I’M FINALLY IN VOGUE
After a handful of compliments took him (and his wife) by suprise, Will Gore readies himself for the fashion world
Something odd may be afoot. Whisper it, but I have an inkling that I’ve become a fashion icon. When I mentioned this to a friend a few days ago, he laughed uproariously. And yet the reason I had brought up the possibility was that he had just complimented me on my tie, the style of which – horizontal stripes, square end – he understood to be rather the in thing.
In the case of this particular garment, it may simply be a case of what goes around, comes around, since I bought it at least 15 years ago. But the broader point is that this was the fifth occasion in less than a month that I’d received favourable comments about my sartorial choices. Indeed, it was the second of that day about the tie alone. Surely, this was beyond mere coincidence.
The first of these recent compliments happened on the Tube. There I was, just minding my own fashionable business, when a man walked past, pausing briefly to look me up and down, before saying: “Hey, I like your jacket.” I mumbled a surprised “thank you” from behind my modish mask, as the chap weaved away through the rush hour crowd.
I confess that my first response to this generous remark was to check my pockets, in case it was some sort of distraction technique facilitating a theft. But nothing was missing, so I puffed my chest out and straightened out the lapels of my decade-old, yet evidently still chic, overcoat, before skipping onto the train.
Naturally, I told my wife about the incident as soon as I got home. She asked if I’d perhaps misheard.
You might think that the clergy are not exactly renowned for their stylish instincts, but really, when you spend your life in dark clothes, dog collars and cassocks, accessories are all you’ve got
Yet a week later, as I sat down for a one-to-one meeting with a potential client, I was told: “That’s a nice bag.” And indeed, it is a lovely thing: brown leather; a birthday present from my disbelieving wife about five years ago. Would she believe me this time? You bet she would: after all, this was a compliment to her as much as to me.
A few days afterwards, with accolades now flying thick and fast, it was the turn of my watch to be singled out for praise, this time by the priest whose Lenten vow I broke in last week’s column. You might think that the clergy are not exactly renowned for their stylish instincts, but really, when you spend your life in dark clothes, dog collars and cassocks, accessories are all you’ve got. So, what a priest doesn’t know about watches, socks and hats isn’t worth knowing.
Add together all these plaudits, and the outcome is clear: I must, at last, be in vogue. It is a testament to the endurance of most of my outfits, I suppose. After all, if you wear something for long enough, it’s bound to come into fashion at some point.
What next then? Maybe the cream jacket I bought in 2006 – inspired by Roger Federer’s Wimbledon attire of that year – could come out of the cupboard for the spring season, and cause a few gasps on Berkhamsted high street. Or perhaps I could unearth the beaded necklace I used to wear in the late Nineties for a much-acclaimed revival. There is even somewhere a cream and orange striped shirt I inherited from my dad, which I once wore to a Seventies-themed fancy dress party, but which could be ripe for a comeback.
Once upon a time, I was a glutton for a braided bracelet, of the sort usually made by small children for their friends, so that’s another accessory to consider. I mean, with Rishi Sunak regularly rocking bracelets at the dispatch box – some apparently made by his kids, others relating to his faith – there is surely no more obvious indicator that such wristwear is once again a la mode.
If fashion is effortless, as is sometimes said, then I am definitely on board. Come the next London Fashion Week, I expect you’ll
see me on the catwalk, dripping in chinos, sleeveless sweaters and braggadocio. Perhaps Rishi will be sashaying along behind. Fashion icons together.
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