Tag Archives: underwear range

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


Beckham vs Miliband: In the battle of the Davids, it’s no contest for me

In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. And in the land of everybody looking fairly average in their underpants, it seems that David Beckham has ascended to the throne – a huge magisterial knickers magnate presiding over us mere mortals who live in a perpetual state of sucking in our stomachs when somebody attractive walks by.

I have never ‘got’ all the drooling over David Beckham – especially in the ad campaigns for his underwear range with fashion retailing giant H&M.

Sure, he’s a good guy who cares about his “fahmilee” and can bend a football into the back of the net like few others, but when it comes to the aesthetics, I find him rather bland, obvious. He’s what a Parliamentary Select Committee would come up when tasked to put together a sex symbol – everything in the right place, but no promises of adventure or excitement beyond.

Finding yourself alone in a bedroom with him would have all the passion of a breakfast meeting in a Little Chef just outside Slough. He’s taut, tanned – but utterly functional.

Time, then, to focus my attention elsewhere. Beckham is slowly morphing into a Ricky Gervais lookalike and those hen’s eyes of his don’t reveal much of his soul, if he still has one after years of posing every which way in a variety of undergarments with his numerous body doodles.

I need something more real, something I can work with. Beckham’s humanitarian acts and vacant good looks just aren’t enough for me.

Thankfully, there’s been another crotch in the news this week that’s been very deservedly getting the attention it’s been lacking all these years. And it’s another David. Time to step forward (and zip up) Mr Miliband.

Oh, I know what you’re thinking. Have I got the right person? The geeky, awkward-looking politician who spent an unfortunate number of years behind some very unforgiving, ardour-shrivelling spectacles? Really?

Oh, yes, I’m deadly serious. And here’s why Miliband gets the coveted spot as my poster boy, reaching the places that Beckham and his hipster trunks cannot.

Brain and stamina
You can’t deny David M has got the smarts. As Foreign Secretary from 2007-2010 during some tough years for the Labour administration, appointed by Gordon Brown, probably the most ridiculed party leader since Neil Kinnock fell over in the opening titles of Spitting Image every week. Representing the UK during a period of acute terrorism paranoia, with the fallout from the Gulf War raining down on him from all angles, the marvellous Miliband held his own. And we bet he never bored his mates about it down the pub. The boy’s got balls.

He might look like a bank manager on the verge of a nervous breakdown, but I reckon David is an old smoothie at the heart of it. Witness his complete disarmament of his US counterpart Hillary Clinton, who practically threw herself in front of his car at their last meeting, such was her sadness that their ‘special relationship’ was coming to an end.

Hillary is no pushover when it comes to the charm; hubby Bill’s antics will have put her on her guard for life. And yet Mr M sauntered into her life with his lop-sided grin and her icy heart was reduced to bathwater in an instant.

OK, so he’s not as chiselled as Beckham, and he may not have as sculpted a behind, but not an ounce of fat is wasted on Miliband major. He’s a runner, and is toned to perfection, with muscles a-poppin’ on those wiry thighs of his, and shapely arms thanks to years of carrying around big heavy documents full of politics, as opposed to balancing a manbag on his elbow.

And yet despite the fact he’s a go-getter, globetrotter and dripping in power, he still has a softer side. He was photographed recently snoozing on the Tube in London, his adorable head leaning on his sturdy hand, his gangly legs splayed and his fly half-undone (revealing nothing – our David’s too classy for that), knackered after a long day of hardcore parliamentary toil. (Err, well it was 3pm, actually, but I’m assuming he’d been up for 48 hours or something.) Despite everything, he still needs looking after. Oh, to tuck him in with his cocoa and copy of The Economist.

So, laugh all you like. Go back to dribbling over the razor-lipped pants monkey Beckham running around with his body double in LA. But I know understated hotness when I see it – and Miliband’s got it in spades.