Clothes encounters of the worst kind

Zikes! It's that time again. It happens once every couple of years and brings me out in a cold sweat at the very thought but it can, I'm afraid, be put off no longer. I need to buy some new clothes. Things came to a head this week as I rifled through a pile of T-shirts to get ready for work. The first four I picked up had some serious holes in them and the next two looked liked remnants from the dog days of the last millennium; in fact they quite possibly were.

Ok, experience has taught me that a battle plan can minimise the trauma. Decide what you need before you leave the house, don't visit more than two different shops and buy in bulk so it'll be at least another two years before your senses are mercilessly assailed by a neon light/reggaeton combination that any military unit in the world would be proud to utilise to extract vital information from enemy soldiers.

Four pairs of trousers, ten T-shirts, four shirts, a couple jumpers and a jacket. With my list duly noted in my head, I girded my loins, opened the front door and stepped purposefully into the early autumnal evening.

First stop, Cudeca where I was able to knock the jumpers, jacket and two of the shirts off my list. What a marvel that place is and no reggaeton to boot.

Now for the hard bit. I legged it directly to the nearest clothes shop, headed for the blokes' trouser section on the 113th floor, grabbed a couple of pairs of keks and turned towards the changing rooms. Disaster. They were cordoned off with red tape. I asked the girl working there if I was allowed to try the trousers on.

"No, sorry."

"But I might look ridiculous in them."

She smiled softly as if to say "that doesn't seem to have worried you when you got dressed this morning", and wandered off to fold some shirts.

I thought about all those people who buy clothes on the internet only to find that they look more like George Roper than George Clooney in their new attire in spite of the publicity photos having convinced them otherwise at the point of purchase. No, sorry, this was a step too far, the trousers would have to wait.

Anyway, you can barely see the holes in the ones I'm wearing, which means they've got at least another six months in them.