Friday, November 26, 2010

Back in the Black

The Proper Bostonian's bargain-hunting instincts and desire to walk 10,000 steps daily overpowered the attractions of her toasty down comforter this cold, rainy morning. She was awake early but couldn't get up — weighed down by 15 pounds of Possum, curled up and napping on top of her. The Black Friday half-off sale at Second Time Around ran between 7 and 9, and she was out of bed and getting dressed at 7:10, along with her husband, who wanted to see what sales were going on at the Apple Store.

The streets of Back Bay and Beacon Hill were hardly packed with shoppers. We saw only a few soggy dog-walkers. There were perhaps two other shoppers in the Charles Street STA store. I quickly located the skirt I'd wanted: heavy black lace, long and full. Then I dithered over a sleek BCBG wool-cashmere jacket that looked utterly Parisian but felt a bit tight under the arms. (Do enough pushups in gym  class and you'll develop your deltoid muscles, for better or worse. Clearly, French women never do pushups.)

The sales associate pointed out that I was wearing a sweater and that the jacket would fit better over a tee. So I bought it, too.

Upstairs at the two-level store at 176 Newbury, there was no sign of the silky black velvet Tahari blazer I'd been watching. They've just reorganized both stores: all coats, jackets, pants and accessories are upstairs, while dresses, tops, sweaters, jeans, and men's clothing are downstairs. Very sensible, and both stores look better — but where was my jacket? The sales associate didn't remember selling it, so I scoured the racks a second and a third time, and finally found it on a rack labeled "newly consigned/off limits!" next to the registers. "Oh, those are really go-backs from the dressing room," said the associate, who then rang up my sale. I'd found three great items in versatile black for less than $90.

Scones at Starbucks and browsing in Anthropologie followed, while my husband bought hard drives and headphones at the Apple Store. I bought three of these cereal bowls on sale:

Upsy-Daisy bowls, $4.95 at Anthropologie

By 9:30, we were all shopped out and ready for home and a nap, with 6,600 steps already on the pedometer and only 3400 more to go. Walking to a family dinner in the North End will take care of that.

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