Archive for November, 2011

The perils of vintage – Part 1: Shoes

Posted in My Dress Code with tags , , , on November 21, 2011 by DbyDC

Like my boots? Yeah, well don’t get too fond. These fuckers have walked their last. To be honest, I should have thrown them away a long time ago, the heels are absolutely wrecked and I look like a bow-legged marionette shuffling about in them. But they just looked so cool with all my floaty gipsy/opium fiend outfits and it’s not like I was going to go trekking in them or anything.

Well, no. But I did wear them to go stomping around Chelsea Harbour looking for furniture showrooms and as a result I am now sitting on my bed with an ice pack on my ankle. The bastard things have crippled me. I had to do an emergency ballet pump run this morning (‘run’ being a very loose term in this context) because I couldn’t physically make it to the office in them. That’s the last time I buy vintage shoes.

Except… I say that every time. It occurred to me today as I hobbled to the shops that a frightening amount of my flat shoes have been the result of emergency purchases after a pair of vintage shoes has failed me.

Now, DbyDC loves a bit of vintage but this is not couture we’re talking about. This is been in an attic for twenty years, found ’em down the back of eBay, BARGAIN hunt. They are not antiques; I am not ‘investing in a piece of fashion history’. I like vintage because it’s not fashion-by-numbers, it involves a bit of imagination. And it’s cheap.

Not only is it cheap, it is also second-hand. This means someone else has worn it. Possibly several someone elses. And possibly not just worn but worn in. Consequently it sometimes (often) falls apart. Which is fine if it’s a dress or a jacket which you can just stitch up again but shoes…

Last time I took these boots to the cobbler he looked at me in disbelief and said “Really? You want to pay me to re-sole these? Why don’t you just get some new ones?” Essentially what he was telling me was that I’d written them off. The price of the new soles was going to out value the boots themselves. I’d be better off stripping them for parts.

But I persevered and now here I am. Have I learnt my lesson? Have I fuck. I’ll be scanning eBay within minutes. But in the meantime I am really going to have to try to stick to ballet pumps for a few days. Balls. Luckily for me Zara came up trumps and I am now the proud possessor of the most Christmassy pair of shoes I’ve owned since I was about five.


From dumb blonde to carrot top

Posted in My Dress Code with tags , , on November 21, 2011 by DbyDC

Last week I dyed my ash blonde hair copper-red. I always got told how nice I looked with blonde hair but who the hell wants to look ‘nice’?

People keep telling me I’m brave. I’m not. In no conceivable way does paying someone £70 to add pigment to your hair constitute bravery. DbyDC assumes you don’t need to examples of what actual bravery looks like?

Good. So we’ve established that dying your hair is not on a par with IED disposal. Here’s what it is like…

Bye bye blonde…

(Bravery accusers: note the safe environment. I have a gown on. I’m smiling. The hairdryer has been stowed safely. The woman in the background even has a cup of tea.)


And we’re off. No turning back now. Fine. That’s absolutely fine (shiiiiiititsreallydark).


Not at all sure about these bunches. On the plus side, this neck collar makes me look kinda sci-fi. That’s why I’m giving you the death stare – for the otherworldly effect. Not because I’m scared or anything.


Woohoo, fiery redheadedness here I come. Expect impulsive decisions, hot tempers, and general smouldering.

(Also, a steadfast conviction that there is a scientific explanation for everything, even when it’s a super paranormal and there’s, like, cryptoplasmic slime coming out of it and shit…)

Dear DbyDC: Help me stop online shopping

Posted in Dear DbyDC... with tags , , , on November 16, 2011 by DbyDC

Dear Death by Dress Code,

Please help me avoid buying pretty things I don’t need on the internet. I am a mouse click away from giving £100 to benefit.

How do I stop?


Dear Online Philanthropist,

Wow, £100, that’s really generous. What’s the cause? Oh, Benefit. I see. Yeah… you probably shouldn’t do that.

Now I should warn you now that I am about to make a few assumptions about you. Call it prejudgement if you like. Either way, it’s happening. So firstly, you work in an office. Only people who sit in front of screens all day frustrated and bored while their melting, under-used brains slowly trickle out of their ears can truly understand what it means to seek solace in an online splurge. It’s so quick, it’s so easy. And the relief… oh! The pleasure is both instant and perfect. In that moment you realise, indeed you know, that everything is going to be okay. You didn’t really need a brain anyway, not when you can have Sugarbomb Sugar Rush Flush face powder.

Not many people know this but online shopping is actually an opiate. It’s true, it comes from the poppy. And its effects – though initially highly enjoyable – can be just as disastrous.*

Which brings me to my second assumption. You can’t, if you’re really honest with yourself, afford to spend £100 in Benefit. Or anywhere else for that matter. Clearly if you could you wouldn’t be writing to me (of all people) to ask for help. The momentary purchase-high is being seriously overshadowed by the all-consuming guilt and, more crucially, hunger when you realise it’s the end of the month and you can’t actually afford to buy breakfast cereal.

Thirdly, you aren’t a habitual make-up wearer. Because frankly if you were you wouldn’t be forking out all that money on Benefit products. Trust me. Never has the phrase “paying for packaging” been more appropriately applied. If you really want to blow your pay cheque on cosmetics, allow me to point you in the direction of Stila. Or Nars. In fact fuck it, just get your arse down to Space NK.

Because therein lies your salvation. What you actually need is not a spending binge but a break. Instead of sitting at your desk, clicking through page upon page of cream shadow and lip stain in search of anaesthesia, get up and leave the goddamn building. Go for a wander. Grab a coffee, read a chapter of your book. If you must pop into the shops then by all means do but if you really need a material pick-me-up, might I suggest Accessorize? Earrings cost under a tenner and I can guarantee you will get more wear out of them than an All-Over Shimmer Powder in ‘Kitten’ (kitten for fuck’s sake?!?!).

Don’t buy the ones in the picture, though. I’ve shotgunned those.

Snogs, DbyDC xx


*For propriety I should note that online shopping probably isn’t as bad as heroin.

Another day, another offensive T-shirt

Posted in Fashion News with tags , , on November 2, 2011 by DbyDC

Another day, another offensive T shirt . This time by a clothing manufacturer called Chargrilled (nope, me neither). Click here for details but essentially all you need to know is that this company were selling a T-shirt that read:

No + Rohypnol = Yes

Woweeeee. And as ever in the fashion world it got even better when the company’s founder tweeted that anyone who didn’t like them could “get a life” and that “they weren’t meant for ugly feminists” anyway.

Oh, right. Okeydoke then. Nee bother.

Oh… except I forgot just one teeny thing. You’re a fucking idiot, @charlieshiner (whoops, was that his twitter handle?).