Diary of a desperate woman - with apologies to Bridget Jones

What does a career girl do when she’s expected at an important trade dinner and doesn’t have a thing to wear? Clare Gascoigne tries click to buy


9am At desk and sober. Slight sense of puzzlement soon replaced by realisation that am now fully-functioning adult and undoubtedly next CEO. Plan to purge email inbox so only have strictly relevant messages from key industry contacts, helpful in my rise to top of tree.

9.02am Arrgh – electronic reminder of trade dinner tonight. When did that invitation arrive? Where? How?

9.07am Frantic search through emails dating back to Dark Ages. Eventually locate message from PR girl: Clare! I’m so pleased you can join us for our black-tie dinner on 28th! Really look forward to meeting you at last! 7:30 for 8pm; such a great excuse to wear posh frocks! Oh goodness – have googled PR, and found pic of hideously smiling woman, v slim and vv blonde, cross between Princess Diana and Charlize Theron. Will never be able to impress with poise and inner calm. No suitable little black dress in wardrobe, everything not so much vintage as archaeological.

9.10am Urgent call to best friend Kate in lieu of Gok Wan or similar. New dress only option, but how is it possible before 7.30 for 8pm tonight?

9.20am Email from Kate with links to online retailers. “Click to buy is the way to go,” she writes. Have no idea what she’s talking about, but – ooh, look! Video of impossibly slim models wearing impossibly slinky dresses opens on screen.

9.30am This is more fun than nephew’s World of Warcraft. One click on dress and it’s being slinked across screen, and whole range of colours and sizes comes up. Ignored price information as obviously a misprint.

Interactive screen – v good - spend quite long time making divine clutch handbag zoom up close and rotate

10.01am Clicked on shoes (killer heels necessary as PR girl undoubtedly 8ft tall), belt and bag also. Tried dress with different shoes – v clever, much better, career as personal stylist beckons. Enter personal measurements – hope I hit the right keys as was holding hand in front of eyes as did so – too scary.

10.05am Shopping basket seems to total £6,347 – surely cannot be right? Could fly to Milan for a week’s shopping and not spend that much. Email Kate to find out what went wrong.

10.07am Ah, perhaps couture not right for me. Dresses only suitable for stick insect anyway.

10.09am Email from Kate: “Try a comparison website.” What have meerkats to do with designer dress trauma?

10.10am Oh I see. Same dress (well, nearly) but a fraction of the price! Check where can buy via smartphone app – love the little map, even I can’t get lost with that. Tell boss am going for v high-powered meeting with important contact
and leave office with head held high.

11.35am On high street with little map… hahaha. Young man waving arms at large shop window to make image in window move. Has gathered large crowd – wonder what’s inside the store?

12.15pm Right, back on high street. Surely was sensible to buy new perfume?

12.30pm Meet up with Kate, who’s prodding window of nearby shop. Fears that will have to section best friend allayed when she shows me interactive screen – v good. Spend quite long time making divine clutch handbag zoom up close and rotate. Only then notice am in front of shop I’m looking for.

12.35pm Find dress and head for changing rooms – wonder if staff would notice if I stayed after shop shut? Sofas in changing room more comfortable and considerably more stylish than mine at home. Changing room even has telephone to call helpful shop assistant when discover dress is outlandishly large and need smaller size – hurrah! Kate appears with fabulous scarf – apparently suggested as styling tip, after she scanned a QR code thingummy on the dress label into her smartphone. Most impressed and rather keen on scarf too. End up buying dress and scarf – scanning barcode with smartphone means more time for lunch.

1pm Arrive at restaurant and remember still no shoes yet. Kate fishes out tablet computer and finds nearly perfect pair – v easy to filter possibilities as can sort by size and colour. Email link to Jane for second opinion.

1.20pm Email from Jane approving shoes, so add to shopping basket along with bag (v necessary for co-ordination) and checkout. How cool is it that shoes will be delivered to office this afternoon. Get catalogue sent to home as always good to have posh reminder on coffee table.

5.30pm Arrgh – cannot believe time. Will have to delete obsolete emails tomorrow. Have to get home, get ready and get to stonkingly huge West End hotel in state of Zen-like calm. Thank heavens shoes and bag are here.

Midnight Schplendid party. Take new besht friend, lovely Princess Charlize, past window of shop where bought dresh to show her interactive window. She buys handbag – delivered to her office tomorrow – v clever girl. Schplendid invention, shopping at midnight.