I think we need to discuss clothes. There are many things I don’t understand about clothes.
Firstly, the sizes. I’ve been to a clothes shop today – one of those that sells a wide range of styles and fashions from a selection of designer manufacturers. Now I think it is safe to say that when it comes to my build I can comfortably be described as average. I am 3/4 of an inch (about 2cm) taller than the national average height and 4 lb (roughly 2 kg) lighter than the national average weight. So I’m not exactly tall and nowhere near lardy (Bear in mind we are talking United Kingdom national averages here, if I was Dutch I would be a portly midget).
I suppose it is inevitable that clothes sizes are going to differ between manufacturers, trousers from a 31 to a 34 all adorn my wardrobe (the 34’s make me look like those kids that have trousers around their knees – I have no idea how they stay up) but it seems when it comes to shirts I invariably need an XL. Large ones make me look rather lollypop shaped so I’m forced instead into feeling as if I’m purchasing from the Demis Roussos back catalogue. It can’t be right. It wouldn’t be so bad if I spent my days on a diet of cheddar cheese and cider (which makes me sound a little like an advert for Somerset – nice place and very nice people if you get the chance to visit) but I do try to consider what I’m consuming at least half of the time (and my weight lifting regime from carrying motorcycle engines around the place is second to none).
Next – It so happens that the weather has turned in the UK. Last week was sunny and glorious and this week we are definitely autumnal. I woke in the night feeling a bit parky and cast around for something to put on. At the bottom of the drawer I found something that could be loosely described as pyjama bottoms. To be fair, they’ve probably been in the drawer for several years and could possibly double as something Burt Lancaster may have worn in one of his earlier movies (although not Trapeze, they’re not that tight). I slipped into them and instantly felt as if I would be at home in a 1920’s gypsy caravan – possibly accompanied by a ratty dog and an elderly but dignified pony.
The PJ’s did a remarkable job of fending off the cold without recourse to a hot water bottle (it is after all still only September) but on removal in the morning I found two curious labels. The first was a Ralph Lauren label. Who in their right minds buys Ralph Lauren sleeping garments? Perhaps they are not PJ’s after all but are instead some avant-garde disco trousers that I purchased when I was imagining I could replicate Johnny Fingers from the Boomtown Rats (You know, you’re just going to have to look him up on another tab).
The second label was more disconcerting. “Keep away from fire”. Presumably they are never going to be hot pants (or at least, not for long). I was tempted to hold a match to them just to see what would happen. Let me take you back (again) to a movie, any romantic movie from the ’60’s that you like. It will probably star Gregory Peck and Doris Day and they’ve not got together yet but they’re in an isolated house somewhere in the middle of a storm. They both awake in separate rooms and rendezvous in a sitting room – her in a voluminous night-dress and he in his pyjamas. A glass of scotch to share and they’re just about to kiss when an ember leaps from the crackling fire and sets alight Gregory’s trews. Doris would probably throw her glass of scotch towards Gregory’s crotch thus increasing the conflagration beyond the control of our star-crossed lovers. Before you know it Doris will have legged it with a hunky fireman and Gregory is in intensive care seeking soothing balm to placate his burned bits.
Finally (“thank goodness” I heard someone gasp). I do think that there is a strong case for a clothing regulator. I accept that this may be part of growing old on my part but there are a lot of garments out there that are not really appropriate. In Britain (and most other European countries) throughout the Middle Ages there were Sumptuary Laws in place. A typical example of this comes from a proclamation in 1559 that stated “None shall wear in his apparel any cloth of gold, silver, or tinsel; satin, silk, or cloth mixed with gold or silver, nor any sables; except earls and all of superior degrees.” (thanks to http://www.encylopedia.com for the exact wording). It would be marvelous to introduce something in a similar vein today. I would of course target the aforementioned prisoner trousers and there would definitely be something banning Lycra for anything other than sporting events (and only then if it is indoors and controlled). I would also introduce a license system for the wearing of Leggings, Jeggings, Meggings and anything else that is likely to reveal whether you have shaved or not. Licenses would of course have to be renewed every 12 months and could be repealed at any time.
All those with me say Aye.