I would not say that I am in any way a stylish or fashionable person.
I long since passed the point where I felt the need to dress trendily; you get to a certain age and to do so just looks a little needy, a man in denial, desperately trying to cling onto youth.
Looking back, I can only really think of my college days as a being a time when I did make an effort in that direction; back then, when I first started, my uniform was a tatty old cardigan, ripped jeans, a band t-shirt, two ear-rings in one ear (I did briefly have both pierced, oblivious to the “fact” that “meant something”) – a yin and yang stud and a CND dangler – and if that wasn’t pretentious enough, a black cloth cap, for which I still blame it’s permanence on my bonce for my lack of hair now.
I looked like an identi-kit student, up until late 1989, when I started DJ’ing. Initially, doing the fortnightly Indie night meant my code of dress didn’t need to change.
And then Madchester happened, and I had to jump on that groovy train and look the part. And so I started wearing a hoodie underneath a pair of big baggy flared dungarees, which I would wear with one strap coquettishly unhooked over my shoulder.
I went home one holiday, and hooked up with an old buddy, who took a long look at me before saying: “You always did manage to take a look and make it your own.” At the time, I took this as a compliment and was immensely pleased; however looking back I now see the coded message contained therein was actually: “Christ, what a state.”
Thankfully, very little photographic evidence exists of me back then.
Anyway, as bloke about to hit 50, I don’t expect anybody to comment on what I wear anymore, for I dress as inconspicuosly normally as possible.
But at work yesterday, two people came up to me independently of each other and told me that they liked the shirt I was wearing. And for a moment, I wondered if this too was their way of saying “You look a right dick in that shirt.” However, they seemed genuine enough, and so I decided to treat both comments as people being genuinely complimentary.
And of course, you know how my brain is wired, I immediately thought of these two songs, which jostled for pole position in my head until I could listen to them on the way home.
The first is, I think, my favourite record by The Kinks:
…and this, I think my favourite song by Haircut 100 (it’s not up against an awful lot of competition, to be fair):
Welcome to the weekend.