I have mentioned before that the posts on Verbal Hedge are occasionally inspired by The Daily Post. I thought I would give myself an added challenge by coming up with the title for this post before The Daily Post was published. I must be a glutton for punishment.
I received a secret and special invite recently to attend a sale of samples made by the clothing company Gant. Some of the proceeds were to go towards Great Ormond Street Hospital (A children’s hospital in London, not surprisingly it is in Great Ormond Street).
Well it’s not something you can really turn down. A special invite, the chance to buy some clothes and the chance to help a worthy cause. It would have been impolite not to go.
I’m a bit of a funny one about fashion. I think it fair to say that for the first 25 or so years of my life I imagined that I looked like Robert Plant. Partly because Led Zeppelin were one of those bands who were frequently on the music player and partly because he was from West Bromwich – the home of my favourite football team (I was mortified when I found out he was a Wolverhampton Wanderers fan. How could he?).
So I spent some time with hair reaching down my back and with jeans that could politely be categorised as a bit scummy. I don’t think the kindest person would have described me as a picture of sartorial elegance.
Fashion is one of those circular things in life, a bit like dribbling (but with a shorter time frame). You start off not caring about it, then there’s the “Oh lordy, I can’t possibly go out looking like this” period, followed by the “Well I’m pretty sure this is still okay to wear even though it was from the Autumn/Winter collection last year” and ending up with you not caring about it again. Dribbling of course only has three stages. You do dribble, you don’t dribble, you do dribble.
I suspect (although I would like to think otherwise) that I am somewhere in the third period. In my mind I am the dapper man around town. Not too mutton (as in “mutton dressed as lamb” just in case the phrase hasn’t stretched beyond my household yet) and not too flat cap either.
Let us go back to the secret Gant sale. Try if you can to imagine a wrestling match between 800 people in a the “this needs a few more stitches to be finished” section of a garment factory. Clothes were just about everywhere except on hangers. Some items of clothing even managed to be in two places at the same time and the changing rooms were made by piling up a pile of boxes in one corner to give one a tiny bit of privacy.
I did purchase some ridiculously cheap trousers and a shirt and then beat a hasty retreat to a nearby pub where I restored some dignity by swiftly downing a couple of pints of Sam Smith’s finest (as an aside, this pub had two different types of mild beer on tap, possibly the most unfashionable beer in the world). It wasn’t until I considered my purchases that I realised they were both shades different shades of brown. Having thought about it, the last eight items I have purchased could all be described as brownish (one of them is greenish, but I’m allowing for poetic license).
I hope that this means I’ve found a colour that suits me that also happens to be de rigueur at the moment but what it probably really means is that I am edging towards stage four in the fashion cycle. I just don’t care too much how I look as long as I am not going to be too warm/cold/wet/dry.
Now that I’ve been able to come out (so to speak) and confess that I am beyond fashion I can let the younger and the dandies out there into a secret.
It isn’t that we who inhabit this region don’t care, we just know that real style comes from way down inside.
Click on this Daily Post link to read far more erudite blogs than mine about clothes, style and fashion.
The Little Project post of “Way Down Inside” can be found here if you are really sad.