As an ageing specimen of the male kind, I guess I have not much sense in the world of fashion or what people should or shouldn’t wear. However, the little sense regarding this subject I do possess screams in my mind every time I encounter crowds in a mad rush to purchase goods for Christmas do’s, New Year’s Eve parties or any other excuse pressured by retail and society into a last minute special.
While I was caught having to venture into a shopping mall the day before Christmas (The horror, the horror!) I managed to avoid the main rampage of trampling shopper hooves by clinging to one of the mall structure pillars, in wait for my entourage to finalise their feverish gathering of stuff. This position gave me a good vantage point of all sorts of weird, neat, sexy, idiotic and bizarrely dressed shoppers who made up this monstrosity of a moving mass – feverously scuttling along from one seasonally defaced shop entrance to another.
I am quite the casual dresser and really hate to dust off my suit, ties or polish my cockroach kickers. To me, life should just be dealt with in a T-shirt, jeans and comfortable shoes. I do sometimes pull the hare out of the hat and dress according to the wishes and desires of those close to me, but I realise my mistake all too soon, getting a chill down my spine when I catch a glimpse of my reflection in a shop window. These days I consult my mirror first…
Why on earth would a young girl aged anywhere between 17 and 25 want to accentuate her abdominal tractor tube and oversized flabby rump by wearing the tightest T-shirt and smallest pair of jeans? Is it to ward off any members of the opposite sex (or same sex, for that matter)? Is this a sign of the times to point us into a direction of “anything goes”? Happily they stroll, hand-in-hand with quite a normal, casual looking fellow – does he not see what I do? Is it a question of love the inside, neglect the out?
In this day and age, I notice a whole family passing by barefoot, excepting the mother; she wears the tiniest slip-slops. I too used to do all my walking barefoot – in grade two! Have these people a thought of what their feet could encounter on an outing like this? Even ignoring the flabbergasted looks of fellow shoppers, what about the odd broken glass, spilt ice-cream, un-nameable gooey stuff and spent balls of chewing gum in the mall. One wonders how they would encounter the sweltering hot stretch of tar in the parking area; they must look like some Vaalies on the South Coast beach, hopping from one shade spot to another. Then again, they may be shopping for shoes…
Sir, how did you see yourself in the mirror this morning? I feel my breakfast pushing up when I spot you in your lime-green safari suit, matching socks up to just below the knee (complete with aluminium comb), happily “trapping” along in your freshly polished 1969 grasshoppers. Sure, if you were of age above 70 I would understand that your closet is stacked with your favourite matching “horribles”, but you can’t be pushing 50 yet!
Son, it may be a designer cut jean, but to wear it half way up your thighs while it is left up to the boxer shorts to cover your ass is a bit of an impediment if you have to make a dash, to say the least. Good lord man! Levi’s crotch is touching your knees! Then again, you may find the chick with the bulging stomach sexy - and she flattered by your sense of fashion.
Heads are turning. I feel a definite attention vibe within the passing crowd. I follow their stare and there they are. Two flabby, ex-muscled, sun-bronzed specimens walking with fervour in their over-tight, semi-aged nylon jogging shorts and off-white tennis shoes. She’s an avid supporter of Anglo gold and Billabong - he, living proof of how steroids really doesn’t age well, not hiding the fact by wearing an eighties loose gym shirt with “FLASH” printed diagonally across.
Please, fellow humans, it should be simple really - dress more or less according to age and body shape and you don’t have to put people like me through extra pain and discomfort which the Saturday morning shopping experience already accomplishes.