Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Thoughts on Summer and Men's Fashion


So the summer time has decided to grip up in its stifling embrace as hell of a lot earlier than normal. The press are saying it is set to be one of the warmest Easters on record but they are oft wont to do (wondering about the old style language blame listening to 50+ hours of A Song of Ice and Fire stories). For me that means getting to work with a shirt already soaking in the back from my sweat thanks to my 20 minute walk from the train station to my place of work with no discernible cover from the sun no fun at all let me tell you. I’ve never been a sun worshipper far more the kind who fear its intense gaze.

Now why can't we all get to wear such snazzy clothing, comic courtesy of Nerf This!

This brings me to the seed of the idea I had that made me start writing this little blog post of mine. Men and our distinct lack of fashion alternatives when the weather gets like this, as I sit in my office which thankfully is less hot than when the weather was cooler (someone finally realised that heating isn’t necessary this side of February) the women around me in the office have their short sleeved tops which are not much more than fitted T-shirts and a dozen other designs and styles that I could not hope to describe properly without the help of Gok Wan and co.

For me though I am stuck in a shirt (but thankfully not a tie) and dark trousers, I suppose I could go out and purchase some white linen dress trousers (if such a thing exists) but I have this thing about being laughed out of my place of work that prevents me from that particular choice you see. Also women have the choice of skirts and dresses not that I think such a look would be all that flattering on me. It just seems to me that as we moved through the ages that men’s fashion went from a wide array of capes, breeches, long boots and cravats to just a few scant choices that say nothing about a man’s individualism.

Long gone are the times when a man walked around with his coat of arms proudly displayed on his person, though to be sure I am sugar coating it as this was for men of high standing and not for commoners but surely equally now when there is less of a social divide than there was even if seemingly the economic divide is ever on the increase.

The chief argument I always hear for school uniforms at least is that they allow for students of different socio-economic backgrounds to be on a level playing field (which is a false argument let me tell you as anyone who ever went to a normal school would know). I know this is of course a somewhat localised issue to the Western world and its predominant style of dress, I wonder if the men of other cultural backgrounds look back on earlier times and wish they could be more like their ancestors, perhaps a thought for another day.

So women out there in your finery suited to summer spare a thought for your male colleagues baking like a potato in their skin in their dark suits and ties as decreed by the code of the uniform.

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