C Richard Miles

London Fashion Victim - Poem by C Richard Miles

My advice to you, girl,
Is to give it a whirl,
If you feel like you’re bricked in
As a failed fashion victim:
Just wear the right gear
So you don’t appear
To stand out like a martyr
Or become a non-starter.

You just will inspire
If your hemline is higher,
Though no longer rations
Can determine our fashions
But, with my inspiration,
You’ll be setting the nation
A standard to beat
If your dress sense is neat.

Now, Islington Green
Is a place to be seen
If you harbour a passion
For alternative fashion:
You can sit on the grass
And watch them all pass
In odd combinations
Of daring creations.

But nothing compares
To those kind of stares
You’ll get from the losers
In working-men’s boozers,
For there, they’re more straight
Than the bars on a gate
And couldn’t abide it
If you asked if they’ve tried it.

And no-one affords
In the long room at Lord’s
To turn up quite tieless;
They’d rather be eyeless.
Though those that can play
Might just get away
With less sober colours
At one-day crowd pullers.

But Soho, you know,
Is where they all go
To dress even stranger,
Regardless of danger,
As they stroll down the street,
Though it’s sometimes a feat
In extremely high heels
Or rollerblade wheels.

If you’re at a loss,
You could try Dalston Cross
For the Matalan cheapness
If you’re pockets aren’t deep, miss.
It’s certainly safer
Than shopping in Mayfair,
Where my only advice is
Not to flinch at the prices.

You’ll not wear a frown
In cheap Camden Town
If you get together
With others in leather
Where every proud punk
Picks up all kinds of junk
Like studded dog-collars
That don’t cost many dollars.

Though Kensington High Street
May be better than my street
You cannot find finer
If your taste’s for designer;
There’s nothing so smart
As those great works of art,
If you foster a loathing
For cheap, warehouse clothing.

If it’s your sort of scene,
Alexander McQueen
Could supply a selection
From his newest collection
But I think it might hurt
In a tight pencil skirt
When a sharp metal zipper
Is determined to nip you.

You’ll not feel a fraud
When you’re in the King’s Road
If you wander westward
In a Vivienne Westwood
And you’ll not walk alone
If you dress like a Sloane
In green wellies and Barbour
But don’t plump for Blue Harbour.

If you’re wanting to flirt,
Buy a Ben Sherman shirt
For the blokes that you’ll meet
On Carnaby Street
And treat them like gods
If they’re dressed up as mods
And don’t think they are shockers
If they’re got up as Rockers.

Now a Whitechapel store
Is the place to explore
If inside you may lurk a
Deep desire for a burkha.
If you’ve not much to spend,
This advice I can lend:
Buy a veil or a yashmak
And then ask for cashback.

And Southall may please
With a shalwar kameez
But you risk their derision
If you show indecision
And you dither, my friend,
Then their patience may end
If they’re in a hurry;
They won’t stop to say “Sari.”

In seedy Brick Lane
It would be crying shame
If you missed out on bargains,
For they don’t make large margins
But don’t risk your neck
And be careful you check
That they’ve not tried to fake it
Like designers might make it.

Long ago people came
To Petticoat Lane
To buy rags for a penny
If they hadn’t got many;
There you still find cheap clothes
If you’re looking for those
But be sure you go Sunday:
They’re just open for one day.

But where to impress
In much smarter dress
Is always in Paris
Where scruffs just embarrass.
You’ll win by a mile
With classy French style
As you stroll, slow and easy,
On the broad Champs Elysées.

Will you pass the test
Or just fail like the rest
And seek total obscurity
In Marks and Sparks’ purity?
For there’s nothing so dull,
If you’re out on the pull,
If you’re frumpy as vicars
In baggy grey knickers.

And don’t be a slob
When you go for a job
For nothing impresses
Like pin-striped suit dresses
Make sure you take care
And choose what to wear
For the clothes you are sporting
First impressions are courting.

But whatever you choose,
Be assured you won’t lose
For no-one thinks you’re cuter
Than your sweet, doe-eyed suitor
If you wear the wrong dress
And your hair’s in a mess
As it tangles above you;
Just be sure that he’ll love you.

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, March 12, 2009

Poem Edited: Monday, March 16, 2009

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