Archive for the Dear DbyDC… Category

Dear DbyDC: My leggings are falling down

Posted in Dear DbyDC... with tags , , on January 25, 2012 by DbyDC

Dear Death by Dress Code,

The elastic went in my leggings on my walk to work and I now resemble Nora Batty. I have 57p to last me till payday so I can’t buy anything new and I can’t take them off because my skirt is too short. Am I going to have to just sit at my desk all day and hope no one asks me to move?


Dear Saggy Pants,

Damn right you can’t take them off. Flashing your pants is one thing, catching pneumonia is very much another. This is not America. Under no circumstances should you take off the leggings.

Now. About your Nora Batty problem. Don’t worry we’ve all been there. I wore a pair of tights last week with a similar issue and spent the entire day feeling like the gusset was hanging out the bottom of my skirt. But even in times of austerity there are measures you can take to preserve your dignity and/or vanity. First of all, have you considered braces? There must be a few older gents in your office with a spare pair tucked away in a drawer. I know they’re largely worn ironically or by skinny teenagers but that’s exactly why it would be so nice to give them a go. Use them as Albert Thurston intended, you know? The resulting look could perhaps be something like this:

Maybe keep your shirt on for the office though, eh?

Not convinced? Ok. Never fear, I have the ultimate cheap trick… the office stapler. Seriously. Pinch the fabric at the back of your leggings, pulling the waistband until it sits comfortably against your skin. Next, fold down the excess material against the waistband and staple into place. Use several staples if you need to, to avoid a bulge. Don’t secure it too well or you’ll end up like Olivia Newton John in Grease when they sewed her into her costume and she couldn’t go to the loo all day (true story). You need to be able to undo and redo the staples if necessary. This will probably also mean taking the stapler to the toilet with you so if that’s likely to be a problem I’d maybe consider paper clips or bulldog clips instead.

I can personally vouch for the results. Check out the pic below in which, unbeknownst to all but me, the entire back of my skirt is riddled with staples.

Huggles, DbyDC xx


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.

Dear DbyDC: Does my Halloween costume make me look like a novelty stripper?

Posted in Dear DbyDC... with tags , , , , on October 30, 2011 by DbyDC

Dear Death by Dress Code,

I ordered this pirate costume online for a Halloween party but now it’s arrived I realise it is not actually suitable for a public outing. I was going for ‘racy’ but have ended up somewhere between ‘I think I can see your pants’ and ‘Are you in fact a prostitute?’

I still think I can make it work, what do you reckon? No?

Ok, no.


Dear Pirate-slut,

What was your first clue? The fact that it comes with fishnet stockings or the fact that it lists panties as an ‘optional extra’? Jesus, woman, any fool can see this is a sex-outfit. Next time bypass the fancy dress shop and just go straight to Ann Summers.

But actually I think you can rescue this. Now, if it was me… well, let’s be honest, if it was me this would never have happened in the first place. My feelings on ‘sexy fancy dress’ have been well documented. But if it was me, I would be sorely tempted to rip up the skirt (into piratey rags – duh) and wear it as a kind of scruffy tunic over breeches (jeans) tucked into boots. This way you get the racy corset aspect but without any of the (optional) pantie flashing.

Failing that you could always wear leggings. Authenticity was never going to be your strong point here so you might as well be comfy.

Happy Halloween, DbyDC xx


DbyDC is now an agony aunt. Tweet me your dilemmas or drop me a line.

WARNING: May contain light mocking.

Dear DbyDC: Should I shave my head?

Posted in Dear DbyDC... with tags , , , on October 19, 2011 by DbyDC

Dear Death by Dress Code,

I’m a white man with what can best be described as a ‘mop’ of very thick, unmanageable black hair. My girlfriend insists that the mop stays, but I long for the days when I could just ask the barber for a number 3 all over and walk out 30mins later, only £8 poorer and about a kilo lighter.

Sadly, she insists that the close cut look isn’t for her and so far I’ve obeyed her demands. Can you come up with a viable compromise, or do I just have to do what she says until one of us dies?



Dear Mop-Top,

First of all, are you Jason Statham’s twin brother? If the answer is anything other than “ohmygod, I literally get that ALL the time” then the chances of you looking good with a shaved head are very slim indeed. Let’s face it, even Becks looked a bit of an arse.

In terms of doing what she says, well normally I’m of the ‘fuck the haters, man, you make your own style rules’ persuasion but on this occasion it does sound suspiciously like she might know best. However, there’s bound to be a compromise. Have you considered going the other way and growing it so it’s actually longer than hers? That’d freak her out. Or what about straightening it? Again, I’m feeling shock and awe tactics are the way forward here.

Failing that you could always just get a trim every three to six months like everyone else.

Ta ra, DbyDC xx


DbyDC is now an agony aunt. Tweet me your dilemmas or drop me a line.

WARNING: May contain light mocking.

Dear DbyDC: Help, I got dressed in my sleep…

Posted in Dear DbyDC... with tags , , on October 19, 2011 by DbyDC

Dear Death by Dress Code,

I got dressed while still half asleep this morning, put on black skinny jeans and an oversize shirt (an outfit I’ve previously sported with success) but then added over-the-knee suede boots and so much jewellery I can barely move. I’m now stuck at work hating my outfit but not being able to do anything about it.

Please help!


Dear Half-Asleep,

First off, there IS something you can do about it. Take off some of the jewellery. Put it in your handbag. Does that feel a bit better? Ok, good.

This is a classic problem. What you’ve done in your bleary-eyed state is whacked on your nearest fail-safe ensemble. This was a sensible move, well done. But then you’ve panicked that it was too easy and tried to overcompensate with the boots and jewellery. Don’t fret, it happens. Yes, you look like some sort of domanatrix Egyptian goddess but who says that’s necessarily a bad thing?

Now that you’ve taken off the jewellery you should be some way towards feeling normal again. Unfortunately when it comes to the boots, there’s not much you can do, short of an emergency ballet pump purchase. If this is in any way a viable option I’d say go for it. You probably need a new pair of ballet pumps anyway. You could even think about leaving them at work as back-up in case you fuck up again which, let’s be honest, seems fairly likely.

In the meantime I’d suggest getting back to work. You sit at a desk all day, it’s not like anyone actually cares what you’re wearing.

Hugs, DbyDC xx


DbyDC is now an agony aunt. Tweet me your dilemmas or drop me a line.

WARNING: May contain light mocking.