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Money can't buy taste

01/24/08

My fashion choices, on a consistent basis anyway, probably suck.

I wear jeans to work almost every day because as most of you know, jeans go with anything.

This basic fashion rule allows me to sleep later everyday because I don’t have the heartache and sheer confusion of matching my shirts to my jeans. It’s already been done for me and I’m more rested for it.

Besides, if I wore a dress or a smart business suit, everyone asks me who died. And that’s no fun.

Last weekend, my boss, Mom, and I traveled to Dallas for a Texas Press Association convention, where I wore jeans to each and every function.

Believe it or not, I have dress jeans too.

On Friday afternoon, Dee and I, along with Perryton’s Mary Dudley, skipped the sessions geared toward putting sports video on the website, and trekked to the original Neiman Marcus in downtown Dallas for the “Last Call” sale.

Mom and Mary, as always, were dressed sharp. I wore my standard uniform of Jeans by Abercrombie and Fitch, Blouse by Mossimo, Boots by Joe Boxer, and Socks by Target.

We only visited two of the seven floors, each of which were sparsely decorated using the “less is more” theme. But when you sell a pair of britches for $2,000, inventory is not an issue.

I was underwhelmed by the fashion choices available. I did not see one pair of jeans.
Since Mom aspires to own more pair of shoes in her lifetime than Imelda Marcos, we first visited the shoe department.

I found one pair of shoes I liked, a really cute pair of heels with the heel part made to look like a flower. I turned them over and found a price tag of $1,295. I wasn’t wearing my glasses, but something tells me I got the decimal in the right place.

I carried them to the gentleman I had earlier heard declare that shrimp was going to be “a huge color” this year, and asked if I could place them on a 20-year layaway.

My pen in hand, I told him I was prepared to put 1% down and I would pick them up on my 63rd birthday.

He gave me the big “Neiman No.”

Not dissuaded, we went to the second floor where they had racks and racks of designer clothing at clearance prices.

Clearance prices if you own your own country.

I understand that what we were looking at is called couture, which I have come to believe is French for “ugly.” But don’t quote me on that, I’m rusty on my French.

The three of us dug through the racks of clothes alternately calling one another over to “take a gander at this” and trying to stifle gasps.

We finally began a “find the ugliest piece of clothing” contest, which I won. The prize was leaving before we got kicked out.

I won’t bore you with all the good buys, but one of the best was a black skirt - I call it the Beetlejuice wedding skirt - that was deeply discounted from over $9,000 to a little over $4,000. At that price, it’s not too late to beat the Halloween rush.

We also found feather collars ($1,200 sale price), a dress that I believe sold by the pound ($3,200), and my personal favorite, quite possibly the ugliest coat in the world.

I persuaded my mother, the best dresser I know, to try the coat on so we could see if it was just the way the coat looked on the rack.

It wasn’t. The coat really was hideous.

Covered in large fake and colorful “jewels”, the coat looked as though some fashion designer with a large industrial Bedazzler went for a world record in the Jewel-on-Cotton division. And won.

As well it should have, with a sale price of $3,200.

That was when our fun ended. My mom snorted because Mary and I had our hands on our knees and were laughing so hard that no sound was leaving our bodies.

This brought our presence to the attention of a couple of sales ladies who were most likely not impressed with our means of entertaining ourselves.

We walked out of the store with bags, though. Mom had scored some great clearance buys in the Christmas food section, so we looked very prosperous walking back to the hotel.