Clothing whine

CLOTHES maketh the man look a right pillock. That’s certainly the case if you consider fashion, a concept that I readily admit eludes me. How come all these peculiar habiliments you see in the supplements never make it to the streets, even though they’re supposed to be the next big thing?

But, already, I’m out of my depth. I suppose fashion is a kind of art form not intended for any practical purpose. At any rate, that’s the best excuse I can conjure for it.

All that ineptly said, it’s not really fashion so much as the daily clothing choices of people in the public eye that form the basis of this week’s uplifting sermon. I witter thus following GQ magazine’s naming and shaming of the world’s worst-dressed men.

I cannot pretend I approve of this sort of thing, as it’s arguably judgmental and inescapably pompous, but I do agree with their choice of the world’s prime sartorial disaster: Dominic Cummings.

The Prime Minister’s top political adviser is a mess, with his shirt tail hanging out and his satanic habit of wearing a quilted gilet, something the law should restrict to presenters of television gardening programmes.

It’s a disturbing sign of Boris Johnson’s unfitness to govern that he cannot take command of this situation and send his unsuitably unsuited adviser home to think again about his apparel choice.

That said, Boris is hardly an inspiring example himself, with his over-long shirt cuffs, skew-whiff collars and badly tied ties telling the world that he is so posh, so way above the bourgeoisie who care about such things, that the rules don’t apply to him.

Which brings us to Jacob Rees-Mogg, though from the opposite direction. Jacob, who came seventh in the worst-dressed man list, is also right posh, but his double-breasted suits and striped shirts are designed to give an air of respectability, tradition and order, concepts as sadly antiquated as his sartorial affectations.

However, a part of me admires him for it. Why not stick to your guns and wear what you like? Why be cowed by the conforming mob?

I still believe flared trousers look best and were perfectly designed for the human leg, but I’m too frightened to wear them now. I do, however, stick by my checked shirt, T-shirt and big boots, which is what I’ve always worn and which was worn by those around me in my formative years.

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Unfortunately, I fear that, when hipsters became a thing, I was mistaken for a middle-aged poltroon trying to be trendy, which wasn’t helped by my also having a beard. But, hey, I was here first.

I should say that GQ also named the world’s 10 best-dressed men, with the list topped by Timothée (it says here; please, God, help us) Chalamet and Brad Pitt, whoever they are. From a picture of the first-named, the idea is to wear something daft but have the chutzpah, or lack of mirrors, to carry it off.

What times we live in. But folk have said that through the ages. Perhaps, if Scotland becomes independent, we should follow the example of China with its Mao suits, and all dress in something native to our traditions and culture: grey tracksuits.

At the time of going to press, these are only worn by the nation’s world-famous neds (now an embarrassing feature of YouTube). But, if we all dressed thus, class distinctions based on sartorial expression would disappear.

With bottles of our national drink – Buckfast – swaying gently in our admirably practical pockets, we could go about our business without being judged or put on embarrassing lists.

Rrrights and rrrongs

I’M getting right fed up, ken? You say sympathetically: “What’s wrong wi’ ye noo, big nose?”

I will tell you, since you’ve been good enough to ask. I was quietly minding my own business when I made the mistake of putting on BBC Radio Woke (4) and was plunged into deep despair. Not by all the PC hectoring and right-on bilge.

No, by a presenter referring to a “Panoramer” programme. I couldn’t believe my earlobes.

When you cannot get your own presenters to pronounce properly the titles of your own programmes, then it’s time for a major inquiry, with the worst offenders being booted up the r’s.

It seems to be only we Celts who speak English properly, but even that assumption took a hit with news that the Cornish accent, with its distinctive rolling “r”, is dying oot. That “r” is at least in the right place and not just a hideous error tacked on to decent words ending in vowels or “aw” (as in “law ran order”).

You never hear a Welsh accent these days either, so it’s looking like the entire English-speaking world will soon be speaking English as the English speak it. That is, wrongly.

Same old, same old

LIKE many decent ratepayers, I dread growing old. It sounds awful, a culmination of the progressive crapness that we call life. Baby: clueless. Child: happy. Adolescent: bewildered. Young adult: melancholy. Middle age: resigned. Old age: humiliated.

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Some people will disagree with this. You read polls claiming the elderly are the happiest demographic, presumably because they don’t have to work any more. Closer perusal of the small print, however, reveals that the happiest ones are those with the most money, the fewest illnesses and the most social involvement. None of which bodes well for me.

Still, you’d think growing old would mean being excused some duties. Not so. Evil scientists from Trinity College, Dublin, have created a robot called Stevie that encourages old people in homes to dance. Imagine sitting there, thinking: “Well, this is rubbish, but at least I don’t have to dance any more.”

Then this metal clot whirs in and starts strutting its funky circuits. Worse still, it also tries to dragoon the inmates into singing and – look away now, if you’re of a sensitive disposition – bingo.

My hope for growing old is that folk will stop getting on my case. But it’s beginning to look increasingly unlikely.