Monday 16 November 2009

We Are The Goon Squad And We're Coming To Town!

Mrs PM uses a phrase that is almost guaranteed to make my teeth itch. The phrase is:

It’s SO over!

She uses it to inform me that my ideas, dress sense, musical taste, etc. are no longer in vogue. When I play a Def Leppard song she will say “Why are you listening to 80’s rock music? It’s SO over!

When I wear my crusty old leather jacket she will say. “It’s about time you threw that away. That design is SO over!

The time she uses it most is when we go out and I decide to wear a favourite shirt that I bought a year or two ago (one that she hasn’t hidden or thrown away). I can read her mind when I come downstairs and present myself to her.

Me: What do you think?

Mrs PM: Why don’t you wear that black shirt I bought you last week?

Me: I want to wear this one. I like this shirt.

Mrs PM: But it’s SO over!

You can guarantee that the shirt will somehow find it's way into a remote part of the house - if it's lucky!!

What Mrs PM forgets, is that I am definitely not a dedicated follower of fashion. In fact, I am the complete opposite; a fashion barbarian.

I stopped actively taking in interest in clothes when I was in my mid 20’s. Sadly, the women in my life have not allowed me to pursue this course of action and have vetoed the vast majority of garments I have attempted to buy.

I remember, when I was 18, dressing up in what I thought were spectacular clothes that would have me fighting off all the young women of Walsall as they threw themselves at my amazing body. As I was about to leave the house, my younger sister said, “You’re not going out looking like THAT are you?” Needless to say, the only think thrown at me that night were drinks (as usual). What I failed to realise when I was a teenager was that no matter how trendy the outfit, I still looked like a bucket of arse on legs.

Nowadays, Mrs PM will always find time to accompany me on shopping trips if I intend to buy any item of clothing, fearing that I will buy something bland or featureless.

Mrs PM: Where are you going?

Me: I’m off to the shops. I need a pair of trousers and a couple of shirts.

Mrs PM: I’m coming with you.

Me: I thought you had to go to work.

Mrs PM: I’ll call them and tell them I can’t make it. This is far more important.

Me: But what if you get the sack?

Mrs PM: There are always other jobs.

Actually, that’s an exaggeration (though not much of one).

When Mrs PM and I moved into our first house together. I unpacked my suitcases and installed all of my clothes into the wardrobe. Within minutes, Mrs PM had made it her mission to change the way I looked. I’m sure that I was downstairs for just two minutes when I heard what I thought was a tornado in the bedroom. I went upstairs and found Mrs PM, hurling my shirts out of the wardrobe in a flurry of wind and expletives.

“What on earth were you thinking when you bought this?” she howled holding up a shirt with a look of purest malevolence.

“I bought that in 1988,” I said gulping nervously. “I love that shirt.”

“This is 1998,” she said slowly as if talking to a five year old. “THIS SHIRT IS SO OVER!”

In the next two weeks, I spent a fortune replacing the majority of my clothes, with Mrs PM standing over me like a tyrant as I tried on shirt after terrible shirt in the fitting room.

“DO NOT BUY THAT!” she would say as I held up what I thought was a fabulous T-shirt for her approval.

I often wonder whether, if left to my own devices, I would truly buy a wardrobe full of dreadful clothes.

I'm sure that I would never mutate into an eccentric weirdo wearing only wore tweed jackets and corduroy shirts. All I've ever wanted is to wear decent everyday garments that are slightly different from everybody else. I don't want to be out for an evening’s entertainment and wearing almost identical apparel to every other man in Manchester. Unfortunately, any plans I harbour in this direction have been thwarted by Mrs PM; she insists that I become a clone of sorts, dragging me to high street chains and forcing me to buy clothes that the other sheep were buying.

If you want to see a sad sight on a Saturday afternoon, just visit a shop like Burtons. You will undoubtedly see a couple come in and you will recognise them immediately. He will have a sad look of resignation on his face; his eyes will be screaming “I don’t want to be here”.

The poor man will pick up a shirt and his partner will glare at him and replace it with another that she has chosen. He will reluctantly try it on in the fitting room, while she prowls around the shop like a hungry predator, selecting other items for him before standing guard outside the fitting rooms like a benevolent dictator. Some time later the couple will leave; she will have a look of satisfaction on her face; he will wonder how he has managed to spend £350 on several items of clothing that he doesn’t even like.

I am that man. Mrs PM is that woman. And there are thousands if not millions of similar couples in Great Britain.

I may have implied that if given the freedom by Mrs PM to buy what I want, that I would look for something unique and outrageous. You would be wrong.

Why? Because I have always questioned the sanity of so-called “fashion gurus”. Like contemporary artists, they have somehow managed to persuade the rest of us that their bizarre designs are “must have” fashion items – and then they charge a fortune for them. And we, like idiots, actually pay the crazy amounts of cash they charge. Worse, they parade their peculiar designs on famous people in the hope that the rest of the sheep will follow suit.

Who decides what next year’s fashion should be? A faceless elite who laugh all the way to the bank having pulled the wool over our eyes.

And why on earth do we, like lost sheep, go out and buy these bloody things? I know why I do – partly to please Mrs PM and partly because there is no other choice – unless I choose to go to an “old man’s” shop.

These people redefine the word "eccentric" and have somehow managed to introduce a whole new language of bullshit, using phrases like “blue is the new black”, “that is so last season” and “you look FIERCE”.

Whenever I watch a fashion report on the TV, I laugh my head off. We are presented with models looking like stick insects, marching down a catwalk in front of a captive, brainwashed audience, wearing clothes that can only be described as ridiculous.

The models are not appealing at all; most men I know prefer a woman to hold onto; somebody with a bit of meat on them (as my dad used to say), not a size zero woman who is so skinny that she is almost invisible.

If you are a woman and you believe that size zero is a great target I have one piece of advice; stay a size 10 or 12. Most men love women who they can cuddle up to.

Bizarre fashions are not just restricted to women. Male models are forced to prance up and down a catwalk wearing clothes that most men would run a mile from.

If you were to put these bizarre garments on an ordinary girl or an ordinary bloke and then send them out onto your average High Street, they would be laughing stocks. People would fall over in fits of hysterical laughter.

Yet people (those with more money than sense) are quite content to spend magnificently huge amounts of money on such items and make complete fools of themselves on red carpets all over the world. A corollary of that is that ordinary people want to copy them. You may find a superstar like David Beckham, content to shave off his hair and wear a skirt but the sad thing is that other men who are mere mortals will look absolutely ridiculous.

You will never, ever, ever, ever find me wearing anything outlandish and, given the choice, I wouldn’t succumb to the latest fashion craze that most men are forced to endure by their ladies. With the greatest respect to myself, I look like the product of the union of an albino baboon and a walrus so any "decent" item of clothing makes me look like an ape in fancy dress.

Imagine what I would look like wearing anything that an icon like David Beckham would wow the crowd at a party with?

I would look like an orang-utan wearing a tent.

Take a look at some of the following items. Can you imagine a middle-aged, crazy-haired arse like me walking down to the pub wearing anything like them?

I would look like a sentient sack of sewage and, of course, I would totally refuse to wear them.

I pray that similar items do NOT become fashion because I’m sure that Mrs PM will drag me around the shops despite my protestations.

The fashion police, as misguided as they are, would almost certainly hurl me in jail for crimes against the human eye. Can you imagine fashion prison? All the inmates would probably end up wearing something by Vivienne Westwood, the woman who gave us this:

Can you imagine me wearing these? Hello! HELLO!! Are you alright? Should I call a doctor?


Kath Lockett said...

(Shaking my head): Dave, Dave, DAVE.

Your wife is doing you a SERVICE and you, as a man, just need to get used to it. As for my husband, Love Chunks, the poor petal *thinks* he chooses his own clothes, but most of them 'find' their way into his wardrobe and luckily he's the kind of bloke who reaches in for a shirt or trousers and that's about it: no tanties about styles or colours; they're just bits of fabric to cover his rude bits, keep him warm and in steady employment.

There's also gifts of clothes and 'losing' stuff when we move house.....

Instead of fighting it, you could save yourself a lot of agony by giving Mrs P your leg, waist and chest size and let her get on with it. She'll be happy; you'll be better dressed!

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Kath,


That's exactly what Mrs PM tells me using words like:

"Dave, I promise you. People now think you have style! Now go upstairs like a good boy and change that bloody shirt!"

Kath, she already knows my measurements and my shirts do "escape" or get replaced on occasion:

"Have you seen my yellow shirt?"

"What yellow shirt? You don't have one."

I realise its a fight I can't win - but I never give up.




River said...

My hubby refuses to let me buy clothes for him. I've managed to sneak new socks and jocks into his drawer and once I bought him a new pair of jeans. Apart from that all of his clothes are old and he wears them until they literally fall apart, then he'll ask me for $10 or $20 and off he goes hunting through the op shops to find something, anything, that fits and doesn't yet have holes in it. Mostly I don't mind since he's unemployed and never goes anywhere and it does save money. Which I can then spend on me.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi River,

I wish Mrs PM would allow me to go shopping on my own - and then allow me to wear what I buy.




bingkee said...

Hahaha...I can't imagine .
Those clothes you pictured are only for runway---intended to give inspirations to trends. Runway fashions are always never to be worn in everyday or street wear, unless you are a drag queen.
My husband has no fashion sense either but he's now acquiring a little know-how of it since he has to look "cool" in his gigs. He can't portray a rockstar image if he dresses up sloppily.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Bingkee,

As a rock star, you husband has a moral obligation to look "cool" at his gigs. This is one of many reasons why I will never be a rock star sadly :-(




Mrs PM said...

i actually think you'd look smashing in the lime green jumpsuit

Plastic Mancunian said...

Dream on, my sweet.