I have a date.
On one of my two spectacular nights out in my favourite outfit I walked up to a girl and started talking to her. She looked vaguely like the only girl I’ve ever (I think) loved which is why I talked to her. Asked her what she did, did she come here often etc. Then left it to return to my two friends. She sort of came over and milled by me with her friend a while after that so I spoke to her again and asked her for her number.
So, I think it’s fair to say that entering into a new relationship is a life changing event, at least temporarily. You do far more stuff, you interact far more, you have new priorities, there’s a whole host of new social pressures. Presumably you grow and it’s all very healthy. And if this does happen it will all have been brought about by my taking pains over my clothes.
So I should maybe not be ashamed of putting so much energy into this stuff if it has these kind of results. Ideally I would get a girlfriend without needing just the right clothes but over the years and especially recently the evidence speaks for itself. Given who I am, I have to give my clothes and to a lesser extent my hair, my teeth and my body careful consideration if I want to have any fun.
My next problem is that I don’t have the right practical clothes, clothes for getting on with stuff and not apparently there to make the wearer look good. There is still clearly a right and wrong way to do these clothes. I notice thirty-something guys in relaxed, faded but not shoddy looking jeans, thin fleece top or jumper in a dark colour and sturdy shoes, usually clarks-style shoes or rambling style trainers.
I only have my plimsoll style shoes which I actually wore right through the winter as I couldn’t see sturdy shoes that didn’t make me feel like I had huge clown feet. I need study shoes, that’s a fact. I wouldn’t feel right to be in clarks- style shoes. My brother wears them and it looks fine but his jeans and in fact his whole look is more relaxed than mine. They just wouldn’t look right with the rest of my clothes. I’m always aiming a little bit at ‘cool’, I can’t help it. So in fact this smart adult down at b + q look might be asking too much of me. Ideally I would work to overcome the ‘hip’ thing. It’s something that could become laughable. But overcoming that is too challenging, if it’s even possible. I have to work with it.
The answer I would guess with regards to practical shoes is trainers. That or non-chunky casual shoes from somewhere like aldo that are quietly cool. Easier said than done though. Colour seems often to be a problem when paired with my jeans too. Browns and blacks don’t seem to go. White is a statement. I find green sort of goes but there aren’t too many options in green.
For the top, I do have a fleece top, a black craghoppers one, but it’s a thick winter one which probably marks me out as a weak specimen if worn in the summer. I have an old jumper of my brothers which I quite like. It’s just a round neck jumper, very pale green colour with quiet stitching detail round the neck, cuffs and waist. It’s tasteful as fuck. Stylish in a very understated way. Looks like I strolled into Dunnes and located the most superb top in the place because I’m just tuned in like that. In fact it’s ‘Farah’, a brand they sell in urban outfitters and probably cost more than £60. I think if I tried to buy items like that at that price I’d feel like a cynical dickhead wearing them. Maybe not though. My other good top is a gray zipless hoodie. A few buttons down the chest opening out into the hood. It’s a little dressy though- it fits well. And in combination with the new neater jeans I’m wearing I think it’s too much. Like all the outfits I can put together they’d be OK for a barbequeue but silly for the supermarket.
I could go on. But I’ll conclude by saying what I need. A light jacket (anorak style most likely) or a thin fleece/jumper that calls absolutely no attention to itself. And sturdy shoes. Plus I don’t want to wear my good jeans with everything and sometimes the tracksuits bottoms I have and love aren’t appropriate. Plus tracksuit bottoms wouldn’t go with a woolen jumper. (Actually wearing a round neck jumper about might be shit, on me anyway) So workaday jeans. I may be able to get my older Lees modified to take out the flare at the shins which I hate and they would do me for workaday.