Kate Barton, 27, is a student nurse at Bloomsbury & Islington College of Nursing & Midwifery.
I'M spending a low-key sort of Christmas Day with my sister in Exeter, because my parents are away in Italy. I don't have much in the way of dressing-up clothes, so I'll probably wear my ever-so-vulgar glittery gold top with my blue jeans. Very appropriate for Christmas, don't you think?
The rooms at the nurses' hostel are small, but then I don't have so many clothes. My fashion budget is very small. I have to get by on pounds 370 a month all told, so I can't really afford to go wild on clothes. I've only bought three things since I started the course in September: a raincoat from Jigsaw, and a black skinny rib polo neck and leggings, both from Marks & Spencer. The coat was a real extravagance because it cost pounds 100. My previous coat, which was a real old friend to me, got ripped in a frenzy when I went to see Tom Jones in concert.
I only shop in two places - M&S and Jigsaw - but I try to avoid Jigsaw now because it's depressingly expensive. I think M&S is brilliant; it has really improved over the past few years.
I studied fashion at Trent Poly before I decided I preferred nursing. I'm still interested, but the fashion pages in the magazines make my blood boil. Most of the clothes are way beyond most people's means. I don't see the point in buying clothes that will only last one season. Most of my wardrobe is ancient: I've got a three-year-old Miss Selfridge skirt, a five-year-old Warehouse washed silk shirt, an eight-year-old polo-neck top from M&S.
I've got lots of polo-neck tops that are all wearing out at the same time, which is a real problem. I've asked my Mum for M&S vouchers for Christmas. If I don't get them, I'll throw myself off a cliff]
I don't want to look scruffy, so I wouldn't shop in charity shops, but I do like wearing big jumpers that you can curl up in. It's like wearing a sleeping bag. I also love jeans because they're so comfy; I've got two pairs - blue and overdyed red, both from Levi's. My smartest jacket is from Hobbs; I bought it for my interview. Oh, yes, and I'm a big fan of Gossard Wonderbras; they give you lift and shape. I think the biggest perk a woman can have is to look at her cleavage in a Wonderbra.
Don't ask me about my uniform. I don't get one until next spring. I'll have to wait and see.
(Photograph omitted)Reuse content