Dressed for Success

Magnolia Boutique

The fact that he's recently defected from the mayor's office has meant he needs to revamp his wardrobe. All but two of Carter's suits have been done away with and now he must find other casual wear to occupy his closet. He wanders into the Boutique and glances around hesitantly as though checking that he is in fact in the right place — and they do in fact sell men's clothing. He starts to roam the store in hopes of catching a sales associate. Hopefully one better dressed than he is.

What he finds instead is a very rushed woman entering the shop rear first. Hips bump against the door, and she's dancing along to a beat that only she can hear at the moment. Once Megan realizes she's entered her place of employment, the earbuds get yanked out and she carries a large bag of material to the counter. As for being better dressed, that's debatable. Hair up in a ponytail, body covered by a playful royal purple sundress with aqua and pink paisley swirls, and a pair of grape-shaped sunglasses on her eyes. A gold nameplate is affixed to the thin strap of the dress, and she leans against the counter on her elbows.
"Menswear," she says cheerfully, "is up on the second floor."

Megan's wardrobe would be more worrisome to Carter if he had any idea what the current styles were. Instead, he smiles at her and nods to her. "Great, thanks. Um… could you help me pick a few things out? I'd love your advice. I just quit my job and I've had to revamp all of my wardrobe. It's been so long since I wore anything casual that I'm a little… out of touch with what's acceptable for work AND play at the same time." When Carter realizes what a dork he sounds like, he blushes and smiles at Megan somewhat shyly. "Yeeeah… so that'd be great."

What is Megan here for if not to be helpful? Rather than walking around the counter like she should, she turns around. Then she hops up onto it, slides herself around and down the other side. "You're welcome, I can." Motioning toward the stairs, she starts to lead the way up. "Work and play? That depends on what you like to play. I mean, if you want to dress up like a clown in your off time that's going to be difficult."

There's a long pause to Megan's inquiry before he tilts his head very slowly and then nods. "I mean, no. I don't dress like a clown." Errantly, he finds himself wondering if girls think that's hot. He shakes the question from his head before licking his lips. He seems a little unphased at this point when Megan gets off of the counter like this, though it does bring a smile to Carter's lips. "I guess I'm looking for clothes that you could wear if you ran a hobby shop. Not too casual, not too dressy. Right in the middle. I'm getting ready to hopefully buy a shop." He doesn't discern what kind.

"Business casual, preppy, and… hmm." Turning around on the stairs to face him, Megan taps a finger against her cheek. "Polo and rugby shirts, short sleeve dress shirts, khakis and chinos…" She stops on the next step up and sizes him up and down. "You'll want at least one sports jacket for business meetings with investors or lawyers, and you'll probably want a haircut." The last just sort of slips out casually, though it's much more playful than insulting. "I think you'd do well in earthy colors. Blues, greens, browns."

Carter grins at Megan. "I think that people who want to invest or represent will pretty much expect me not to have a haircut. I'm planning to buy a new age shop." It's easier than saying 'magic' shop, and not exactly a lie. He starts to follow her up the stairs, nearly losing his balance when she spins to critique him. "That's kind of what I was thinking. I still have a suit left…" Or two. "Anyway, earthy tones? I guess that might work well. Given my eye color and all." He smiles easily at Megan, continuing up the stairs. And self-conciously, he runs his fingers up through those tousled blonde locks with something of a blush.

The amusing thing is that Megan was going more off of personality than looks at her suggestions of earthy colors. That he's working at a new age shop just seems to make her laugh. "Definitely earthy tones then. You'll need a belt as well, though I really suggest not doing the whole retro new age thing with the hippy dippy clothes. You're not rotund enough to pull off that look. You'd swim in one of those tops." Smiling, she turns back around and bounds up the last few stairs. Magnolia may be a very upscale boutique, but it definitely has a quirky saleswoman.

"Don't worry, I don't exactly think those kinds of clothes are 'me'." He bounces up the final few steps as easily as Megan, starting to look around the men's department with wide eyes. "It's been a while since I've been clothes shopping. Sort of overwhelming." He digs his hands down into the pockets of what his pants (ironically, khakis) and decides to go wherever Megan leads him. "Have you worked here long?"

"Five years? Six? I lose track. Probably safer to say 'a while' than give an actual numeric." Megan leads through the stuff that's closest to the stairs, as it's the type of thing that someone on a really tight budget would go for. The less designer jeans, a few t-shirts. Not at all what she's going to dress him in. "I guess it is if you're not used to it. What's your inseam?" She has a generally good idea, but she wants confirmation before she starts yanking piece after piece off the rack.

Carter now has to do math in his head. He's blonde. It's hard. "You don't look old enough…" he trails off there. He reaches out for a tag on a pair of jeans and calculates his budget in his head. "My inseam? …I don't know anymore." He realizes that Megan is going to have to measure him and turns a bright red. "Thirty four…?" He almost asks, sounding perplexed and clueless as though she were asking him to do trigonomtry and not ask what size pant he wears.

"I'm older than I look," Megan says, ever so helpfully. "Up on the stool then, I'll go get the tape." It's not as though she's never measured a man for pants before, and it's not like she's going to ask him to strip down to his undergarments. "You may need a thirty six. All depends on how long your legs are and what fit you want."

"Something that fits nicely?" Carter asks again in that same perplexed tone. He climbs up on the stool without breaking his neck and awaits for Megan to return with the tape — although he keeps talking to her. "I'd ask how old, but that would be rude, I'm sure. I wouldn't put you past about nineteen or twenty though. That's a pretty long to be working at a boutique." In his head, he flies down a list of child labor laws that he's picked up previously at the mayor's office. He grows quiet as he delves into this train of thought.

"I started when I was nineteen," she offers, unfurling the tape with a flick of her wrist. Megan then crouches down by the edge of the stool and glances up at him. "Don't be shy now, I have to touch you for this." Reaching out with the tape, she settles one hand on his thigh and the other on his ankle. Just barely touching him — only enough so as to hold the tape in place. "You're a thirty five, so your best bet would be to get the thirty six and get them hemmed. We offer hemming services for a small additional cost." The tape is removed, and she starts to roll it neatly back up.

Carter can't help but cough when Megan asks him not to be shy. He suffers through the touching without managing to get unfortunately aroused or something else completely embarrassing, although he does stand as still as a statue. "Great, I think I'll take that hemming service." Carter isn't exactly sure why he wants it, but it sounds good and professional. "A thirty five. Wow. I have to cut back on the pizza, I suppose. Although everyone has always told me that I could use a little more meat on my bones." He doesn't further mention Megan's having started when she was nineteen, but he does study her face carefully now.

Megan gives him a slightly quizzical look. "I don't think you need to cut back on the pizza. Your inseam is the length. Your waist is something entirely different." Though she's folded the tape already, she reaches out to loop it about his waist and hmms. "Perfect. I know just the pants for you." Standing up abruptly, she smiles at him then flounces off through the racks. She takes long enough to allow him time to compose himself, and then returns with two pairs of beige chinos, and a pair of dark olive khakis.

"You mean you can't tell just from measuring that?" Carter asks incredulously. He really is a dumb blonde at times. Eventually he steps down from the stool and straightens out his jeans with a little trepidation, feeling as stupid as he's sure he looks at this point. He glances into the mirror and considers his hair briefly before turning back to see the returned Megan with pants. "Those look great. Thanks." Carter pauses and smiles sheepishly. "Hmm. I can work with that."

"You'll need shirts as well. I can gather a few of those if you want to change." Megan points to the curtained door, and then waits to see if he wants to go try the pants on before she moves to go in search of more clothing. Polos and short-sleeved dress shirts mostly. Rugbys are too heavy for the summer months, and she's not positive in her assessment that they'd look alright on him.

Oh. He has to /try/ them on. It really has been a while since Carter did this. He nods to her and then slinks off toward the dressing room with his pants. He tries on the beige chinos first, skipping the second pair since they're mostly identical. The olive green ones come next and he comes back out in them to study himself in the mirror he had previously been using.

When Megan returns, it's with several green tops, a few blues, definitely a lot of beige for trim and lines. Each one looks as though it could easily be worn to a casual business, as well as out to a casual dinner and dressy enough to be worn out if need be. "There is more in the back if none of these are to your liking, but they should all fit within your criteria."

"They all look fine, thanks." Carter takes them and trundles back into the dressing room. After a few moments of muffled 'craps' 'damnits' and 'sonofabitches', he emerges with his stack of clothing. "I'll take them all. Thanks, you've been really helpful. Can I get your name so that if I come back I can tell your manager how great you were today, or ask for you again?" Carter asks. He realizes that it may sound vaguely creepy, and the smile he gives her does not seem to help this.

It may come off creepy, but Megan's used to it. Not the kudos, or the managerial discussions about how great she is. She generally only gets those from the old biddies that she's able to emulate. "Megan Braddock," she offers, arms outstretched for the clothing. "You can take the shirts with you now, after I ring them up. If you want the pants hemmed, I can have them ready for you by tomorrow afternoon?"

Carter smiles at Megan and puts the clothes into her capable arms. "Hi, Megan Braddock. I'm Carter Moore. Nice to meet you." He doesn't bother to try to shake hands with her since there's a fabric exchange going on. "I'll take the shirts now, sure. Thanks. I'd like the pants to be hemmed too." He gives her a nod of acquisence as he starts to look around for a counter, dreading a trip back down the stairs out of sheer laziness.

Megan is not Mary Poppins or she'd suggest sliding down the railing. Instead of heading downstairs right away, she takes a moment to fold the shirts neatly, then settles the pants over her left arm. "Tell you what, Carter Moore, I'll charge you ten dollars for the hemming. Now that I know your inseam, I won't have to have you stand there and pin them all up, I can just measure." Which makes the job a lot easier.
Starting for the stairs, she slips the grape glasses up onto her head.

"Really? Thanks. That's… really nice of you." He sounds genuine about it. Carter steps downstairs behind Megan, watching to make sure she makes it down alright safely. "That's really handy of you. I take it you've been sewing for a long time then?" He doesn't bother to ask her the stupid question of 'So you'll be sewing my pants?' since it's obvious she is.

"Thirteen years, give or take," she says as she sets the items on the counter. Again, rather than walk around, Megan slides her way up onto the counter, and then down to he other side. It's unconventional, but she's in an unconventional type of mood today, it would seem. "I made the dress you've been eyeing," she says with a smile, twirling around once she's behind the counter. Then she slides over to the register and starts punching everything in. "With the hemming, that'll be three-oh-six-ninety-seven."

Carter splutters at the price for a moment before he withdraws his Mastercard. "I didn't bring quite enough today, but do you accept these? I also have Visa…" Thankfully he still has a bit of money in his savings account. "Eyeing? I was just appreciating it. Don't make me sound like a total lech." Carter says with a brief grin as he waits for Megan's assessment of his card. "Thirteen years? Wow. That's pretty damned good… I wish I had the patience to do anything for thirteen years."

Plucking the card from his hand, she runs it skillfully through the machine. "Accepted and…" Megan awaits for the machines decision to spit out the receipt. Then it's torn and handed to him, along with a pen, so that it can be signed. The card is handed back afterward. "Eyeing, appreciating, it comes to the same thing in the end — you were looking." The shirts are placed carefully into a blue paper bag, and she sets the pants to the side. A Post-It is taken, and she writes 'Carter' on it, and sticks it atop the pants.
"I like it, really. Sewing. I can lose myself in it. You just have to find something that you like."

"I was looking a little," he says, as if it's better than the alternative. And he had really /tried/ to be discreet. Carter smiles and signs the receipt, pushing it back to Megan as he pockets his card once more. "I haven't found anything I like that much yet, but you'll be the first person I call when I do." It's almost an invitation for an 'Can I have your number?' type of question, but he doesn't go there. Not today. Carter smiles at Megan warmly before taking the bag. "Well, I'll be back tomorrow. Thanks, Megan."

"Oh! Here," Megan says, grabbing one of Maggie's cards for the shop. Her name is written across the back of it. "Call the shop any time after ten, and someone will be able to tell you if the pants are ready or not. I won't be in until noon, but I'll likely have time to finish them tonight." Hemming doesn't take all that long, and it's not the busiest night at Magnolia.

Carter grins a bit. "Thanks." He says as he accepts the business card, looking over it for a few moments before he pockets it. "Don't rush yourself, just… I'll call back tomorrow and see if they're done, okay?" Carter asks, before he starts to depart. "Thanks again."

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