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Thursday, 21 March 2019


This post has a male focus.

There's an old boy, I'm estimating in his late seventies, who walks his dog past my house every day. He wears a tie, and looks very smart indeed. My father-in-law seldom stepped out without being booted and suited. Old school standards, you see.

I spent a sizeable chunk of my life working in and around supermarkets and, as a result, I have a vast knowledge of the human species and human condition. Apart from many things, I have noticed a major deterioration in how men dress when they are out in public, and especially when shopping. This morning the man who nipped in for a loaf and a carton of milk was oblivious to funny looks because of his pyjamas and slippers. The chap the other rainy day wearing snug shorts and flip-flops was the bad sight of the week.

Thankfully, there are plenty of male shoppers who make the effort.

But we are in a super-sensitive age when men assume their right to express themselves anyway they darn well please and woe betide anyone who criticises the bulky XXXL chap in his XL vest as he shops for the summer barbecue, or the Chippendale reject who divests himself of said vest. We are about a belly wobble away from seeing the first specimen shopper in nothing but y-fronts browsing the yoghurt aisle. And then it will be full Health & Efficiency in about a generation, as people free of fabric will be happy to shop stark naked for their meat and two veg.

I try to be reasonably smart/casual as much as possible and I see other veteran shoppers making the effort to dress appropriately. I don't wear a tie but I see other men in what used to be called their Sunday best.

Personally, I blame the inventor of the shell suit and football tops as everyday fashion. From sartorial perfection to sloppy scruffs, humanity continues to evolve as dress standards seem to dissolve.

The old boy who walks his dog knows his standard and my father-in-law knew his.

And don't get me started on tattoos, face jewellery, lank hair and shower-gel dodgers.

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