Barely recuperated from Thursdays' surfeit of food and wonderful holiday company, I waded into the mall melee yesterday. For visitors who have never witnessed the American post-Thanksgiving shopapoloozo known here as Black Friday, picture the Pamplona Running of the Bulls with everyone carrying flailing purses.
Let us, for a moment, trust Wikipedia, and believe that the expression, applied to retail sometime in the 60’s indicates the day of the year that a retailer had better be moving into a profit position for the year, thereby moving from Red Ink, into the Black. Plausible enough I suppose. But don’t dwell on the thought too long or that lunatic in the jogging pants will tear the hanger right out of your hand while you dither.
It’s a bloody mad-house out there.
And I am not kidding about the jogging pants. Its either wear fleece or be fleeced it seems, but please, ladies, would it hurt to dress up just a little? So many pretty things on the racks, being mangled by harridans of barely discernable female form, still spittle-flecked from the parking lot squabble and determined, dammit, to shop, and to hell with appearances.
Many things we are, here in America, but chief amongst them we are consumers.
Personally, I have for many years shunned the fun. Shopping for guy-me is just not worth the bother. This however being my first Black Friday firmly in the acknowledged kid-glove grip of cross dressing, well, what would I be if I did not try? You have to try.
We start with JC Penney. They continue to pleasantly surprise, featuring a cute contemporary line, Bisou Bisou that catches my fancy. These are not heirloom pieces dear friends. They are made on the cheap, but have enough caché to warrant the small investments required. The high-waisted lace skirt endows the wearer with a true come-hither slither. A saucy little slit at the back bares thigh to admirers lurking in your wake. She is of modest length, but that is the only modest thing about her. The highly elastic fabric clings, stretches and drapes quite well. It feels yummy. Nicely re-enforced at the broad and high waistband, it provides constant gentle reminders that you should move, always, like a lady. It’s a fine look, and I paired it with a black jeweled collar thin jersey knit with a beautiful sheer back detail top. Racy. My own glowing product review on the JCP web site can be seen by following this link.
Toute l’ensemble - $36.02., down from $88.00.
From JCP I waded into the busy mall, and popped fruitlessly into a couple of shops. Victorias Secret was about to go China Syndrome, 50 deep at the cash desk. 180º and out again. Nordstroms still too pricey. Nothing in H+M moved me to tears, either of delight or laughter. On then to the somewhat quieter and always warm embrace of Ann Taylor. Across the board 40% off everything through noon, including some previously seriously discounted beauties. I need another skirt like I need another leg, but I do so love this shop. I will allow myself to believe that I am merely making up for experiences not enjoyed in prior drab years, and can be forgiven the purchase of the odd unnecessary thing.
So, where the JCP goods have a night-clubby feel to them, today’s AT goodies have a finer corporate feel to the fibre. The black wool, fully tailored pencil skirt is close to heirloom quality. Taken care of I could make this last 100 wearings. In short I have a great interview look for anytime between now and 2045. I paired it up with a very cute little tuxedo blouse. They look terrific together, and the fit of both pieces is superb. Alas I am not sure that I will take the tags off, and make them mine permanently. First, the price, and then the reasoning.
Toute l’ensmble – $82.67 down from $195.00
And yet we may part ways. The skirt is just too, too much at the knee. Again, let us put this down to the years of missed opportunities to display my gams. I like to show a little more leg than this skirt affords.
As to the blouse, women in a smartly fitted and tailored shirts always get my attention. Versatile, confident and just gently unconcerned with gender conventions, the man-shirt reincarnated as the woman-blouse is a complete winner. But perhaps not for me. I think that I want more femme than this. More cling than crease. More bows than buttons. I am not a rash person though. I will sleep on the decision a couple of nights at least.
I am finding it interesting though that my feminine shopping habits are diverging greatly from long established drab shopping habits. Anything I buy for guy-me has a 1 way ticket out of the shop. It is correct or it is not bought. Period. Recently though, and unconsciously, I am developing the concept of a probation period for purchased goods. Its kind of like casual sex without the whole sex bit. Petra-mode shopping seems now to come with the privileges of indecision. There is a price to indecision though. Back into the mall I will go again. Quite likely that my arms will not be empty on the way out, but my purse will be.
Happy dressing and everything else for your weekend.