Heroic High Fashion

June 20, 2015:

Betsy, Bette, and Jennifer see if it's possible to be fashionably heeled with heroic.

Henri Bendel, NYC

One of the most upscale clothiers in the tri-cities

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Betsy has a Facebook. She has two, technically- one for Psylocke, because a smart superhero needs to have a social media face- and she has a 'private' one, for Betsy Braddock to chat with friends and link her Instagram and Twitter obsessions. And the hero community isn't really all that large, particularly online, and friends of friends often become friends, even if they've never met in the 'real world'.

So it's sometimes a game of knowing who is who and putting pieces together, but in the end, more people get along than not- and when Betsy had offhandedly mentioned going into New York to do some 'serious shopping' at one of the most upscale boutiques in the tri-cities, it'd been easy enough to make a day out of it.

Betsy emerges from the dressing room and steps into the little platform, looking in the mirror at herself with a self-critical frown. The dress is a simple affair, a snugly-fitted little club number with a presentably modest hem, horizontal stitching, and a single-shoulder strap that emphasizes her long collarbone and strong arms. Black bootie-cut heels with densely woven straps cover her feet. "I don't know," she frets, turning this way and that. "I'm not twenty anymore. What do you think?" she asks, turning to Jennifer and Better, shifting her weight over one foot and resting elegant fingers on her hip.

Glancing over her shoulder, trying to otherwise stand perfectly still while holding her breath, as her measurements are being taken, Jennifer takes a moment to consider before replying, "Depends. You can still pull it off, but what kind of attention are you seeking? You want some adorable teenage blond nerd oggling you while some suave young latino not yet old enough to buy alcohol makes passes at you? Or are you trying to get the attention of some wealthy guy who just wants a trophy on his arm, then sure, that number will work fine." the same words would probably not come from her fleshtone self, but when Jenn is all Gammazon, she tends to have less of a filter… lower inhibitions have their positives and negatives, being bluntly honest could be seen either way. She follows the seamstress to a fitting room nearby to get measured properly.

While it's nice getting a lot of your upmarket outfits sent for free there are times when a girl just wants to pick out something that matches the things she already has. At least that was what Bette told herself when she booked a weekend away in New York. "If the papers are right Betsy has already got all the male attention she needs," she teases. "I'd say go with it. It's virtually impossible to have too many little black dresses. They are timeless after all."

"Mmhm." Betsy gives Jennifer a flat, unreadable look, then checks the mirrors again. She exhales and moves off the mirrored area, after one more look at herself. Kneeling she undoes the shoe buckles and sets them aside. With a wriggly motion she pulls the dress up, careful not to wrinkle it, and wriggles out of the garment without any trace of self-consciousness. It goes on her 'maybe' pile, which is rapidly growing.

"Jennifer, stop holding your shoulders back, darling," she tells the other woman as she combs through what might be a significant portion of the store's inventory, looking for the next option. She pulls out a smart looking red blazer, a white blouse, and white pants, frowning at herself. "Hmm…" She pulls the pants on, then shrugs back into her brassiere and slips on the blouse, fingers buttoning nimbly.

"I have /too much/ attention, Bette," the purple-haired model says a bit self-deprecatingly. "I'm half tempted to see if the TMZ offices are flammable. I suspect they are. Bloody papparazi," she mumbles under her breath. She turns and looks at herself in the mirrors, pluckign at the sleeveless blouse- it sits just above her waistline, leaving a narrow inch of her taut stomach visible between the shirt and the slacks.

"Don't we all?" Bette muses. "I mean my career requires me to wear a short skirt and run around in front of tv cameras while Jennifer is probably the first and only lawyer to have a fanclub in the history of the profession." She shrugs, moving down a line of little bags and comparing them with her shoes. "On the plus side if you /did/ go burn the place down at least you'd have a good lawyer on speed dial?"

"I wouldn't get caught, dear," Betsy says, picking up a belt of silverly loops and hooking it around her waist. She turns this way and that, looking at herself in the mirror. "Any idiot can go burn a building down. The real trick is making it look like it was an accident."

She undoes the belt and hangs it from the 'keep' pile and starts shrugging out of the blouse, looking at Bette curiously. "Are you thinking of getting anything today, or just accessories?" she asks the blonde superheroine. "They do have some very smart looking casualwear, you know. Perhaps a nice sundress?"

"Generally I was looking at accessories. I've got a couple of pairs of shoes that have matching dresses, but the bags which go with them are too small to fit in everything a girl needs on a night out," Bette notes cheerfully. "Although I wouldn't say no if I saw something cute."

After a little while she puts one of the bags in her 'yes' pile. It's still pretty small, but matches her shoes /and/ looks like it can fit a Bird-A-Rang of two inside. "It's probably a lot harder than you'd think to make a really convincing accident. All it would take is a hero with the ability to see into the past or a really good detective, although their offices aren't based in Gotham so you're probably safe on that front."

"In the interest of not incriminating myself, I'll not share my master plan for revenge, then," Betsy says, wriggling her hips and peeling off the tight fitting white pants. She hands them to an attendant and goes back to the rack, pulling down a fetching, mini-maxi dress in red, with tight off-the shoulder sleeves, a tight bodice, and a subtle herringbone stitch under cream decorative lace that covers the belly and ends in a flowing, summer-y skirt that would reaches to about mid-thigh.

Betsy shrugs her brassiere off and pulls the dress on, adjusting the arm loops so they accent her rounded shoulders, and frowns at herself in the mirror. "This just begs for flats, which is something I almost never say," she admits. "Though… maybe some cork wedges," she hedges, tilting her head this way and that. She tugs at the skirt and adjusts the subtle support stitched into the belly. "It's cute, but… it'll be awkward if it gets cold," she mutters, pirouetting on a bare foot and seeing how the fabric flares around her thighs.

"Probably for the best," Bette agrees. "After all I don't think that your hair would work with a prison ensemble. Besides if you thought the press attention you were getting now is bad then afterwards? It'd be like starving sharks around a sinking ship." She brushes her hair back and holds one bag up infront of a mirror. "I wonder if they do this one in red… You know I really can't stand heels. They might look nice but they're so very uncomfortable compared with the custom fit sneakers I get to wear when training."

"Orange is /not/ on my color wheel," Betsy agrees, shaking her head vehemently. "I just don't have the color tone for it, particularly…" she trails off, face going a bit flinty, and avoids looking at Bette. In the superhero community, word's out that Elizabeth Braddock is a six-foot tall half-Asian now, but people are at least polite enough not to mention it to her face in general.

"I'm sure they have it in red- ask the attendant," Betsy tells Bette, looking at the girl. She rests fingers on her hips, shifting her weight over one foot, and narrows her eyes at the other woman. "Darling, be honest- have you ever owned high-end shoes, or just worn obligatory 'dress up' pumps from Target? Because a pair of Ferragamos can feel like walking on a cloud."

"I probably don't get sent quite as many designer shoes as you do," Bette admits with a laugh. "But I /do/ get my share of high-end shoes. Especially around Wimbledon time each year. The parties have enough minor royals and suchlike that if you're on a winning streak everyone wants you wearing their designs. Still, have you ever tried running across a skylight in heels? It's a really quick way to end up falling off a roof."

"Darling, you've /seen/ my professionalwear," Betsy reminds Bette with a tone of vague mirth. "I can't say as it's as easy in stilettos, but I can run on a tightrope in wedges with little trouble."

She moves to a small sofa and sits, crossing her long legs at the knee and looking at Bette. "You might consider getting some shoes properly fitted," she suggests. "I had a pair of Prada that I thought were a lost cause until a shoemaker adjusted the fit of the tongue. Once he did that, I could run around in them all day."

She gestures over the at attendant. "Be a dear and run to the deli on the corner? I'll have one of their turkey lettuce wraps. And whatever my friend wants. Put it on my bill."

"I suppose that could be why the sneakers feel much better. My sponsor used a state of the art laser scanner to make my last pair and most of the materials won't be in a mass market sneaker for a few years. I can't say I enjoy having to promote products for them but it /does/ beat paying for all the R&D work yourself." Bette muses, giving the attendant a wave. "I'll be fine, calorie controlled training diet. But if you could ask someone to check if they have this in red? Thanks."

"You might try the Zone method," Betsy suggests to Bette, stretching out a bit more comfortably once the two women are alone in the dressing room, which is appointed as well as a nice airport lounge. There are even drinks. "I count my calories fairly closely, but I'm more concerned about monitoring my bad carbohydrates than anything. I've found you can give yourself some latitude with calories as long as you aren't cramming your gullet with bread and chips," the Brit says, resting an arm along the back of the sofa behind her.

"Oh it's not really about limiting the calories as such," Bette replies, moving away from the bags and checking out a selection of scarves. "It's just a part of my training regime. I have most of my meals planned out weeks in advance. Times, portion sizes and so on. In a way I can't wait until I retire. Then I'll be able to just kick back and eat icecream whenever I want."

"I tried that," Betsy says, wryly. "When I was modelling and my agents wanted me to ditch the 'Page 6' look," she says, irritation in her tone. "I was hardly fat, but they kept saying that if I wanted to get into the American markets, I had to start developing a more athletic appearance." She exhales at that. "God forfend that a girl in American size four clothing be a model. Still, I gave it a game try. Played all the games local models to to stay skinny. I was bloody miserable," she admits. "I decided I'd rather be five pounds heavier and enjoy some fish and chips once in a rare while than make an extra few thousand pounds a year, living on bottled water and celery stalks."

Flamebird laughs. "Oh god I'd die on a celery diet. You'd be amazed just how much you have to eat when you're an athlete. Tons of carbs, mostly rice and plenty of fruit and vegetables. I guess that's why very few models compete as atheletes and vice versa. The lifestyles just aren't compatable."

"Bette, darling," Betsy says, with an upticked eyebrow. "I /am/ an athlete. Being a stick-skinny American model wasn't in the cards, but one can't have our professional contacts and not be relatively fit. Being unable to spring a hundred yards quickly can be fatal in our line of work. Besides-" she extends an arm, then flexes her bicep, the muscle popping upwards with a remarkable display of fitness and tone. "This body doesn't exactly make itself happen."

Flamebird turns away from the scarves and grins. "You know what I meant," she retorts. "Just think about all the things you have to eat to stay in shape and then think about what you'd need to add to have a day job that involved constant running around. I made the mistake of doing my own food shopping once and the papers ran a story suggesting I was preparing for some sort of charity sumo wrestling match. Or pregant. I wasn't sure which was worse."

"Four hours a day in the gym, dear," Betsy rebuts, her tone a bit more playful though her features are cool and inscrutable. "Every day. Cardio in the morning, then calisthenics. Weight training for an hour and then at least two hours of martial practice. I need nearly two thousand calories a day just to offset my exercise routine, let alone if I have to walk a few blocks in the city because the bus schedule is so rotten."

"All this shop talk is making me wonder if they have the ingrediants for mojito," Bette admits, leaving the scarves and heading to the bar. "Want one? I suppose it's easy to convince yourself that the grass is greener on the other side, but I guess anyone with similar hobbies has to spend a lot of time keeping themself in shape. Of course I /can/ say the traffic is better in Gotham most of the time. Streets being cordoned off due to murders aside."

"Ooh. Yes, please," Betsy says, perking a bit. "I haven't had a mojito in ages. Just don't tell me how much sugar is in the sour mix," she says with a self-deprecating flick of her elegant fingers. She curls her legs up onto the sofa, heels tucking against her thighs. "Carbohydrates are how we know that there is a God, and he hates us," she says with a sigh.

"I find the best approach is not to check," Bette says solemnly. "That way when my dietitian asks I can honestly claim I thought it was okay." She makes a mock cross my heart gesture, then starts making drinks. "I don't really mind carbs. I've been eating a lot of heritage grains lately. Better for you and most of them taste nicer too."

"They seem to go straight to my rear," Betsy admits wryly, exhaling at herself. She reaches for her straight-pressed hair, then, realizing her hands are empty, gestures for her purse. It goes flying to her hand across the room and she pulls a small, collapsible brush out. It unfolds neatly and she absently starts brushing out her luxuriously silky hair, glossy and smooth despite the subtle purple tint to it.

"Still, I was a bit naughty earlier this week. I give myself a fair budget for drinks in my carb allotment. I had to forgo an evening cocktail on Friday- I was on the pier and walked past a proper cart for fish and chips. Heavenly, though," she exhales.

"Now that is such a handy trick. Years ago I tried using a grappling hook like that, ruined a really nice vintage bag before I gave up," Bette says with envy. "I think I've had fish and chips before. Fried, right? Usually when I'm over in Britian people serve up roast lamb dinners. Or /really/ expensive portions of strawberries and cream."

"My family chef was this delightfully plump darling from the Netherlands," Betsy informs Bette, watching the other woman mixing their drinks up. "She lived for pastries, it was a wonder I wasn't a terribly rotund thing when I was in primary. Treacle tart, knickerbocker glory, custards every day of the week. A little fat won't kill you, but the sugar content alone would be enough to send you into a diabetic coma," she says with an eloquent roll of her eyes.

"I got into competetive tennis pretty young, so I've been on a controlled diet since I was.. maybe eight? Although I did rebel a bit during college when I found this little Spanish tapas place. They did calamari with a battered coating and garlic mayo." Bette sips at one of the mojitos, then frowns and adds a little extra lime juice. "I do find it handy to keep a sugary snack with me if I'm out working late. Acts as a little pick me up."

Betsy extends a hand to accept the drink from Bette when the woman walks over with their beverages. "Thank you," she murmurs, sipping it carefully. "I can't even eat sugar like that anymore," she confesses to the other woman. "Cinnamon or taurine- god, I'm addicted to Monster," she says with a sigh. "If I have straight sugar like that, I'll vibrate for five minutes and pass out."

"The energy drink?" Bette wonders. "My agent tried to get some sponsorship deal with them, but they said tennis wasn't really something they wanted to associate with and, to be honest, I'm not a big fan of those kind of things. They're crammed with so many mild stimulants that I always worry one of them will end show up in a drug test.

"The energy drink?" Bette wonders. "My agent tried to get some sponsorship deal with them, but they said tennis wasn't really something they wanted to associate with and, to be honest, I'm not a big fan of those kind of things. They're crammed with so many mild stimulants that I always worry one of them will end up showing in a drug test. Which is really the last thing you want to have to deal with when you compete. Even the speculation can ruin a career."

"Fair enough," Betsy agrees, downing the mojito. She stretches langorously in place and rises. "I think I'll wear this out," she says, looking at the mirror once more. "I like it. Flirty and light, just the thing for summer. I just… ah, here we go." She moves to the shoe rack she'd commandered and holds up four- two wedges, two heels, in red and cream in each style. "What do you think?" she asks, looking to Bette to weigh colors and styles for her.

Flamebird hmmmmmms. "I've always been a big fan of bright colours," she confesses. "So personally I'd go with the red ones. Even if red does sometimes look a little.. you know.. loud." She considers the shoes for a moment. "To be honest I think you can get away with loud colours. You have the figure to go with them."

The leggy ninja gives Bette one of her not-smiles, eyes shining pleasantly. "Red it is. I'll just get both." She taps the 'call' button and hails the attendant, picking her purse up and slinging it over her shoulder, stepping into the red heels. "Everything on the yes pile, please- and I'm wearing this out. Put it on my account? Thank you," she tells the woman.

Betsy walks over to Bette and leaning down, touches her elbow and kisses both of Flamebird's cheeks chastely. "This was lovely, darling, thank you. Do let's do this again?" she offers.

"It's been a pleasure," Bette agrees, nodding as one of the store attendants moves to pick up the (considerably smaller) yes pile she's put together. "I'm sure we can work something out. It maybe cliche but I'll have my people call yours. Depending on how the tournament goes I might be up for a little shopping across the pond in a few weeks. Either to celebrate or console myself. Hopefully celebrate but I wouldn't want to jinx it."

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