Health Secretary Alan Johnson today unveiled a network of NHS centres to deal with the increasing number of victims reporting to doctors’ surgeries and hospitals seeking treatment for lapses in sartorial taste. The move follows a pilot scheme which saw hundreds of patients provided with counselling for Crocs and Burberry-related incidents, and a small number of the most traumatised victims relocated and provided with a new identity and wardrobe.
‘A fashion faux-pas is never a victimless crime,’ said Alan Johnson. ‘Serious and prolonged wardrobe malfunctions can have a devastating effect on individuals and their loved ones. I’ve seen families in Liverpool torn apart by shell-suit atrocities, young men who thought football-shirts qualified as smart-casual attire. This just isn’t right, and as a society we need to find the maturity to talk about these problems openly.’
Health services have seen a particular rise in the number of teenagers reporting. The progressive tightening of trousers sold by high street shops has led many to report to hospitals in the belief that they were suffering elephantiasis of the head, while one victim developed gangrene after complications arising from a failed attempt to exit an ambitiously close-fitting pair of low-rise Levis. Doctors warn that the combination of an average teenager’s diet and a predilection for skinny jeans is a public health disaster waiting to happen.
Although the bulk of the trauma units’ business comes in the peak summer months when they are inundated with sandals-and-socks mishaps, doctors say that the recent bad weather has seen many misguided commuters attempting to carry off the Wellington boots look without accessorising with a Land Rover or Labrador. In addition to treatment, the centres are also conducting important research into why men’s trousers move up the torso with age, but the zip on their flies does not, and exactly where the boundaries should be set for ’dress-down Friday’. In one horrific case it took 20 hours of therapy and an employment tribunal before a worker came to accept that his favourite Hawaiian shirt was ‘just plain wrong’, reported the concerned health minister sporting a pink tie over a salmon-coloured shirt.