Try me: RUBBER T-SHIRT

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Indy Lifestyle Online
On no account ever attempt casually to pull on a rubber T-shirt without first taking your glasses off. You might never fight your way free, and you could spend the rest of your life stuck half-in, half-out. And in the resulting claustrophobic struggle, you are likely to get your hair caught in the seams and painfully lose a large handful. I speak from experience.

In fact, do not try to put on or take off any such garment without a helper at hand to haul up or down as necessary. And don't forget to remove your bra before going through all this, or you will have to take the damn thing off and start again. This is because rubber clings not only to elegantly skinny ribs and bones (or rolls of stomach flab or whatever) but also to every last stitch and detail of whatever is worn underneath.

Avoiding a visible bra line, however, creates other problems. Unless you are an impossibly pointy-breasted model-type, you'll find your bosom is spread out over an area from navel to collar bone by the sheer strength of the clinging suction that rubber exerts.

Angry gorillas apparently give off a strong smell of heated rubber. You, too, can exude that angry gorilla odour as your T-shirt warms up. Fragrant it is not. Also, it squeaks ridiculously every time you move your arms.

The least endearing thing about rubber, however, is the feel. Never for one second can you forget you're wearing it, because it clutches at you with a strange, restricting, clammy grasp and sticks tenaciously to your skin.

Reaction to it was generally unenthusiastic. "It looks like those horrible overalls the dentist wears," said one friend. "Ugh! You can't possibly wear it to the office."

"Why don't you try sticking plasters over your nipples?" suggested my sister helpfully. Yeowch! And anyway, I think that perky look is meant to be part of the effect.

Wearing it to Safeway had no noticeable effect, one way or the other, on shoppers in Wimbledon - probably because I was grimly hunched over (partly through embarrassment at the cling factor, partly through nearly freezing to death by the chill cabinets; rubber is far less insulating than you might imagine, and cool breezes raise goosebumps underneath it).

I suspect, though, that I did intercept a few pitying glances from trendy young teenagers. And quite rightly so. In my view, anyone older than 20 who weighs more than seven stone should leave rubber T-shirts well alone.

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