The Little Black Dress

Dec 13

bigstock_Black_Dress_4620719Macy’s Does It Again.

Is there anything more difficult to find than something simple? 
The perfect white t-shirt. 
Basic jeans that fit.  
A little black dress?

I thought I had found that dress: short, but not too short, with a nice neckline and good shape — simple but classy. It was in an ad for Macy’s, and considering my previous experience with this store (see the link at the bottom of this article for the revolting details), I should have taken off for Tahiti rather than follow up on the ad. But, as my friend Mark Saltzman used to say, One lives in hope.

One does, doesn’t one? With unwarranted hope — always a bit dangerous and likely to lead to disappointment —I called Macy’s and after negotiating their famous telephone trees, tracking down personal shoppers, impersonal shoppers, and, finally, the appropriate dress department, I got someone who had the vaguest idea of what I was talking about.

It shouldn’t be that complicated, right? There was an ad. In the New York Times. With a dress. That I wanted. To buy.


This salesperson tried, really she did, but after a long search through the racks and on her computer she concluded that the store didn’t have the dress — and never had it. But how is that possible, I had the nerve to ask. Well, it could have been at another Macy’s. Which one? She had no idea. But! The ad was in a New York City paper — the Times, for Pete’s sake – and your store is in New York City last time I looked. Stunned silence. Or silence at any rate. And no answers forthcoming.

They did have other black dresses by the same designer. Did I want to come and have a look?

Go To Macy’s?

Are you out of your mind?. The last time I actually ventured into that store, I got hives. I get hives just thinking about it. It is so BIG. And confusing. And this time of year, so crowded. I had hoped to just order the thing, that little black dress, and take my chances with the fit. But alas, that was not to be. Undaunted . . .

Shopping On Line Is Easy, Right?

. . .I went to my trusty computer , only to learn what I already know: 
“Nothing is easy.”

Here’s the weird thing. There were dozens of dresses by the same designer, Adrianna Papell, similar to the one I wanted, but wrong in one way or another. Too long. Too short. Too low-cut. Too fussy.

And nowhere —nowhere! — could I find that perfect little black dress in the ad.

Still undaunted, I even ventured forth to the dress department at (Oh My) Lord & Taylor, and for one brief glorious moment, my heart stood still when the saleswoman said she had the dress — on sale.

Oh joy. This was too good to be true. Of course, it was. The dress she had in mind was similar, but very, how do I put this politely and why do I even try, sleazy looking. The fabric was all wrong and the styling was off. Nevertheless, I thanked the woman profusely: hey, it wasn’t her fault, and L&T didn’t advertise a dress they never had. Unlike another store I could mention.

A bit daunted by now but not altogether defeated, I sent away for another dress, this one from DKNY, a brand I like, from a Neiman Marcus catalog. No false advertising here. When It arrived it was nice enough, just like the picture, and the fabric was first class. One problem though: it didn’t fit. The top was too big and the bottom too small. Okay, so the sand has shifted in my hourglass figure , but I never had shoulders that wide or hips that narrow.

AudreyHepburnIt’s getting close to Christmas and I have decided that The Little Black Dress will have to wait until the New Year. Unless. . . Santa, are you listening? I have a fireplace. I’ll leave cookies and milk. Or a martini if you’d rather. You wouldn’t want me to become totally daunted, would you, big guy?

And yes, folks, I realize that the black dress Audrey Hepburn wore in Breakfast At Tiffany’s is not “little,” in any sense of the word. It’s a gown. It’s gorgeous. It won an Academy Award, or should have. But it is a great fantasy. And so, perhaps, is The Little Black Dress.


Shopping queens! Queens! Princesses! Anyone! 
Any suggestions on how I could realize my fantasy?

And while you’re thinking about that, click on:
My Free Gift From Estee Lauder.
It’s my favorite post.


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