Still, window displays in Europe are killingly tempting and it’s hard to resist the lure of a stunning garment artfully displayed. The clever and classy windows of Florence and Paris are part of the urban art and demand to be appreciated. It’s free to look and slowing down for leche-vitrine (window licking, in French) is part of slowing down to relish the city’s artfulness.
But traveling with Mr. B was different. A self-avowed metrosexual, Mr. B dresses well and loves fine clothes. With him I breached the inner sanctum of Italy’s designer shops. Sniffing colognes in Ferragamo, trying on sports jackets in Armani, pants in Geox, Mr. B’s shopping gave me license to enter these previously avoided fancy pants shops.
Boots and shoes in particular became the focus of our shopping. Florence, famous for leather goods, flaunted an abundance of footwear. I scanned shop after shop for boots because I’d decided that I could stand another pair of boots.
Second hand deals require that the clothes were halfway decent in their first life. I was looking for a sweater, and in most of the shops I saw (Laura Dolls….) the acrylic sweaters looked like giant Dutch women in the Dutch countryside had worn them in the eighties. Ick.
But I discovered two great shops: one with new clothing and De Kleedkamer, a high-end consignment shop. I found tons of great stuff here including the sweater I wanted. I also scored my boots here, gray Italian leather and plus a sassy skirt to wear with them.
In the first shop, Liens and Linnen, I tried on a bunch of cute dresses that weren’t quite right. Then I found this sweater and fell in love immediately “Cut the tag off,” I told the shopkeeper. I’m wearing it out of here.
Somehow I made it out of Europe with a new outfit, scarves to sweaters to jeans to boots to gloves. I usually buy paper goods: journals, cards, and bookmarks, so the clothes shopping was a fun departure for me.