Tag Archives: clothes

The first-date shirt

I’ve never believed in “lucky” pants or socks. Underwear is underwear and I have almost never had someone peel off my jeans, running their tongue across their teeth in anticipation, and compliment me on my trunks – or what was inside them, now I come to think of it.

But there are few items of clothing that have ever made me feel as invincible or irresistible as my “first date shirt”, the long-sleeved legend I wore on the majority, well at least half, of my first dates.

I’d admired it in the shop for a while. I’m one of those people who either impulse-buys wildly and is forced to do the “return of shame” within a day or two, or I take hundreds of trips to the clothes rail to convince myself I should buy the object of my affection. The first date shirt took a lot of self-persuasion.

I don’t really know why; it wasn’t remotely expensive or particularly outré. Just a bog-standard Uniqlo cotton number, in burgundy and green (I think; for a gay I’m not very good with colours) in a check or plaid or tartan or whatever you want to call it.

But I had a million shirts just like it – or thought I did – and so would place it back on the hanger every single time, after a good quarter of an hour turning that way and this, looking in the mirror  with it held against my chest.

Then, one day, while I was waiting for a friend to squeeze into some jeans in the fitting room, I tried it on properly for the first time.

We fell in love. Continue reading The first-date shirt


Give me death by skinny jeans over bootcut misery any day

It has been in the news this week that skinny jeans can kill you. But what a way to go.

Thanks to the sterling efforts of Darwinism, a young woman in Australia almost threw a seven in her spray-ons after she did one too many squats helping someone move house, rendering herself immobile for hours when her calves swelled up.

Before you laugh yourself out of your very own drainpipe slacks, remember she was hospitalised and it was all very serious and that kind of thing. She’s recovering now.

When I was at school, skinny jeans were for the spindly goths only.

Skinny jeans have exerted their deathlike grip on calves up and down the country for a very long time now, decades even. When I was at school, skinny jeans were for the spindly goths only, bridging the gap between massive DM boot and knackered old plastic leather jacket perfectly.

Everybody else in sixth form – which was uniform-free, how modern – wore an array of average jeans, all far too baggy and all far too long. With nobody in that era expecting to be able to grow a nice arse until way past their 25th birthday, fit and form weren’t important – so long as they weren’t what the goths were wearing.

As something of a stick insect during my teenage years and most of my twenties, I feared skinny trousers anyway. These were the days before it was massively fashionable to have a sylph-like frame and look like you had a severe phobia of sandwiches.

Girls wanted to be thin of course, plus ça change, but boys wanted to be athletic – not in the 2015 way, where everyone locks themselves in the gym to look like Popeye mid-transformation, oh no.

Boys weren’t supposed to be thin in the nineties. Being slim was creepy and unattractive.

Athleticism in the nineties was looking vaguely like someone who may or may not – if you squinted in bright sunlight – look at least 25% of the way to having a bit of a ‘chest’.

Boys weren’t supposed to be thin, they were supposed to be stocky, or dead-eyed and sporty like Tommy Hilfiger adverts. Being slim was creepy and unattractive. Continue reading Give me death by skinny jeans over bootcut misery any day