the clothes line

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try me: hipsters

For me, these Gucci hipsters in luxurious inky velvet were the most covetable item of the season; if my bank balance allowed it, they would have my name on them.

I had visions of myself, butterscotch hair swinging, snakeskin-hipster- clad hips striding to the happening places around town, causing heads to turn and men to fall at my feet. Alas, the reality did not tally with my fantasy.

Let's get something straight before I go any farther. I am a size 10 on a good day, a size 12 when I have eaten. I had never felt my hips were a problem. My stomach, yes, but a hip-butt-thigh-problem never entered the equation. But this whole hipster experience left me feeling quite abnormal. I can't begin to explain the trauma I felt when I attempted to slide these trousers over my hips. My legs seemed to elongate, and as I perused myself in the mirror (from the toes up), I liked what I saw - until mid-thigh. Then all I wanted was liposuction, or a long, baggy jumper.

I will cut my sob story short. It's hard for me to admit it, but these hipsters were cut so low that I looked like I had a workman's butt. I was mortified. I still am. The zip was so short, about as long as my big toe, and the knickers showing above the waistband were not attractive.

I think I'll stick to drooling over the likes of Kate Moss or Amber Valletta in the current advertising campaign, and console myself with the fact that their fellow supermodel Helena Christensen is rumoured to have had the same problems as me. There is a God.

Black velvet hipsters, pounds 165, from Gucci, 30-33 Old Bond Street, London W1.

buy me: camel skirt

Anyone who is anyone knows that camel is the colour for autumn. But when something is this much of a fashion phenomenon, you can be sure that's not going to last for ever. So why pay designer prices when many chain stores already have some perfectly acceptable items to offer?

Warehouse has a neat A-line camel skirt with belt not dissimilar to those seen on the catwalks at Prada (this season's other fashion obsession) and on the rails of the up-market French basics label APC. And if you are at a loss as to what you should be wearing with your new-look skirt, the people at Warehouse have, of course, got just the thing: a satin fitted shirt, a cosy argyle twinset, and a knee-length tapered coat.

A word of warning, however: camel is an incredibly hard colour to wear, so to avoid looking pasty, team your camel skirt with a flash of brilliant white and - but only if your skin has enough colour - a good helping of bare flesh.

Those who do not want to blend into the crowd could opt for scouring second-hand shops, or rummaging through grandma's wardrobe, for a piece that will really stand out. And the really fashion-crazed should take note of Madonna's butterscotch-coloured hair in the latest Versace pictures.

CH

Belted melton wool skirt, pounds 36.99, available from Warehouse, branches nationwide; inquiries 0181-910 1400.

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