Donald Wilson, Lord Provost of Edinburgh, attended about 900 functions in the past year, leaving him struggling to fit into his Highland dress.
The alterations were paid for out of the public purse, although Mr Wilson has since repaid the cash and insists he always intended to do so.
The Labour councillor's annual budget is also under strain and is expected to be £250,000 in the red by the end of the financial year.
Despite that, Councillor Wilson's Christmas party, attended by staff and members of the community, had been given a budget of £5000.
The Lord Provost employs a staff of 12 as he "develops his role further". His predecessor managed the department with eight staff.
A spokesman for campaigning group Taxpayer Scotland said: "Is he treating us with disdain? If he had his own money for the alterations why didn't he pay for it straight away?"
The revelations come against a backdrop of cuts to services as the capital tries to save £35million by 2015.
A council spokesman said the Lord Provost "fulfils an important promotional role" and has sought to "develop this role further."
He added: "Sustained and proper consideration continues to be given to all aspects of spending."