Monday was an orgy of shopping. First, we went to Tango 8 (Lavalle 3101 near the Abasto). I think we tried on 10% of the store!
Tango 8 does not organize by size at all. Much of the tango clothing available here is "one size fits all" and the assumption is that stretchy fabric will accommodate to your body. Most of the clothes were divided into skirts, dresses, tops--but that was it. There was one section of plus sizes that was not there in 2010. I found that many of the clothes "fit" for here in Buenos Aires, but would be considered revealing in the United States. Also, I've learned to look at how great silver snakeskin lycra looks on me--and not to buy it.
The service is almost non-existent, despite the fact that we went early and had the shop to ourselves most of the time. in fact, the salesgirls stood at the counter and watched from a distance while we waded through all the clothes.
We made an appointment at Asignatura Pendiente (Corrientes y Junin). They no longer have a shop, but instead have a showroom where they can concentrate on clients one at a time. I don't think that made it more efficient for us, since we ending up trying on a LOT more clothes that way. We both found some nice clothes, and they are well-made and pretty. At the end, we spent an hour trying to see if my credit card had gone through because their machine acted up, and they couldn't get any technical support to address the problem. In the end, we left with the understanding that, if it had not gone through, they would call me and I would pay them in cash. A very frustrating experience, but I can't think of any business at home that would have trusted a complete stranger to give them email and check back later on $150 of clothing. Nice folks.
Neotango (Sarmiento 1938), visit #2 (or is it #3?). I went to buy shoes for my sweetie and amused the salesman by trying them on because we wear almost the same size. In the end, I bought two sizes and I'll sell the other pair. Same as the their shoes for women, I think these are well-made. The cost is the same, and I'm sure these take a lot more leather; perhaps the difference is in time to make the fancy strappy shoes?
Shoe repair (Sarmiento 1882): How convenient that the shoe repair place is a block from Neotango! We can buy shoes, drop them at the shoe repair to put suede on the bottoms, and go out for coffee, all in one block!
Euro Records (Lavalle 2039, piso 1) is also the home of the Buenos Aires Tango Club, a non-profit dedicated to the preservation and diffusion of traditional tango music. I got a tip from a British dancer who had been there when I told him that I couldn't locate Donato and Lomuto CDs in the stores. WOW! The music historian who runs it knows so much about the music, the orchestras, the history of each disc. His helper runs the computer side of things and also speaks English. I hadn't meant to buy any discs, but I bought five or six: Lomuto, Donato, Rodio, Buzon . . . I had to stop. If you are going to buy music, check this place out. They are open 12-6 Monday-Friday. It has a poorly marked door with a buzzer, and all you can see is a security door and stairs, but you are in the right place.