Despite living on a tighter budget, married life is going pretty well for Carrie. She enjoys going all Martha Stewart and doing domestic tasks like cooking dinner each night. A whole year passes (in the course of a few paragraphs), and in the following year Hurstwood's business picks up and he starts going out alone more, skipping his dinners with Carrie. After the third time he does this, Carrie is peeved… but not devastated, because she's not so into Hurstwood anymore.
In fact, Carrie's even making some new friends. She strikes up a friendship with Mrs. Vance, a woman who recently moved in across the hall with her husband. One night, Mrs. V invites Carrie and Hurstwood to come over to play cards and meet Mr. Vance. Carrie warns them that Hurstwood is going to be late.
Carrie and the Vances play cards and Hurstwood later shows up. Carrie notices that she's looking a little shabby compared to the fashion plate Mrs. Vance, and this seriously bums her out.
One morning, Mrs. Vance invites Carrie to go to the theater—again, Carrie is super jealous of Mrs. V's outfit and accessories. As the two ladies stroll down Broadway, they find themselves in the midst of something of an impromptu fashion parade with ladies and gents all checking out each other's outfits.
Carrie likes the attention until she realizes that—eek—she's the worst-dressed of everyone.
Now she wants to get out of there in a hurry, though she's eager to return when she's looking better.