My outfit was a rerun of the outfit I wore when I attended the True Colors Conference last month. The weather was much more appropriate for the outfit than it was nearly a month ago when I was chilled to the bone whenever I was outside.
I wore my Sofia Vergara wrap dress, Avon jewelry including my Pandora knock-off bracelet (which I just love), Hue black tights, Payless black bag and Nine West black wedge shoes. I also wore my Fashion to Figure trench coat to keep off the rain which was in the forecast for later Tuesday.
The first part of my plan for the day was to go shopping at Fashion to Figure in the Westfield Mall in Meriden. I literally arrived at the JCPenney entrance to the mall as the doors opened at 10 AM.
When I entered JCPenney, I was shocked to see that the store was going out of business. The sales floor was mostly bare with only a few racks and tables remaining.
JCPenney had been an anchor store ever since the mall opened in 1971 and I have enjoyed shopping there en femme on countless occasions. I felt sad about its demise, but I was not surprised. The Westfield Mall like others in the USA have been in financial distress as their customer base, the middle class, has been vanishing. Stores close and the floor space remains empty unless a "dollar store" or somesuch arrives to fill the vacated space. I hoped that would not be the future of Fashion to Figure, so I was going to do my part to not let it happen.
I had made a wish list of interesting items I had seen on the store's website, but I forgot to bring the list and had to work from memory. Luckily, a very good sales rep named Luce did my bidding and was able to find every item I described to her. And off to the dressing room I went to try on all the clothing she had for me.
The blue peplum top I liked fit perfectly. I loved the color and liked how it looked on me. It was a keeper.
I tried on three different sizes of faux leather leggings, but did not like how they looked on me in any size, so there was no leather leggings to my shopping cart.
I loved the jump suit, but the first one I tried on was too big and it seemed that I would have to do without until Luce located a smaller size on display in the store's picture window.
I need another dress like a hole in the head, but I saw the one that caught my eye online and I just had to try it on. Three tries and I found one that fit me like a glove and it was the final item to go in my cart.
It just goes to show you that the sizes can be all over the place. Starting out, I told Luce the size of the trench coat I had bought at her store during my previous visit and she used that size as a base for the clothing she found for me. That base size was only good for the peplum top. The jump suit I bought was a size smaller and the dress, two sizes bigger, so you never know.
As I exited the store, another customer remarked, "I love your shoes!"
"Thank-you," I replied, but thought, "I wish I could say the same."
I wore the Nine West wedges for the first time when I attended the True Color Conference last month and they lasted about two hours before I switched to flats. I thought that they were uncomfortable that day because I had set the ankle straps too tight and as a resulte, they were cutting into my legs. So when I put the wedges on my feet Tuesday, I made sure that the ankle strap was as loose as possible, but it did no good. Two hours in, my feet were killing me and I still had about seven hours to go.
Payless to the rescue! They have a store just across the way from Fashion to Figure, so I decided to see if I could find something that I could wear the rest of the day. The Payless sales rep sized up my predicament and concluded that the wedges were uncomfortable because they did not have a platform. She may be onto something because I have another pair of wedges with a heel just as high as the Nine West wedges, but with a platform and I have worn those wedges all day long in the past without any discomfort.
Payless did not have much in my size except for two pairs of 3-inch high heel pumps --- one in black patent and the other in nude patent. What the hey! I tried them on and they were so comfortable I could not believe it. Payless was having a buy-one get-one for half off sale, so I bought both pairs and walked out of the store wearing the black patent pumps.
By then it was time to go to Southern Connecticut State University to do outreach. As I walked back to JCPenney to fetch my car, my right shoe slipped off my foot three times! This was not good, so when I returned to my car, I stuffed tissue behind my heel inside each shoe and that kept the shoes on my feet the rest of the day without any discomfort.
Professional femulator Francis Russell, circa 1940.