Friday, December 11, 2009

The Devil WOULD Wear Prada

I went shopping for holiday party wear this afternoon, and I wasn't happy about it.

The main reason I wasn't happy is that I already had the most perfect party dress imaginable -- a basic black backless sheath trimmed in mink. It's a Magic Dress. I inherited it from my friend Bex. It's Magic, because it fit  everyone who's a 2, 4, 6, 8, or 10. It fits if you're 5'2 like me, and it fits if you're 5'8 like Bex. I can't explain it.

Because of its magical properties, it got loaned out a lot, and the last person I loaned it to never gave it back. I finally mentioned it to her now that she's not pregnant anymore (did I mention it even worked as maternity-wear?!), and she said it wasn't in her closet because she'd given it back when it didn't fit. Well, no. That didn't happen. It fit everyone. Like I said, it was MAGIC. Probably, she just loaned it to someone else and never got it back. I can only hope they needed it more than I did.

I'm usually pretty sanguine about stuff that comes and goes like that, but I'm a little bitter about the loss of the Magic Dress (and don't get me started about the irreplaceable long Magic Suede Skirt, lost in a similar fashion). I find myself channeling my mother, "I guess I just can't have nice things!"

I'm partly bitter because these are girls who love to shop, and are very, very good it. (In fairness, they have generously shared their closets with me for years, so I have benefited wildly from their skills.) I, on the other hand, hate it. I would rather be beat with a stick.

It's not that I don't like fashion -- I do -- if it could just materialize. There is no thrill in the hunt for me. I'm not good at going out and foraging for it. So I mostly go with what people give me. I have a lovely Coach bag, for example -- a gift from someone who thought I really, really liked Coach -- but I don't. It's a little stuffy for my taste. I like Prada -- more contemporary. In his defense, he had seen me admire a colleague's Coach briefcase, and her Prada bag. He got the two mixed up. I don't carry a briefcase. If I did, Coach would be nice. But I carry the Coach everyday. It's a lot easier than finding something new. The only other bag I carry is the KateSpade my pal Elle gave me years ago when she came into town for moral support for my first big charity fundraiser  (in fact, she gave it to me while I was wearing the Magic Dress, and, well, now I'm just getting upset...)

I hate trying on clothes worst of all -- which I did all afternoon. I went in for this Shoshanna party dress. But they only had the size 6 in purple. It said Plum, but trust me, it was purple. Worse than that, there are no mirrors in the dressing rooms -- you have to come out and give everyone a three-way view. So not only did I look like Barney, there were witnesses.

I ended up getting a couple Marc Jacobs work dresses instead of the Shoshanna. Which is funny. Because I work in an office where I can -- and sometimes do -- wear pajamas. But they were so extravagantly marked down, it would make sense to get a new job just to have somewhere to wear them.

The holiday celebrations I'll attend will be 50/50 gay/straight. And God knows, straight men could care less about fashion -- they just want something they can rub up against. For that, I usually go with leather, fur, and silks. The more tactile the better. The gays just want a designer they can trust. So I went with some soft and shiny Nicole Miller. (The one I always horrify my gay-husband with by accidentally referring to as AnnaNicoleSmith.)

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