Not a stupid question, trust me. I had my fair share of frustrations trying to figure this out. I can't seem to do it at all from the Basic HTML version. I have to do it from the Standard version. This is what I have to do everytime. I hope it works for you.
1. Scroll down to the bottom of your screen and in the area marked "Gmail View" check to see if you are in the Basic HTML or Standard.
2. If you are in the Basic HTML version, just click on Standard and your screen should update.
3. Scroll back up to the top and click on "Contacts" which is now near the top of your menu options on the left.
4. Once you click on it you should be able to find a "New Contact" button on the left side right below "Tasks" and above "My Contacts"
at 4:57 PM on Nov. 17, 2010