Desperate times call for innovative measures. And no one knows this better than the 80% women respondents of a survey recently conducted by this newspaper, who unabashedly confessed to indulging in an activity that's somewhat dodgy. These ladies in the capital city, not willing to compromise on their fashionista status, admit to being in the habit of exchanging expensive, branded dresses with other ones after having worn the initial purchases to at least one or more social gathering. They cite various excuses, from wrong size to some overlooked defect, to effect the return. How convenient. Much like customers who complain about the food in restaurants after wolfing down three-quarters of their servings.
We are, of course, not cut from the same cloth as the constant rejecters, but they are in the same league as some of the leading stars from both Bollywood and Hollywood. They too, sometimes, conveniently forget to return a dazzling piece of jewellery or haute couture gown after borrowing it from a fashion house or jeweller for a particular red carpet occasion. Of course, the publicity that the gowns and jewels get should be enough for the makers to gift them to the divas. We can suggest a way out of this for harried stores who have to put up with the constant returns of their garments. One could be to have a policy of no return at all even if the garment turns out to be 20 sizes too small and has a rip on the side once you take it home. But given that the customer is always right, that may not work.
Another could be to have a sleuth follow repeat offenders and photograph them tripping the light fantastic at social dos in the 'offending dress' and confront them with it. An even better way would be to have a lending section where one could discreetly take on loan a dress and then return it. After all, it is being done with paintings we could not afford. As for us editorial editors, low down on the food chain, we could pay in old editorials for purchases. Don't laugh, they might just come in useful when you are stuck for an opinion at a wine and cheese soiree.