She waved off that concern like a croissant flake on a blouse, hailed a cab, and we were soon entering Trésor by Brigitte Masson, in a tiny lane (6, rue du Trésor) in the Marais. This was the magical little gem I had literally dreamed about.
Huguette was right: I liked everything I saw. The colours were unusual and nuanced, the price point reasonable for the quality, and the pieces had that "don't see that on everyone" effect. The racks murmured: "Venez ici!"
But the clothes didn't fit: sleeves and skirts too short, buttons in the wrong places. Mme Masson had maybe ten items in my size and I tried every last one, even things I couldn't really use. A woman of my proportions was twirling before the mirror in a shift dress over pants, but it's not a look I like on myself.
Much as I wanted to join my friend in her spree, I was shut out of the action. Huguette, presently size 38, merrily bought a spring coat (around €400), hat, and scarf.
I too found a scarf; coincidentally, we both chose the same Epice linen/silk in different colourways. Below, she wears hers with her winter coat, a soft peach tweed coat from Trésor, which is lined with a photo-print of gondoliers in Venice, a secret mural that delights the wearer. (You can just see the pale blue of the lining at the rolled cuff.)
I wore mine with a featherweight down jacket which I packed at the last minute:
I'm smiling in that shot, but I surely wasn't when I came home, miserable and owly, partly due to a painful arthritic knee, but mostly from frustration. Le Duc was initially annoyed with Huguette—he had to put up with the fallout. He reminded me that I've had more or less the same experience for decades.
We walked to a favourite restaurant—but despite the very best food and company, I felt a lingering mournful longing which, I'm embarrassed to say, dampened the evening.
Life resolved my snit, the very next day.
On Sunday morning, we strolled through a street market at Place Monge and fell upon a sidewalk sale held by a local church parish. I spotted a quirky tweed (pinks, violet, burgundy, off-white) wool-and-cashmere jacket in unworn condition; it would have looked at home in Trésor's chest of delights.
Cost? 10 euros. (Full disclosure: I'm having it tailored to fit me precisely, for another $65.) Even at that, it's a bargain-priced lesson in not letting frustration dent one's joie de vivre.