Normally Wednesdays are “Virtual Shopping” days but surprise(!), not this week.
If you’re interested in the explanation, please continue reading this paragraph; if you don’t give a whit skip to the next which will tell you the ad lib; middle-of-the-night “what am I going to do about Mercredi” hysteria; maybe I could call in sick compromise. The reason we’re not going virtual is because Edith spent last weekend — when we normally work together — picking thousands of apples destined to be smashed, or whatever the process is, into cider. Since the cider is delicious and we’re on her gift list, I had to let her go. Et voila.
What we shall examine today is the shattering of yet another of my illusions — though this one secretly makes me giddy with delight. Yes, French women do make mistakes, maybe not as many as some of us do, but still. . . They too have never worn, once passionately loved garments gathering dust in their armoires.
Thus the question of the moment: Tell me some of the most egregious shopping errors you’ve made.
Edith: (I give you my word, this is how the conversation transpired.) “When I make a mistake I usually get rid of it within a year or so. The only things I can think of now are a brown, herringbone pencil skirt I thought was beyond chic when I bought it. Later I decided it was da-dame. One huge miscalculation, though thankfully not expensive because it was on its fourth markdown at Celine, was a pair of red, transparent silk harem pants trimmed in gold. I thought, ‘oh, what fun I’ll buy them and have an Indian themed dinner party and have everyone dress up appropriately’. I never got around to the party and have never worn the pants.
Btw, what size boots do you wear?” she asked me. “Size 41,” I replied. “Zoot.” “Why?” I queried. “Because I just bought a pair of black boots one size too large for me so I could wear them with socks in the winter, now they’re too big and too small. I wanted to give them to you.”
Françoise: (I know four Françoises. I don’t want you to think I’m hitting on the same one for each survey.) “A pair of bottle green velvet pants that were two tight when I bought them and continue to get tighter. I still like them, but I realize I’ll never wear them.”
Gisele: “Several pairs — you’d think I would learn — of pleat front trousers. They make me look huge.”
Aurore: “A T-shirt that says, in English, “Shopping Is My Religion” I’ve passed the age of message T-shirts. I’m right at that point where I’m redefining what is too young and what is da-dame. My other mistakes were a little girl puffy-sleeved blouse and a khaki dress with a ruffle at the bottom, both from Zara and both regrettable. I would like to qualify, when I buy something expensive it is never a compulsive impulse purchase. I think long and hard before I invest.”
Alexandra: “Even in the moment when I buy something outside my comfort zone, I know I will never wear it. Unfortunately it hasn’t stopped me from ‘taking risks’ I later regret. This year I bought a plum silk V-neck sleeveless, A-line dress. It’s pretty, I wore it once, it’s not me. I’ll never wear it again. I found a black and white nubby tweed Chanel-like jacket at Zara, brought it home, put it on and decided it made me look frumpy/da-dame. I’ve never worn it.
My three daughters (23, 21 and 14) and I all wear the same size and they constantly steal my clothes. Not one has gone near any of my mistakes.”
Danielle: “I hate to even talk about the worst error I ever made. It’s so embarrassing. It was a short, plum, flouncy, lacy, cleavage revealing confection made for an 18-year-old — I don’t know what I was thinking. I gave it to a friend who has an 18-year-old daughter.”