While I'm not here, I'm playing Shop Girl at a downtown boutique. You can guess which one. We cater to trend junkies: the celebrities, the international socialites, and the tourists looking to get their New York fashion fix. Also: girls who read US Weekly at the gym. Last week, I painfully watched a nameless celebrity - you can guess which one - pull the worst pieces of clothing off the racks. She politely handed them over for me to fill her fitting room - faded bell-bottom jeans with an unfinished hem. A leopart print chiffon blouse with gold buttons. An ivory cameo with black lace trim. None of them were in her size; none of them suited her body. I wish her choices were a cry for help, but really, she thought these things looked good. I often wonder about my responsibility to the girl in the dressing room. How much influence do I have over her purchases, and how far can I go to sway her decisions? In this case, I had to try very, very hard to push her in a whole new direction. When she brought in the jeans (paired with the leopard blouse!), I immediately countered with a more subtle pair of dark wash denim. When she put a logo-stamped sweater with matching logo shoes and squealed with delight, I immediately ripped the sweater off her back, and offered a cute but somewhat restrained cardigan in its place. I know everyone has their own style and the world would be boring without it. But this girl spends plenty of time in the public eye, and her wardrobe is seriously mocked. I thought if I had her attention for a mere 30 minutes, I could make the most of it. We broke even in the end: She bought the logo sweater and shoes, but promised she'd never wear them together. Thankfully, she left the faded bell-bottoms behind. All in all my powers of persuasion seem to be working. But I wonder, do you trust the salesgirl when she offers her expert opinion? And is it anybody's job but yours to pick your clothes? --BRITT ABOUTALEB Editor's Note: It's not Jessica Simpson, we just like the photo.
While I'm not here, I'm playing Shop Girl at a downtown boutique. You can guess which one. We cater to trend junkies: the celebrities, the internati