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Shopping Know How

Like everybody else around, I go shopping; this should mean that I know how to shop. The trouble is...I tend to get lost in the aisles and confused with the multitude of options out there. This, my Dear Reader, is where Daisy and I differ! She has the ability to zone in on the right piece and pick something delightful out of a rack packed with items. When Daisy accompanies me, her fashion flair and know-how, transform a shopping day into a memorable shopping experience. She shows me the "how-to" adapt my wardrobe and make good style choices. This is why I take her along on my outings.

I also get the occasional case of "shopper's paralysis" (when you try a ton of things on, then you really cannot make up your mind or nothing seems to fit, so you simply buy nothing). Daisy has the cure for this ailment and makes sure I come out looking fabulous and while staying within my budget.

The Fitting Room

One day, I was standing in my bra and panties in the fitting room at Chabad, a non-profit thrift store in Decarie Square whose bargains rival their mall neighbour Winners. Daisy actually led me to the store after we failed to turn up anything worthwhile at Sears. She was out on the selling floor scouring the racks for items for me to try and buy. It didn't take her long. Suddenly, she thrust a handful of garments on hangers into the cubicle. As this was not my first shopping outing with Daisy, I knew that I would look great in her selections and that these outfits would make sense in my wardrobe. I shivered with delight as I began to try them on.

Shopping with a value-oriented stylist is one of the perks of being Daisy's friend. Not that I don't do well all on my own, and Daisy knows that, but I don't have Daisy's gene for style, so I draw on her expertise. I like to say she has my back or if you prefer she is the keeper of the rear-view and will make sure I avoid any faux-pas. What came in on those hangers was an eclectic array of what Daisy calls "must haves". First, a Tommy HilfigerTM black cotton blazer trimmed in grosgrain. It fit my size two frame perfectly. It was both a steal and an "investment", Daisy explained. You must never turn down something in black that fits that well.

Next in Daisy's first round picks was a slither of a sleeveless black t-shirt dress with a five inch swath of steel blue at the above-the-knee hemline. Still standing on the other side of the curtain, Daisy reassures me this could do duty as a beach cover up or a day dress worn with sandals and under the Hilfiger blazer. And, then she dashed off and returned seconds later with "Here for $8.95 is a pashmina that matches the blue gray stripe in that dress."

Fashion Fluency

Daisy's sense of style is uncanny. She says she owes her fashion fluency to her great grandfather, Zolmon Rosen, who was a ladies' custom tailor back in the day when what later became Simpson's was called Murphy Gamble, a prestigious department store for the carriage trade. He made all her clothes. Imagine little Daisy wearing couture at the tender age of two. No wonder she knows her fabrics and all about cut, make and trim (CMT).

Daisy and I wear the same size 7 shoes, so it is convenient to share our opinions on comfort, style and fit. We don't even have to wait for the salesperson to bring the shoes in another size! A few years ago, we both loved a pair of strappy black platform sandals that you could walk a mile in. I still wear mine to this day. Their higher platforms are great as you can wear your pants long which elongates the look of the legs.

This Summer, Daisy also convinced me to add a neutral sandal to my basics. "Not beige, not taupe, not off-white", I can recall her saying. Finding the right skin-tone sandal is not for the colour-challenged. This is not an attention-grabbing shoe but rather a shoe that you can easily wear with any outfit or colour scheme and without worrying about colour coordinating your shoes with the rest of your clothes. Neutral sandals or shoes will "make your feet disappear" and allow you to highlight other areas whether it be your outfit, your face, your hairdo or your eyes. I still have to add a three-season neutral high heel pump to my Fall wardrobe.

Fashion Worthy Advice

But there were also some missed opportunities when I failed to follow Daisy's advice. I once tried on a most gorgeous midnight-blue full-length evening gown. Of course, it fit me like a glove and though it was on sale for only a few hundred dollars, I had no imminent event to wear it to. I remember thinking "why spend now on something that will hang in my closet?" Poor Daisy tried and tried to explain but she could do little to convince me. Well that was a mistake that I regret to this day. The event did come of course and how I wish I had had that classic gown hanging in my closet. I had to settle for an old long black skirt. A desperate woman's solution to not having the right dress on hand! It might sound a little cliché to say "you win some, you lose some" but, I might add that I tend to come out a winner a lot more when Daisy is around.