The Five People You Meet in the Eileen Fisher Sample Sale


5. The five-foot eleven-inch saleswoman with close-cropped grayish-white hair, aqua-green reading glasses (for checking price tags) perched atop her head, who suggests leaving modesty behind and “stripping down” rather than waiting for one of the two fitting rooms to open up.

4. The young, pregnant, Asian-American woman wearing a gray stretch-jersey Eileen Fisher dress who, while waiting in line for the fitting room, is recognized by the youngest saleswoman (she still has brown hair) and greeted by name.

3. The older, frailer woman with dyed-brown shoulder-length curly hair who boldly takes the first saleswoman’s advice and is suddenly pantsless, and very, very slowly threading one leg into a pair of black jeans. She has the rounded upper back and low muscle tone of old age, along with bunions and knobby knees, but an ageless navy-blue pedicure. Her tiny, imperfect body is mesmerizing and somehow inspiring; everyone stares.

2. That woman’s bearded, bespectacled husband, who remains seated at the front of the store while she floats around in a long-sleeve white linen tunic. He remarks what a bargain everything is at fifty percent off!

1. It’s actually more like fifteen people but no more because of the fire code for the tiny boutique, which was Fisher’s original retail location. Occupancy is closely monitored by a casually elegant greeter with a salt-and-pepper bob, a gray-and-white striped sweater, and cropped white pants. You’ll have to wait on the sidewalk for just a moment and wonder whether you should just forget it and come back in ten years.

Silvia Killingsworth is the Managing Editor of The New Yorker. She bought an organic linen top, if you must know.