Deborah Ross: 'Sometimes I punch myself in the stomach while humming, but only if I’m wearing a statement belt'

If You Ask Me
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The Independent Online

If you ask me, fashion on a budget isn't difficult. Firstly, any outfit can immediately be updated with a cheap, chic accessory like, say, a statement scarf – although first, a word of caution: do be careful about what statement it is making. I once had a scarf that, wherever we went, would always state that it knew a better route, which was very annoying. Once, on the bus, when it kept on stating that we should have got off at the last stop (which we should not), I'm afraid to say I punched it. And then punched it again. "Are you punching yourself in the throat?" asked the man next to me. "No," I said, "I'm punching my statement scarf." He then looked at me in a very concerned way. Men and fashion. They just don't get it, do they?

Also, you do not need the latest, expensive gadgety what-nots, like iPods or any other MP3 player. I simply hum to myself instead and it works brilliantly, particularly when I put myself on shuffle, which means I never know what I'm going to be humming next. I might imagine, for example, that I'll next be humming "Hey Jude" but instead I'll find myself humming the overture from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Talk about being taken by surprise! And so too was the man next to me on the bus. "Are you humming the overture from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat while punching yourself in the throat?" he asked. "No," I told him. "I'm being my own iPod, while beating up my statement scarf, just to show it who's boss. I can't have it telling me where to go."

Sometimes, I punch myself in the stomach while humming to myself, but that's only if I'm wearing a statement belt. Anyway, these are good, money-saving tips and if you follow them you might even end up, as I did, in a nice place where they give you your own small room with padded walls – Skandium, I think – and a jacket with ties at the back (Vera Wang?). It's good here and I don't have to pay any electricity bills or anything! Seriously, when it comes to fashion on a budget you should stick with me or, if you can't, you could at least visit once in a while (Tuesdays, 3pm to 4pm; no sharp objects).