Dress sense – and sensitivities
THE secret of a good relationship, according to the American comedienne Rita Rudner, is to let your partner be himself – and you just pretend he’s somebody else. Which helps to explain the mirth with which two of my female friends discuss first meeting their menfolk. “You should have seen him – he was wearing a black jumper with WHITE jeans!” one will hoot. “Tell me about it!” shrieks the other. “This one had been wearing the same denims from Oxfam for NINE years!” (Well, I think, they still fitted, not bad for a man of my age, even considering they were a size too big in the first place. And if our dress sense was so embarrassing why the heck did they pair up with us in the first place?) Which in turn helps to explain my sympathy for 60-yearold Peter Trigger, from Northampton, who has been given an Asbo for wearing a skirt in public. Given that the bold transvesticism of Grayson Perry and Eddie Izzard usually inspires respect for their artistic individuality, I’d like to praise him as a true British eccentric, except that he is accused of doing it to frighten schoolchildren and spite his neighbours. The fashion fascists of Northamptonshire failed, however, with an attempted Asbo against 18-year-old Ellis Drummond, for adopting the low-slung trousers from which many teenagers like to expose their underwear. Apparently this style is inspired by the traditionally saggy waistlines of American prison garb and, ironically, has actually been made illegal in one Louisiana town. So you’re not allowed to sling low on the streets, in case you’re locked up – and then you can’t help it. I suppose those of us with nine-year-old denims should be grateful for having our own Trinny and Susannah. Yet I could not resist a vengeful smirk when my style counsellor entered her greyhound in a dog show, and found herself parading next to the rear view of a terrier owner who exposed not even his Y-fronts but a belter of a builder’s bum from his drooping, hipster jeans. Huh, what a dirtbag. I bet he got them from Oxfam.