Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate October 2001

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"Dressing up, dressing down" As the sun shone through the crack in the curtains, the continuous ring of my alarm clock drove me to take a swipe at it with the back of my hand. I tried to recollect my thoughts on the night before, but noticing the clock (now on the floor) showing a time of 11:30, I scrambled to get up. I ran firstly to my wardrobe, of course, throwing clothes of all colours and variety to either side of me. I dashed to the bathroom holding a pink cashmere sweater - which accentuates the chest "“ and a black velvet skirt, brushed my teeth, slipped on my clothes and left the house at no later than 11:45.

I should have known that today was just going to be one of those days from the moment that I got up! I arrived at my lecture 45 minutes late, practically falling in the door to the room, only for everyone to turn around and stare.

There were a few giggles and open laughs from the students at the front. I looked down to where their eyes must have met the large and rather grotesque stain of last night's "˜lasagne for one'. I stood still, shocked at first with myself for bypassing the mirror on the way out that morning, and then at the impeding embarrassment. That split second of my life felt like an hour.

I felt my face burning crimson and my legs beginning to do that thing they always do when I embarrass myself "“ not that I do it often! I stood still like some zombie I had seen on one of those sci-fi programmes. My body refused to move although my head was saying "do a u "“turn out of here". The laughs became louder in my head, comments were being thrown at me, but defending myself was not an option. Eventually when my legs regained their feeling, I made a quick exit out of the room. I tried to convince myself that everything would be okay "“ "I will still be a fashion guru"¦I will still be a fashion guru"¦" No. I had decided, "how could everything be okay? I have just gone from Clothes Queen to Bin Lady with last night's dinner on her chest"¦help!" That incident led me to believe that I was a fashion victim and not a fashion guru. To my friends it seemed that the moment of embarrassment would pass and I would recapture my life as a normal student. To me it felt that the world had ended. On a more serious note though, when I thought about it, I do like my clothes and bags"¦and shoes. I believe now, that it was my mother's fault. I followed the fashion trend from a very young age. My mother had dragged me through "Marks and Sparks" as a young child and abused me with little pink dresses, frilly socks and hair ribbons only for me to refuse to wear them. She attempted to bribe me with a packet of "Jelly Babies", which needless to say worked, and thus I became a little lady.

I watched myself turn into a fashion victim over the years. Every time the new edition of "Vogue" came out I had a copy. I need three or perhaps four pairs of Italian leather boots, and that was each winter! Whenever I saw a "˜SALE' sign in a window of a shop, I had to buy something. It was after all a bargain, and even if it was a make that wasn't fashionable enough, I could always rip off the label. I tried now "“at the age of twenty- to tell myself that fashion didn't matter. You didn't have to buy a designer dress at £100 pounds each time you went to a posh restaurant, or wear your finery to college. "I will live like a normal student from now on "“It's my New Year's resolution," I told myself.

As everybody knows, New Year's resolutions are meant to be broken. With most people it is a weakness for chocolate, with me it was shopping for clothes. I had to get rid of this disease. I stood in front of the mirror in my up-market London flat, having spent over an hour deciding on what to wear for my date in a top restaurant, "How could I possibly compare my River Island sell-off to Victoria Beckham's Versace number?" "There is no God" I cried aloud, why could my line not appear on the lottery programme. Think of all those clothes I could buy. I had to be rational. She probably won't even be there, but what if she is? I recollected my thoughts back to the college embarrassment. Trying once more to calm myself, I eventually had the courage to put on my sale dress, do my hair, and leave the house.

That night was fabulous. As expected people commented on my dress sense "“that it was wonderful- and unfortunately, Victoria Beckham wasn't there to challenge my style in choosing clothes "“what a shame!

Deke Sharon | Play Movie | Planetes