What’s the stupidest thing you’ve done for fashion?


The H&M x Balmain launch destroyed hopes and dreams everywhere. Five members of The Pool team commiserate by sharing their least sensible fashion moments

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By Lynn Enright on

I spent seven hours queuing for H&M Balmain and came away with nothing 

The main thing I felt, after queueing for seven hours at the H&M store on Regent Street and coming away with nothing, was a sense of hollowness.
The aim had been to arrive at the office with a big, shiny black and gold bag, having joined the #HMBalmaination. Instead, I got to work after lunch, so late and so exhausted, beating myself up because I couldn’t believe that I woke up at 5.30am to voluntarily take part in a PR event that represents everything I detest. 
I was hypnotised by the tailoring, the bright gold buttons and the slickness of it all – but was it worth it? Was it worth waking up before the sun had risen, to stand in the cold for seven hours and not even get a look in the store? No. Obviously. 
One day, I'm sure I will look back on this and laugh but, yesterday, I just wanted to cry because, not only was I stupid enough to sacrifice sleep to queue for clothes, but I literally have nothing to show for it.
Sherifa Benjamin, commercial project manager 

My fancy new shoes ripped my feet to shreds and it was the worst thing that has ever happened to me

After hunting for them for months, I finally came across the metallic silver platform brogues at Zara during a lunchtime browse. I bought them on the spot and decided to wear them out to a posh dinner date that evening.
I had to buy plasters on the short walk from office to restaurant and apply them in a pub down the road. My feet were slightly in pain, but I battled on through the Michelin-starred meal with the aid of a soothing wine haze. By the time I was getting a cab home to my date’s place, I was trying not to wince as I walked, but got there in one piece and didn't think much of them until the next morning – when I had no choice but to wear them into work. 
Walking to the station, I looked like a stork who had been forced to wear shoes for the first time: they felt and looked like they were made of steel. I got to the train platform only to follow a man's horrified gaze to see that my feet were both pouring blood over the sides of the shoes. Hot with embarrassment (the shoes were a metallic, beaming beacon of shame), I hastily applied more plasters, hid my feet on the train and hobbled off at Victoria, only to realise I hadn't tapped in with my Oyster card and had to traipse over to be shamed further for being a transport criminal. I've never seen a look that combines equal disgust with concern before, but both my “finers" had it down pat. After making light of it for several minutes, I thought the nightmare was over, only for another underpaying commuter to start a fight with them on my behalf, shouting, “You can clearly see this woman is in severe pain and going through a trauma!”, essentially shining a spotlight on the shit-show that had unfolded. The journey was topped off when, 10 metres from the safe space of The Pool offices, a woman accosted me and asked me if I wanted her to escort me to “get some antibiotics for my feet” in front of some men having a cigarette. Worst walk of shame ever.
Alexandra Haddow, picture editor

I got a toe ring stuck on my finger at my new job

It was the day of The Pool's launch party and, given that I was one of the last to join the team, I was kinda keen to make an impression on my colleagues who I still didn't know very well. On my lunch break, I got a jumpsuit from & Other Stories and a necklace from Topshop. It was BOGOF, so I threw in a silver ring, too. 
It was only when walking back to the office, and the ring got stuck around my knuckle and refused to come off, that I realised it was, in fact, a toe ring. I walked through the office door, holding my swollen finger and tried not to cry. There was an awkward, confusing mix of, "This is stupidly funny" with, "Oh Christ, what has the new girl done?” After several experiments with Fairy Liquid, ice and, "Let's just wait and see", I was eventually escorted to the local hardware shop, where two men and a pair of bolt cutters went to work on my eventually liberated finger. 
Caroline O’Donoghue, social media manager  

I thought the Baftas were all about me and got way, way too dressed up

I was covering the BAFTAs for a fashion website and was reserved a space by the side of red carpet, so that I could shout at celebrities, asking them about their dresses or whatever. Hearing BAFTAs, I got dressed up like a BAFTA nominee myself. 
I wore a Roksanda Ilincic dress (borrowed) and a pair of stupidly high Aquazzura heels. I got to the little pen they keep the journalists in, and everyone was wearing puffy Uniqlo jackets. It was mortifying, as strangers kept remarking on how “dressed up” I was. It was also very, very cold, as it was February and 3ºC. A couple of hours in, my phone – essential to the task – unexpectedly broke and I was forced to run through the streets to find another.
I had to take the shoes off because they were so impractical, and so I was running around in the freezing cold, dirty London streets barefoot. Every now and then, some tourists would scream at me, convinced I was a celebrity because of the fancy dress, but then their faces would drop, as they realised I was just a shoeless, stressed out, overdressed nobody journalist. It was such a dispiriting evening – for them. And for me. 
Lynn Enright, news and content editor

I am resolutely stupid for fashion and always will be

I queued for hours for the Marni for H&M collaboration. I donned trainers and ran at high speed along Regent Street with my daughter in a pushchair for the Lemaire/ Uniqlo collection (ignoring her screams of "Stop, Mummy, stop!”). I set my alarm for 5am to buy the Carine Roitfeld for Uniqlo collection. I almost missed a flight home from Milan after spending too long in the Marni outlet. Items bought online when drunk include: a Stella McCartney dress, a Marc by Marc blazer, a pair of Valentino rockstud sandals, a Chloé blouse. Items bought when drunk in store: EVERYTHING BOUGHT DURING PARIS FASHION WEEK. Last year, I sold half my wardrobe to buy a Preen dress. These aren't mistakes – fashion is vital to my being! Long may the stupidity continue. 
Stacey Duguid, fashion director

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