In the last couple of years, I’ve shed tears on two occasions regarding fashion and my appreciation for it: Once standing in the Alexander McQueen show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the other on Saturday at Chico’s in Los Gatos, California. Paula, among others, is probably having a field day with that last sentence. I was at Chico’s with my mom looking at a few things she saw in their current catalog. But before going on with this story, I should rewind.
A week before, Paula and I were having our twice-yearly LWL (ladies who lunch) in San Francisco. We ate at Spruce and shopped at Susan of SF, Elizabeth Charles, Curve, Neiman’s, Barney’s and Torso. It was at Susan where we had an encounter with the one-and-only Susan. Besides being schooled on her 35-year career, she told us how much she appreciated the two of us “dressing” to shop. It was surprising to hear that in her very own high-end, money’s-no-object boutique, she rarely sees ladies take the time to dress anymore. There was even further proof when a high-profile appointment walked in sporting a velour tracksuit and tennis shoes ready to drop God only knows how much money. Her “hand picked” rack of clothes in the back room, selected by Susan, totaled well beyond $30,000. I know shopping can be sport, but her outfit, or lack of one, was taking it too far.
Back to Saturday at Chico’s. Susan’s words came back to me as I watched four shop ladies, all 60-plus and dolled up in Chico’s finest, helping out their own customers. And it hit me. All four saleswomen were thank-you-for-walking-into-my-store dressed. I marveled at these ladies. It wasn’t what they were wearing, or their accessories, or even that they did up their hair and make-up. Maybe they worked to escape from their retired, driving-me-crazy-at-home husbands, or because they were bored or divorced and needed the paycheck. None of that mattered. What really mattered was that they felt they mattered, and that they took the time to matter to their peers.
It’s easy to give up on yourself, but it feels so much better when you don’t.
I realize there’s a gigantic difference between Alexander McQueen and Chico’s. But I shed tears for both out of appreciation, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Tomorrow I suggest you set your alarm fifteen minutes earlier than usual and take a little time to put your best self on before you head out the door. Because you do matter. And I might even shed a few more tears if you send me a picture of your perfection.
The cobbled salad I just served up is an eclectic mix of some of Paula and my favorites we saw throughout our day. Givenchy Tusk Earrings and Margiela clutch can be found at Barney’s, Laurence Dacade boots at Elizabeth Charles, and Comme des Garçon Flat Collection at Susan.