I'm visiting from out of town for six days and I'm in need of adding bling to my wardrobe in a hurry. I'll be attending an engagement party and a wedding in December and need to find some eye-catching clothing. I don't want to spend a fortune but I need to look really, really good. I'm American, tall (five feet, 11 inches), slim (155 pounds) and just turned 60. Staying out in Tai Tam. Any ideas of high-end resale/ recycle shops in Hong Kong? Bling It to Mama, Tai Tam The Dictator rules: Hong Kong is an excellent place to shop for affordable yet chic formal wear. Pedder Building (12 Pedder Street, Central) has a number of consignment and discount shops to visit. But if you really do mean you wish to wear cheap and sparkly clothing to the wedding, then you'll find everything you need in costume shops, such as Remy Fashion (24 Li Yuen Street West, Central, tel: 2524 8847), including dresses for HK$300 and up. Close by, you can avail yourself of decent shoes and bags at mid-priced places such as Staccato (Central Building, 1 Pedder Street, tel: 2530 0646); or exotic-dancer-worthy platform heels at Four Seasons Shoes (HK$350 and up; 21 Li Yuen Street East, Central, tel: 6303 0638). Faux jewellery is available at stalls along Li Yuen streets East and West. However, if you want to retain any semblance of elegance on a tight budget, keep it restrained and chic with minimal sparkles (aka 'bling') and simple, non-revealing, age-appropriate styles. Oh, I have a bad feeling about this. Let's make it straightforward. Visit the above sources for: a classic, knee-length black dress that doesn't reveal too much cleavage; a pair of black high heels in patent leather, satin or velvet; and a black evening bag with only a few diamantes. I know that sounds boring, so I'm going to let you play, within reason, with statement earrings or a necklace, but not both. I'm going to a fancy dress ball in a roaring 20s costume. I've found a vintage dress online but what I'm missing is one of those hairbands they wore. What do you recommend that's of a higher quality than what you'd find in cheap costume shops? I'd prefer if you tell me directly or at least wait a few weeks so others don't wear the same thing. In a Flap, Central The Dictator: Who's the Dictator here, you or me? I'll be the one to set the rules, thank you. Why didn't you buy a vintage headpiece on the same website? I hope you haven't ruined the dress with alterations. The common mistake is to hem a 'flapper' dress into a body-skimming mini. Dresses from the 1920s were revolutionary because they let out previously corseted waists. That alone was worthy of a scandal. And the most iconic look for hair was the shocking act of cutting long locks into a bob, as seen on stars such as Gloria Swanson. The Marcel wave, also known as the finger wave, was another popular style, as was a cloche hat for daytime. For the evening, I'd wear a headpiece or a decorative comb rather than a hairband, if you want to look authentic. An excellent place to search is Harvey Nichols (Pacific Place, Admiralty, tel: 3968 2668; or The Landmark, Central, tel: 3695 3388). It carries lovely crystal and beaded headbands by Deepa Gurnani (HK$680 to HK$1,100) and fascinators and art deco-style hair accessories by Jennifer Ouellette (HK$1,100 to HK$3,900) and Louis Mariette (HK$2,200 to HK$6,600). You should be able to find the feathery type of accessory, which is clipped onto the opposite side of a side parting, for HK$50 to HK$200 in markets, such as Jardine's Bazaar, in Causeway Bay, the Ladies Market, in Mong Kok, and Wing Kut Street, Sheung Wan. If you want to get really fancy, head to a jeweller or go online to auction house sites such as www.christies.com .