ” Nikoleta recalled.

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Sympathy over the unflattering, ill-fitting dress rental quickly turned to strategy as the Salem sisters formulated plans for Best Dressed, their new brick-and-mortar dress rental boutique in Charlestown.

“We’ve found for a lot of girls online dress rentals didn’t work out, and they’re sent scrambling,” said Nikoleta. “This is the place you can try it on.”

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Best Dressed, named for the sisters’ shared superlative from their high school days, offers a variety of brands from Milly and Nanette Lepore to Karen Millen and even a few vintage pieces. Rental prices range from $40-$135, and Best Dressed takes care of the dry cleaning and minor repairs. Nikoleta, 29, said the average customer is spending $70 for a 5-day rental.

“Boston has young professionals who have wedding after wedding. You can’t waste a paycheck on a person’s wedding,” she said.

The tiny boutique, located on the waterfront, currently rents sizes 0-14, and also offers costume jewelry for rental or purchase. The sisters hope eventually to expand to plus sizes as well as styles that appeal to more mature women.

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But customers they already have, Nikoleta said, use Best Dressed as a way of taking the occasional fashion risk.

“With renting, women are going a little out of their style range — maybe a little edgier — because they’re not committing to it,” she said.

Jill Radsken can be reached at jill.radsken@
gmail.com
.
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