Let me ask you a question: have you ever seen dark times and faced uncertain odds while shopping? I have. My lowest day was circling the reduced rails of Primark looking for something to wear for New Year’s Eve after flat out refusing to pay £15 for a shirt. I wasn’t skint so I knew I could afford something much better, and I don’t know whether it was because it didn’t look like it cost £15 to make, or because it probably wasn’t ethically sourced, but I couldn’t do it. Maybe it was because deep down in my roots I’m a coop of pigeons away from settling on Coronation Street as the ruffian neighbour who has an eye for the ladies, and the men. But whatever it was, it resulted in my rifling through the reduced rails and eyeing up a shirt with a repetitive labrador print. Obviously everyone has their own styles and approach to fashion, but what happens when you get lost on the path of excellence and drift into a world of labrador prints and drop crotch chinos? You need a kick up the bum, is what you need. Which is what the following words will be; a huge kick up the bum for me, because I’ve been to that sorry place and I know that I need help. I’ve faced dark times and I know the fear, but up until now, I haven’t known what to do about it.
Maybe the most important of any resolutions is that you need to look at what works for you, and what doesn’t. For example! The Hype label for Topman; a mix of 90s street cred and modern influences, like Salt and Pepa if they were on The Great British Bake Off, doesn’t, and probably never will suit me. I’m too Jewish looking to manage to pull it off. I should be wearing basic, block colours that distract from my doughy body and a face that was once given the accolade of being deleted off a drag queen’s phone for being “too much like a train ran over Mr. Potato Head.” So why am I turned on by fantastical patterns and shapes and sizes that will never, ever, suit me. Not in a million years of bathing in breadcrumbs could I pull a printed mac with feathers round the collar. So why do I persist? It’s because, deep down, I want to look as good as the men do in the look books and fashion websites. It’s criminally unfair that I can’t, but if I could own just one piece of clothing that is slightly avant garde and progressive, it might set off a magical transformation and I’ll turn into the Harry Potter of clothes. Also, it might be because scrotum unfriendly jeans aren’t my ideal of whats trendy at the moment, so the clash of what I desire and what I know demonstrates itself in a heady mix of patterns and shapes that even Big Bird would think ‘wow, what a tail.’ The old adage of ‘clothes making the man’ stands quite highly in my fashion ethos, but so is going ‘Ooooo’ and stroking pleather sleeves.
While searching for progressive and conversation pieces that cost an arm and a leg occupies quite a large portion of my shopping experience, the worry of replacing items of clothing that have massive holes in them occupies the other half. My reluctance to spend money on things I need stems from my Northern roots again, but it’s got to the stage where my favourite shoes, and boots that I would wear everywhere are starting to have gaping holes in the heels that aren’t functional or safe to wear. Yet I still wear them. And in Winter too. A time where rain and things totally get up in your sole’s grill and gets your socks wet. There’s literally nothing worse than a wet sock. I may set up a charity. I’m not Johnny Borrell. I can’t slap on a safari hat and pull some budding actress and sling it up her. I bet Johnny Borrell can pull off Converse that have holes in the toes. Well, I can’t. So get over it.
Why should I be afraid to spend money on things that I need? I’ve spent the past year wearing two jackets; a functional beige bomber jacket and a navy padded number with some lovely looking Aztec crochet. Neither were suitable for the weather, so I was left resorting to my extensive collection of scarfs to try and stave off hypothermia. It was like being Beyond The Wall. I think I saw Jon Snow mooching around not having sex with me at one point. I should’ve spent money on a dapper coat instead of lusting after pieces I don’t need and then gorging on Dominos when nothing fits.
So from now on, or until I forget and see a totally gorge t-shirt that I have no purpose to wear, or body to suit, I will be using my money wisely to buy new shoes that I actually need.