The Moment Of TRUTH had arrived.
I was standing in an old second-hand shop in Irkusk, Russia (Yes, Siberia. No, no real explanation as to why) with THE PREFECT DRESS in my hands, wanting to try it on. The light in the basement shop was bad, the musty smell overwhelming, and the disinterested, half-blind old woman attendant stared at me as I walked through and touched everything. The dress had spoken to me. Soft, washed, cornflower blue silk; buttons up the front; pockets. It had to be mine.
The game of charades to ask if I could try it on was comical. I mimed the action of trying on a dress and posing in front of a mirror, oh la la-ing at myself. When she returned this with a blank stare, I did the only thing I could think of (the most American thing I could possibly do) and flashed her the thumbs up, hoping she would take that as an "is this okay" indicator. There was no dressing room (this I did not know) and so she finally acquiesced and held up an old shawl in a corner so I could slip it on. It fit like magic. Oh. No.
But there was no price tag. Another game of charades. No haggling allowed when you have to pantomime. After 20 minutes we understood each other as only woman can when clothing is involved and I walked out of the shop, with more resolve to learn Russian than I had had in my two previous years of college classes. Next time, I wouldn't have to mime....
In that vein, Fashionistas, and in honor of our new Baja Line, We've put together the FASHIONISTA'S GUIDE TO SPANISH. Hopefully it will come in handy sometime soon!
"Can I try this on?" -- ¿Puedo probar esto?
"Where are the dressing rooms?" -- ¿Dónde están los camerinos?
"I love the cut, but does it come in another color?" -- ¿Me encanta el corte, pero no viene en otro color?
"Do you have this in a size...." -- ¿Tiene usted esta en un tamaño de...?
"Does this make me look fat?" -- ¿Esto me hace parecer gorda?
"I'll buy it!" -- Lo compro!
"Do you take credit cards?" -- ¿Aceptan tarjetas de crédito?
"I want something with higher/lower heels" -- Quiero algo con major/menor talones.
"Do you have a bag that matches these shoes?" -- ¿Tiene una bolsa que coincida con estos zapatos?
"Is that for sale?" -- ¿es esta a la venta?
"How much is it?" -- ¿Cuánto es?
"Where can I buy a copy of Vogue Magazine" -- ¿Dónde puedo comprar un ejemplar de la revista Vogue?
"Do you know a good tailor/dry cleaner/shoe repair...?" -- ¿Conoces a un buen sastre / tintorería / reparación de calzado...?
So there you have it, ladies. Now you have no excuse not to take that trip to Madrid or Caracas...