The morning after the night before was trying to teach me a lesson, and my body was revolting, both literally and figuratively. I was as comfortable as I could have been, given the internal punishment to which I was being subjected, but I needed supplies. I made the brave, but necessary choice to leave the house.
To say I didn’t take too much care in the clothes I chose to wear would be a fair statement, but there were no outlandishly foolish decisions made. I wore grey jeans and trainers. The t-shirt I slept in was skilfully concealed by a black skiing jacket, and I contained my unwashed bed head under a Cuban military cap. Now I fully understand I may not have been granted entry to some of the classier clubs in the city, but I just needed to get to a shop and have someone serve me some cigarettes.
As I crossed the road outside my place, an SUV stopped in front of me, in the middle of the road, and the driver beckoned me over to him. I thought he must want directions, so being a kind soul I went over. He smiled and said “do you mind if I ask if you are a member of the Travelling Community?”
Wait, what? I wasn’t ready for human interaction; my schedule for the rest of the day was heavy on the just staying alive, and I certainly hadn’t penciled in a debate. I incredulously replied in the negative, still trying to figure out what the hell was going on.
He replied, “Well you look like you are” and smiled at me. It was then I noticed a girl in the passenger seat. She was smiling too. He glanced back at her to see if she approved, then looked back to me, seemingly waiting for my response. He had the type of face only a fist could love.
My brain could not even. I must have stood there for at least 2 seconds, in the middle of the road, mouth agape. I couldn’t comprehend why or how this, obviously really cool and witty rascal, felt the need to critique my clothes. While my brain whirred and clicked I made an unusual face. I imagine it would be the same face you would make if you came home one day to find your front door keys didn’t work, and then a stranger opens your door and explains “Why this can’t be your house; we’ve lived here for the past 10 years…”
When I finally managed to lasso a gimpy thought, I simply said “Go fuck yourself” and gave him the finger. It’s one of those “If only I’d said…” moments that will haunt me for years to come.
In hindsight I don’t think I even looked like a Traveller. If anything, I looked more like a junkie: unshaven, shambling along, breathing through my mouth and looking for someone to give me a sugary drink and some smokes…
People will always judge you by how you dress. I know I do. So here are some handy fashion don’ts for men to help you avoid the scorn of your fellow humans.
- Rich Guy Shirts – You know the ones, with the different coloured collars and cuffs. “Hey I’m a Wall Street Guy” shirts. If you are a rich guy and still feel the need to have to advertise it by wearing something as gaudy as this, you Sir, are a douche. If you are not a rich guy and you wear these shirts, you are somehow even worse. Everyone can tell you’re not rich because of your shitty shoes. No one thinks you drive a Ferrari.
- Glasses With Non Prescription Lenses – Hey did you get cleverer since last I saw you? Oh shit yeah, glasses! I didn’t know you wore glasses? You don’t? Well I have to because I won the shitty eyes lottery. Oh they compliment your outfit? Your fucking outfit?!?
- Cheap Fake Americana – (This only applies to adults)Any t-shirt or hoody with something like “US Airforce Flying Club” or “World Baseball Champs 1968” or simply the name of an American city worked into some sort of shitty slogan “New York 4 Life” or “Chicago College” makes you look like you worship America, which outside of America is just weird.
- Elbow Patches – Nerds are so hot right now. Usually the type who would wear clear lenses glasses might also try to get away with this nonsense. The only time elbow and knee patches are acceptable is if you are a builder. Even then, tweed with elbow patches is wholly unacceptable attire for a building site.
- Horsey Jackets – There is a kind of upper class out of touch jacket that I refer to as a Horsey Jacket. It is usually a green quilted jacket with brown corduroy collar for some inexplicable reason. After a bit of research it is also known as a shooting jacket or a country jacket. Unless you are shooting, hunting (which automatically makes you a douche) or own horses this jacket will single you out for unwanted, yet well deserved, judgment from your peers. If you live in the suburbs and do not own a horse, this jacket is off limits for you.
- Cravats – You may only wear a cravat if you are at least 50 years of age, and your life up to that point has gifted you with interesting stories to tell over Brandies in a bar with a fireplace. A man who fits these criteria may also wear any hat of his choosing.
- Tracksuits – There is a time and place for these. At weekends, for example, it is acceptable for men and women of all ages to wear a tracksuit for 48 hours should they please. Monday through Friday during work hours you will be judged and better have a gym bag slung over your shoulder or be nursing some sort of injury. It is also totally unacceptable to walk around with your hands down the front of your pants. I don’t know where this phenomenon came from, probably Reality TV somehow, but it needs to stop. Use your pockets, that’s what they’re there for.
- Skinny Jeans – Guys, while I understand that boot cut jeans are out of fashion, and not really available anymore, there are different degrees of the skinny jean on offer. The jeans as tight as leggings are ludicrous. You have skinny ass bird legs, don’t draw undue attention to that fact.
- Capes – I can’t believe I have to put this on the list, but I have seen this. I presume some dark corner of Hipsterdom finds this ironic and hilarious. Not only do you look like a moron but you give people like me something to grab onto when I am chasing you. It may also be used by said pursuer as a garrotte to choke the irony out of you.
- Big Logos – So you bought a “designer” t-shirt did you? Because you want to be seen as a stylish or a successful person? After all, brands maketh the man, that’s how that goes isn’t it? You know what screams success and wealth and just makes you look classy? A plain black t-shirt with Calvin Klein or Gucci writ large on the chest. I mean that sort of garment is all about the awesome design. This is what they went to college to do, plain t-shirts with their names on it in fucking Arial font. Christ. Have some self respect. You look like a gobshite. It’s just a fucking black t-shirt.
- Wearing Sunglasses Indoors – There is a quick test to see if you can wear sunglasses indoors. Simply answer the following question – How many platinum records does your band have? If the answer is “some”, then wear those sunglasses as much as you want. If the answer is “none”, take those fucking shades off when you go indoors.
Remember folks, while clothes do not make the man, they can warn people about your shitty personality before you actually talk to them.