For dinner at Sistina on Monday night, I decided my outfit should be “things I’ve had a long time that I haven’t worn in a long time.” The dress, the shoes and the bag were all acquired before 2005.
I love this dress but I don’t wear it often because it was a victim of bad tailoring. Before I met Jean at Ghost Tailor, I often suffered from bad tailoring. In this case, the straps of the Narciso kept sliding off my shoulders, so the bad tailor kept tightening the straps. That’s not always the right way to fix that issue. Now the straps and bodice of the Narciso are painfully tight, though not as bad as my Champagne-colored vintage Versace dress, which, after similar strap abuse, had to be given away because it was unwearable. I only go to Jean now. She knows how to do things right.
I thought the boxy, off-white, ostrich skin bag took this outfit into ladies-who-lunch territory, but I decided to go with that. Speaking of ladies, one of my dinner companions was doing just that — speaking of ladies. My handsome friend Tim Zagat is working on 10 updated rules of chivalry. Everyone chimed in on whether or not it is still mandatory for a chivalrous man to walk on the curb side of the sidewalk. That rule goes back to the days when a gentleman needed to protect a lady from unpleasant splashes caused by horse-and-buggy traffic. You’ll have to wait for Tim to announce his verdict on the rule itself, but I will share his story about how he learned good sidewalk manners as a teenager. While walking his very first date home from the movies, Tim passed a gang of tough-looking guys hanging out on a stoop. One of the guys yelled at Tim: “Hey, kid!” Tim thought it best for his physical well-being to pretend he didn’t hear anything, but the tough guy kept calling to him: “Kid! Kid! Kid!”
Finally, the guy yells:
“KID! A gentleman always walks on the OUTSIDE!”
Basically, Tim got a lesson in manners from the Sharks.
Street gangs sure aren’t what they used to be. I can’t remember the last time the Crips or Bloods offered me any good etiquette tips.