Friday, August 04, 2006

How to Stay Cool

For those of you who have noted the record heat wave sweeping New York City, rest assured that Pretty Lady is coping just fine. The water at Brighton Beach is the perfect temperature for spending half an hour in, half an hour out, all day long, and there is this little Ukranian place, just by the subway, which serves the most exquisite falafel.

But for those of you who are not within half an hour of Brighton Beach by subway, Pretty Lady has, additionally, discovered that there are these places called shopping malls. She generally disapproves of shopping malls; any attempt to structure one's waking life around mindless, obsessive consumption she views with grave distrust.

However, on one violently hot day this week, as she was visiting her convalescent hard drive in Queens, it occurred to her that shopping malls have air conditioning. Free air conditioning, if you don't count the three-fifty for parking. Three-fifty appeared to her to be a small price to pay, at this juncture, so she embarked upon the adventure.

Once inside the shopping mall, she discovered a wondrous thing. Victoria's Secret has very large, very comfortable dressing rooms. If one loads up one's shopping bag with frivolous, expensive items of lingerie which one has no intention of buying, one can spend as much time as one likes, trying it on in front of a flattering, full-length mirror, in a cool room with armchairs.

Of course, Victoria's Secret designers are making glacial progress toward designing frivolous lingerie that is actually worth the theoretical buck. Subtlety of color design is still, sadly, a closed book to Victoria's Secret. 'Lurid' is not too strong a word for the vast majority of allegedly sexy corset-thingies with ruffles and elaborate fastenings, and the occasional garter belt, festooning the walls. Once Pretty Lady had gotten herself into one of these fabulous objects, she had to laugh. She could not imagine any occasion, or any article of clothing she owns, which would actually be appropriate to cover such a creation. Frankly, it would be bound to Show Through, and not in a good way.

And Pretty Lady, despite appearances to the contrary, is not the sort of lady to habitually lounge around the apartment wearing nothing but a thong and a black lace corset thingy with hot pink ruffles projecting from the bosom. Sorry to disappoint you gentlemen.

However, Victoria's Secret has finally cottoned on to the notion that not every lady who wears a B or C cup necessarily wants padding in her push-up bra. Think about it; the size above C is D, and women with D cups are starting to be candidates for breast reductions, at least if they have more than a passing interest in jogging. So why would you ruin a perfectly good C cup with stupid little pillows? So frustrating.

Anyway, Pretty Lady tried on and approved several different no-padding push-ups, in black lace, black with pink lace, and burgundy with fearfully designed, modernistic wiring, complete with a brass button. She didn't buy them, of course, merely approved them.

So as not to offend anyone, she did pick up a bagful of panties-on-sale, all with designs and color schemes that rather remind her of Coney Island. Garish, perhaps, but in an innocently retro way. They have proven to be comfortable, flattering, and well worth the investment. Shall wonders never cease.

In case any Victoria's Secret designers are reading Pretty Lady, however, she has a few words to the wise: Dusty. Dusty rose, antique blue, lilac, sage green, ivory. Bronze taffeta. Pink silk satin. Brussels lace. Colors with some history, some ambiguity, some depth. Colors that could conceivably emerge from an organic entity, and were not obviously created via a highly toxic chemical process. Layers of openwork lace covering a subtly shiny satin backing. Foamy pale see-thru fluffy things. Nothing acrylic, nylon, or in any way obviously synthetic. Think 'life.' Fertility is about life, after all, not scratchy purple plastic netting.

Then you might actually sell Pretty Lady on a V.S. charge account. Perhaps. Although she is rather glad she is not so tempted.


The Aardvark said...

Of course, fertility may well be the LAST thing on the dears' minds...

For a time our largest mall was blessed with both Victoria's Secret, AND Frederick's of WhollyOdd.

Lurid and garish...such TAME words.

I suspect that we share some kinship, as often our minds intersect. I have wished for less fluorescent colors as well. I endorse your choices.

Have a grand and cooler weekend.

Anonymous said...

Arrg. They've gone downhill, definitely, although I still do a happy dance when I manage to find a comfy cotton "Body By. . " bra in both my size and a simple solid black or white.

Unfortunately, 21 months of nursing seems to have done nothing toward deflating the Twin Banes of My Adolescent Existence, so V.S. no longer cuts it--I have officially Graduated to Frederick's if I want to find a bra that actually comes in my size and doesn't have industrial old-lady cantilevered hardcore *construction*. Imagine, if you will, being fourteen years old and coming to the realization, in the middle of a J.C. Penny's dressing room, that you are officially wearing the *exact* same size, color, and style of bra as the 63-year-old school librarian. Yeah, it was that bad, and so loud my mom never shopped there again ;)

Pretty Lady said...

Ah, the Bra Trauma. My heart bleeds for you. Is there any female among us, I wonder, who did not suffer some bra-related trauma at some crucial developmental moment, but moved gracefully from nymphette to balanced hourglass at precisely the right pubescent moment?

Pretty Lady had the opposite problem; due, probably, to the fact that she was in heavy-duty ballet training six days a week, and barely eating in consequence, she had no practical necessity for a bra until she suddenly dropped the ballet in February of her senior year. Within two months, she had a figure. She still doesn't remember how it happened.