Farbeit for me to claim to be Freakytrigger’s fashion correspondent but society has yet to accept my naked form as something appropriate to see on the street and so inevitably, I am driven unto clothing retail outlets all too often. On Saturday I found myself on Oxford Street mopily looking at the extortionate price Office seem to think it’s acceptable to charge for ballet pumps; I know short people have to pay a lot for heels but paying the same amount for what is essentially a slipper seems like an unfair tax on the vertiginous.

Gloomy, I shuffled out of the shop and into one almost directly opposite. “Funny,” I thought, “I don’t remember New Look being here before” but wrote this off as my natural lack of caring where clothes shops are. The new New Look is, I must say, pretty spiffing- it’s got four floors and although the chain appears to be suffering from the same determined desire to only sell two (2) sorts of dresses this season that the entire fashion world appears to have gone in on,* I actually managed to find some shoes I liked for a price I was willing to pay and was just considering finding out how hilarious I’d look in seven-inch platform stilettos as I took the escalator down and out of the shop when I noticed a Starbucks.

“Since when have they been allowed in New Look?” thort I, shortly followed by an internal debate about whether I should stop for coffee or go to Waterstone’s to get a birthday present when something suddenly hit me about the layout of this shop: it was Borders.

All fine and well, certainly; it’s sad that Borders has closed but far from abnormal that another shop takes its place except I have two questions regarding this:
1. Why is Starbucks still there?
2. In the months between Borders’ flagship store closing and New Look opening, has the Starbucks been running as usual, a bright corner devoid of customers in the otherwise darkened shop?

Of course the other option is that the Starbucks, like some kind of parasitic form, cannot be removed from the shop and will slowly suck its life dry until the concession becomes a colossal, bloated coffee shop across all the floors.

*Those dresses in full:
1. Things you last considered wearing when going to a party aged 4 and weren’t allowed because you’d get Ribena on them.
2. Things you last considered wearing when you accidentally got trapped, naked in a school’s costume cupboard after a production of Salad Days. I used to work in Oxfam and I have seen some seriously frumpy sh1t but these really take the prize.