There is a mistaken notion current among my friends that I have no taste in clothes. The truth is, I have good taste but I wear anything and never throw anything away. And the other truth is when I do break down and go shopping, I buy the first thing I see that’s halfway acceptable just to get out of the store. It’s almost always wrong, wrong size, wrong color. Pleats? Please.
Having been invited to be the celebrant at Lily and John’s wedding, I decided to upgrade the wedding casual look of my wardrobe. Matthew, one of the aforementioned friends, volunteered to chaperone me on the condition that I really give it the necessary time and not bolt after a half hour. He likes to shop. I nodded in agreement.
We meet downtown and go to Nordstrom Rack and then the Saks near Fifth. I try on at least forty jackets and quite a few are okay, and at last settle on a blue one with subtle checked patterning. Saks is having a sale and so I get a pair of pants at no extra cost. I buy a shirt, all white, no sweat. What about a tie? I have ties at home I never wear, good enough, but hey, why not go all the way? The saleswoman and Matthew pick out a couple, a purplish one, a blue one, then I see a coppery one with shimmery blue undertones. “How about this one?” I say, and both Matthew and the saleswoman concur: that’s it!
After arranging for some alterations, I take my haul to the register. The woman rings it up. Not bad at all. I scribble my signature on the receipt. Oh wait, she forgot to add the tie and asks for my card again. The tie: $124. Matthew sees me blanch, and wonders if I’m going to bail on it, but I put my signature on this piece of paper too.
(Later Matthew tells me it’s a Versace. I told you I have good taste.)
I’m fried, eager to get outside. There will be no new shoes. My black ones are perfectly pedestrian and perfectly acceptable, or will be with some new laces.
Walgreen’s has laces. But what length do I want? I estimate. I am aware that there’s a good chance I will guess wrong. What I don’t expect, and what I discover at home, is I bought brown laces.
Oh well. When I polish the shoes, I rub some polish on the laces and you can’t really tell. Well, barely. If anyone is looking at my shoes and not my Versace tie, I’m returning it and getting my money back.