I haven’t the FAINTEST idea how to defend this outfit

Yesterday I fainted on the tube. It wasn’t too dramatic: I started to feel dizzy and overheated, someone spotted I looked like a thirtysomething Casper the Friendly Ghost and offered me their seat.

I haven't the faintest idea how to defend this outfit

I used to LOVE this film

I collapsed at just that moment, landing knees to floor and head to seat. Like a crumpled marionette.

I haven't the faintest idea how to defend this outfit

This hero-stranger accompanied me off the train and I fell a bit in love, not gonna lie

Fainting is a semi-regular occurrence for me due to low blood pressure. I’m deeply glamorous like that.

Last year I fainted by the London Eye and smashed my phone screen. Cue the saddest face emoji.

Another time I fainted at Waterloo station and came round – flat out on the floor – to find commuters stepping nimbly over my body. Like I was an empty packet of Quavers.

In the words of Victor Meldrew, I could not believe it!

I took great offence that my outfit that day must have made me look more ‘drunk outpatient’ than ‘swooning city worker’.

However those fainting instances pale [pun intended] into insignificance when I tell you about My Most Unfortunate Faint Ever.

It was back in my uni days when I cycled everywhere. I’d been at a play rehearsal (I was a drama student, please forgive me *wild, over-acted, pleading gesture*) and had then hung out with my am-dram friends into the early hours.

Anyhoo, I was cycling home at about 2am when – what felt like out of nowhere – I fainted clean off my bike and onto the road.

I came round with ambulance folk and a few other night owl students circled around me.

I’m just going to pause here so you can murmur in shock and sympathy.

Thank you, so kind.

I felt absolutely fine – other than a bump to the head – but the ambulance folk insisted that I go to hospital for a check up. That is their job to be fair, I don’t begrudge them thinking ‘better safe than sorry’.

The other students kindly offered to padlock my bike up at the scene of the accident. They seemed pretty excited to be playing a key role in the drama. Probably not much good on TV that time of night.

So off I was whisked and put in a hospital bed to rest.

Enter: a doctor.

Now I should add here that what I was wearing was a long coat which had stayed firmly buttoned up, faint and all.

The doctor asked me to take my coat off so I could be examined and he could listen to my heart beat…and it was at this point that what I was wearing underneath came crashing back into my conscious mind.


The rehearsal I’d been at was for a production of the saucy nature. It was a Greek-tragedy-come-Chicago-the-Musical-rip-off. As you do. Think Glee mash-up set in 600 BC.

Photo: chicagothemusical.com

A bit like this except we were WAY less talented and WAY more earnest

Under my long coat I was in my character’s costume: suspenders, frilly knickers and a lace basque.

I had no choice.

Off came my coat and off went my dignity, hand in hand.

The doctor looked me up and down in disbelief. Then, trying to swallow his laughter, he said: “There was really no need to dress up just to come to hospital.”

Ever heard the questionable advice: ‘wear matching underwear everyday in case you’re ever in a car accident’? Like you wouldn’t have anything more important to worry about, blinking Nora.

Photo: Sophie Bowyer/Pinterest

Photo: Sophie Bowyer/Pinterest

What I would add – after my basque got a good airing at the hospital – is make sure nice underwear isn’t all you’re wearing. Clothes too, just for good measure.

16 replies »

  1. First of all I’m really glad you’re ok! I have low-ish blood pressure myself so dizziness is a normal occurrence. Secondly, I had a little laugh at your uni story…lol. Girl you have guts and the making of fabulous memoirs 😉


  2. I’m so glad you are okay, girl! Fainting can be so super scary! I’ve only done it once (that I can recall any way) and just remember waking up with a group of my friends worriedly looking down at me, pushing their juice boxes and cookies in my direction. Definitely did not complain about that part of it.

    Also, confession: I had THE biggest crush on Casper (the human version). Oh Devon Sawa how you made me blush!


  3. Oh my goodness, I so hope you’re OK lovely but that dress up story is SO funny. I can’t even imagine how you must have felt when you realised what was underneath the coat. Thanks for sending me over the link to this lovely, nice to hear tales of people going through the same thing!



  4. Were… you thinking that you and your saucy outfit were not eventually going to be on stage in front of lots of people? Props to the doc for making a laugh out of it, too.

    Awesome story. Um, for us to read, not for you to have happen. Glad you’re okay. Eat a few carbs now and again.


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