One-Shop Style by Kayla Thomas

The sales people tell me what I need is a statement coat, that in a Sea Of Neutrals this red coat will be an Outfit-Maker, A Diamond In The Rough. I tell them there’s nothing rough about this city and pull one of the gold buttons. Maybe it’s real gold. The coat is $897 and it should have real gold. They tell me this coat will really dial up the Wow Factor just as I’ve plucked the button into my hand. My impulse is to drop it, but I cup it instead, a blossom with my palm-lines as vines.

I say, Is this what my money will buy my? A too flashy coat with shoddy threadwork to boot? They try to take the button from my hand, but I close my fingers around it and turn my shoulders away.

I say, You have one more chance.

They say, What about an All White Ensemble—classic, but still Stand-Out. This dress, they say, is embellished with rose gold.

There are buttons here, too, and I follow the trail of them down to the hem of this white gown—looking for the glitter. I don’t see gold. I tell them so, I won’t be fooled. They assure me it’s in the thread and remove it from the hanger.

In the dressing room I turn the dress inside out and trace the seams, covered with fabric. I wonder what’s the point of gold in a dress if it’s hidden and think you can’t call it embellished if it’s invisible. I tear the seam. Rip the fabric backwards until I find the first gold thread.

When I pull, the dress unravels in snowflakes around me, flaking and flurrying to the floor. I pull until I have so much string, I have to wrap it around my wrist to keep track. I wrap and wrap until the fabric snow has melted at the floor and I have a row of rose-gold bangles up to my elbow.

One-Shop Style, I say to myself and jingle my new bracelets against my wrist.

Kayla Thomas is an MFA candidate at Indiana University and a recipient of the Omar S. Castañeda Fellowship in Fiction. A Kentucky native, she currently lives in Bloomington, Indiana, where she teaches creative writing and takes care of other people’s dogs. Her work has appeared in Day One.

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