“Ask my mother? I think I know what my mother would say. I think she’d look across the dispatch box and she’d say: put on a proper suit, do up your tie and sing the national anthem.”David Cameron
My favourite barb from our outgoing premier.
A cutting and, perhaps, cruel dressing down from the urbane David Cameron to the dishevelled unpatriotic Jeremy Corbyn.
Thankfully my mother brought me up correctly too. Quite marvellously I am able to put my shoes on the appropriate feet, always tuck my shirt in and wear a tie when needed – though at some stages of life wearing matching socks proved something of a challenge.
Fashion is, of course, an alien concept to me. However, I do appreciate female fashion a la mode on elegant ladies – excluding these funny high waisted jeans that are for some reason au courrant.
Corbyn, in my opinion, is an embarrassment to the parliamentary establishment. Likewise, Boris Johnson’s litany of stylistic failures.
It is no small coincidence that shabby shams have had a political Horlicks this year. Their clothes wonderfully mimic their politics: ignorant, blinkered, and most probably unwashed. Nonetheless Bojo has, as always, landed on his feet like a yellow Tomcat that has tumbled from a large oak tree.
So, enough of enough of politics and I certainly feel the UK has had enough of it for now! Anyways, our new prime minister, Mrs.May, is tres chic with her leopard Louboutins to boot.
What these dishevelled chaps do represent is that gent in crumpled linen of a certain age, who adheres to traditional rules – blazer, chinos, loafers – but it is all so ill fitting that he looks like a schlub. A rain soaked deck chair that has been dried quickly by the afternoon sun.
A protruding belly of a thousand lunches fights with the teams of material, which is usually littered with bits of the lunches like a Jackson Pollock original.
However, it is not just these middle class chaps in ill fitting Blazers that find early summer sartorial difficulties.
The Essex spiv is equally conspicuous. Nowadays he wears shoes that even the Beau Brummell would have called low cut and pairs them with the tightest trousers imaginable. No socks, of course, for a man’s ankle is the new black. The spiv loves a petite-collared shirt, which is a size too small, and despite the absence of a tie he does all of his buttons up.
I, on the other hand, have a rule of 20 degrees, at which temperature I crack out the linen. However, until then I struggle to hit the sweet spot of jumpers and shorts, linens and cottons, or the merciless jacket that is too heavy but wasn’t when you left the house.
Nonetheless, chaps in this time of year do deserve some clemency – unless they are wearing ill-fitting garb – because of the mercurial nature of the days.
The issue manifested itself at Wimbledon on Men’s finals day. Glancing at the Royal box one noted some impeccably dressed gents; DC looking exquisite in a business suit – sans a bead of sweat, Prince William looking ghastly as usual, a lot of wonderful chaps in club ties, and finally poor old Benedict Cumberbatch.
Cumberbatch was dressed excellently in a dark green suit and stolid tie. Nevertheless, the much vaunted actor looked like a melting waxwork. Ever the old Harovian, he dabbed at his forehead and dripping lip with a silk handkerchief without much success, and despite his efforts on court Andy Murray was perspiring less than the Sherlock star in three sets of tennis.
We have all been there, and empathy poured from me like the thespians sweat. The poor old thing’s shirt must have been drenched in the salty stuff but he had to keep the unventilated jacket on. To show the world your patches would be tantamount to treason, equally the Royal Box’s dress code would have dictated that jackets were kept on.
So please, dear reader, do feel for the unfortunate Englishman in early summer, who is confused about life – but not the schlub or spiv – and wears a Panama with a grey suite at the races and can barely hold onto a plate at a garden party because of the waterfalls in his palms.