Fashion feedback on 86th Street

Last week in a fit of consumption I splurged on a small black handbag. I justified it on a number of grounds – goes with jeans, works for day or evening, spring’s around the corner; also, just possibly, to mark the end of a long drought for this Australian.

Anyway, I was already feeling quite good about my purchase. But I had no inkling of how downright fashionable my new handbag was until yesterday afternoon. I walked out of The Normandy, the apartment building on 86th Street where I work two days a week, and directly into the oncoming traffic of three young women who looked to be straight out of the prequel to Sex in the City. The leader of the trio, a tall skeletal type with mousy brown plaits, could not have been older than ten or eleven. She already had her swagger down pat.

“Hey, I LOVE your handbag, SO stylish!” she beamed at me, not breaking her stride. Her two cohorts, trailing in her wake, smiled at me with that mixture of sheepishness and bravado so typical of sassy young girls. I smiled at them, feeling a bit silly to experience validation in the form of a pre-pubescent fashion victim.

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