The good news is that I made it to Allan & Suzi’s vintage/consignment boutique in its downtown Manhattan location for one last shopping spree. The bad news is that the store closed last month so you won’t be able to follow in my retail footsteps. Alas! First Patricia Field, now Allan & Suzi. New York has lost some of its most idiosyncratic stores lately.
Just like old times, I asked Allan to pick out things for me to try on.
I get the best shopping results when I have a store owners or designers choose for me. They’re the experts on what they have to offer; for instance, they know which clothes have no hanger appeal but look great on the body. Allan has always been an especially fun curator, kvelling like a proud parent over the looks that work. I like to get his reaction on outfits that I know are unflattering, too, just for the entertainment value: One lumpy, coral cocktail dress earned an “Ugh! Disgusting!” rating last month.
I was more than happy with the two fabulous gowns that Allan found for me. Then, as I was paying for those, Allan spotted one last item. “Try on this,” he said, and handed me what seemed like a giant bath sponge at first …
Here’s how I styled it for a middle-of-the-street photo shoot.
Where do you wear a jacket like this (besides the middle of the street)?
Whenever I have a question like that, I automatically answer myself with, “To the supermarket!” That’s what Suzi said about another unlikely outfit when I wrote a story about her and Allan for the Wall Street Journal in 1995. Good advice, my friends. Good advice.