This episode was originally posted by Xyzzy in 2013. I will remove if the original author requests its removal.
Shopping for clothing turned out to be both surprisingly fun and weirdly frustrating. 'Why is it that nearly everything about being a woman seems to be self contradictory?' Mark wondered.
The first thing I wanted to purchase was a bra. How difficult could it be to purchase underwear? It turned out there was an entire department with staff dedicated to just bras and their types: pushup, demi, underwire, strapless, padded (definitely not), sheer, lace, racerback, convertible (from what?), sports, full, t-shirt, concealing (good luck with that), nursing (oh hell no!), plunge, halter, front closing, back closing, cotton, satin, and who knows. Despite the confusing selections, the staff quickly fitted me out with a plunge bra under the Henley Tee. The bra was a relief and substantially reduced the bobbling about with my every movement. It also held me up and out even more, and with the rack I was sporting it was like carrying around my own personal herald trumpeting my arrival. I wonder if that's where the term "Hooters" came from? The bra also created cleavage that didn't require looking down from above, it was up front and straining the last button, there was little hope that Sally's blouse would ever recover from the abuse.
Looking for appropriate evening wear had it's own variants of delight and frustration. First of all, women's clothing sizes appear to be a twisted running joke. Different manufacturers clothing lines were substantially different sizes despite the label saying they were the same. This was perhaps a good thing because based upon what was supposed to be the official size standard, my altered variant of what had started out as Sally's body called for a size two mostly, but my out sized bust didn't even show up as an option until a size six. Fortunately, actual dresses had little relation to their purported sizes. This made it maddening to find a good fit, but it also made it possible to find a fit. The fun part was modeling the outfits. I never would have believed I'd call trying on clothes fun, but it's a kick!
The first outfit was an extremely short tight little black dress. The nice thing about it was that it had three-quarter length sleeves and a back. It also had a plunging vee front that went all the way down to just above my navel where a faux diamond clip caught the eye and barely held the halves together. Nothing held the bust line together, it just sort of draped under tension. It would be impossible to wear a bra with it and there was no built-in support. The hemline barely covered the necessities standing up, sitting would be impossible.
The next outfit was a fun flirty little strapless dress with a black empire bodice and built-in support up top. The bottom was a light weight chiffon, brightly patterned in twisting shades of blue and green that flared out and floated with every movement. While well above the knee, the hemline was nevertheless low enough to be practical. After several turns and swirls for Sally, she insisted that we keep it although it wouldn't work for this evening.
The third outfit must have been intended to be a joke. I had a rather difficult time figuring out how to even put it on. Black spaghetti straps went around the back of my neck and crossed at the base of my throat on their way to attaching to the tops of a metallic silver bra-like half bustier that left little to the imagination. A single spaghetti strap at the base of the half cups connected around my otherwise bare back to hold the top in place. A narrow vertical line of black fabric extended straight down from the silver half-bustier, covering my navel but leaving the rest of my waist and stomach completely exposed to join the main part of the dress which really only started at my hips and ass to form a slinky long black floor length skirt-gown. The whole effect was sort of, "Xena warrior princess man eater!" As expected, Sally laughed as I posed in the ridiculous outfit but surprised me by insisting that we keep it.
Finally I modeled a hi-lo yellow patterned chiffon dress. It too had spaghetti straps that went around my neck, but they didn't cross over in front. Like the first rejected dress, this one also had a plunging front that went nearly down to my navel. A yellow spaghetti strap cinched the bodice in to form breast cups, making it possible to actually be wearable. The rest of the dress flowed down from the breasts and around the hips, leaving the single yellow spaghetti strap as the sole covering of my otherwise bare back from the hips up. From my hips down, the patterned yellow chiffon was asymmetrically cut to form a near floor length gown in back and a mid thigh cut in front. My biggest concern was the patterned chiffon. It looked good front lighted but I was afraid of how transparent it might become in a strong back light.
Sally drank in Mark when he stepped out in that gorgeous yellow dress and Sally wanted it! She didn't want the dress, she wanted Mark in the dress. She wanted to peel Mark out of the dress. No, she wanted to take Mark in the dress!
"I said, I think it's too sheer," Mark said again louder.
"Oh ... uh, let me see. Go over there with the window behind you," Sally said forcing her thoughts back to the moment. Sally watched as Mark flowed across the floor and passed in front of the bright window. The back lighting turned the material into a patterned yellow ethereal translucence. Mark's lithe legs were intermittently displayed through the material as he passed in front of the light. His turn back created an angle of view that briefly silhouetted both legs merging at their apex, promising gifts for the taking.
"Well?" Mark demanded, or at least that was his intent but his high feminine voice just sounded petulant, even to his own ears.
"Uh ...No! No, I think it's fine. That's definitely the dress to wear," Sally said. Only, the length in back is a little high. The dress should sweep just barely above the floor but it's two or three inches too far up.
"I guess we'll have to keep looking then, because this is the only one that even comes close to fitting."
"Oh the dress is a keeper, you just need different shoes," Sally said.
The shoes I ended up with were both good and bad (there's that self contradiction again). Open toed multiple strap sandal-like things with four inch crystalline stilettos. Brilliant red satin ribbons crossed over the base of my toes, my instep, and wrapped twice around above my ankles to hold the shoe on. My feet looked like they were a Christmas gift. The somewhat lower heel was more comfortable to walk in than the shoes Malena had fitted me to. In addition to the lower heel, there was no platform whatsoever. The net result was that the dress swept to a perfect height because I now stood three inches shorter. A faint nagging voice in my head was questioning why I was wearing four inch heels and feeling disappointed they were lower than I preferred?
By the time we'd packed our purchases back to the hotel, it was time to start getting ready for the evening. At least it was time for me to start getting ready, Sally would be able to shower and throw on a suit in 30 minutes. In fact, that's exactly what she did.
"Are you going to need help getting ready?" Sally asked insincerely.
"No, I suspect that any help from you in our current state would be counter productive. Just ... just ... go down to the bar and wait for me," Mark called out from the bathroom.