I think that I have lost touch with reality, either that or reality moved while I wasn’t looking. I’ve never been one to look stylish, although since I moved up the ranks in my position here at work I have taken a little more consideration into what I wear than merely – “what’s clean”?
Thus I found myself eagerly paging through the Men’s Health Spring 06 Guide to Style, that touts 100 ways to look great. Fantastic, I think to myself, a chance to start working on the wardrobe and begin plotting for the move to behind the boerewors curtain that is on the cards for the first quarter next year.
My not -exactly manicured hands wrench open the book with joyously wild abandon and begin fretting through the ensuing pages. It starts of well, a fine pin-striped suit from Markhams for a paltry R 750 in cold hard smackers. Not bad for a re-usable suit, methinks to meself.
However, as I continue to page through the ensuin pages, I become both disheartened and incised. Either the suits are of a such a ridiculous price that I could never own one without morgaging out the house (that I don’t own), or would be too self-concious to wear, or… the clothes look utterly, and completely ridiculous while a well payed and quite possibly out-of-touch journo effuses over the utterly deliciousness of the item on display – that makes the chiseled well pampered cover model look something like a poodle in heat.
And it start off so well with the cover of your average working corporate dude with his suit, shirt and tie – somewhat dishevelled and tired looking, but hey, he’s wearing a suit. The thing that stunned me the most is the suit for R 7000, with a shirt for R 1000, and I can only guess how much the shoes and underwear must cost. The model in question was probably wearing a months worth of salary to look, well, like any of the other models wearing their R 1000 suits.
Pg 33 brings a tear to the eye, be it in mirth or sheer pain I am not entirely sure, but while the black african gentleman wears a respectable jacket with jeans and tie, the white african male wears… something that looks like it got rejected from That ’70’s Show… It’s paisley… and red… and what the hell is that at his neck?! Ah! It’s a cravat… He’s wearing a charcoal grey cravat with a red paisley shirt and light denim jeans… with fake creases. Dear lord man… And this seems to be the trend throughout the magazine, dark african gentlemen wear stylishly cool suits and threads, whereas the white south african male is decked out in something that makes him look utterly idiotic.
Pg 50 has a guy wearing shorts that cost more than his jacket (who pays R 1,240 for freaking shorts anyway?!), pg 55 has a guy pushing open a hangar door, wearing jeans, sneakers, colar, tie and a R 6,375 jacket (what?), pg 50 a guy wearing a shirt, kinda like the ones I can get at Mr Price, only the Mr Price one has full sleaves and doesn’t end half-way through my forearm, only this one bares the darling price of R 2,445 for the shirt…. I know people who earn that in a month of hard slog.
Pg 62 has a white african male wearing something I would epect to see on a young lass.
The award for ugliest suit in the world goes to the guy on pg 29 who displays a mirgraine inducing “checked” suit, which looks more like a bad tartan, and the “Geez, mate, I’m sorry you had to wear that” award foes to the poor blighter on pg 38, a long sleave floral / island print white shirt, with a rainbow belt and… white shorts.
The trend, it appears, is for white african males to either look like idiots, retro morons, or as effeminate as possibly. It appears that it is a good time on the fashion world to be a black african male, at least they dress you like you mean something.
Maybe I’m being overly critical, but I just can’t take it anymore. I cannot fathom wearing R 12,000 worth of clothing in one day! And that guy probably changes into something “more comfortable” when he gets home. I’m sure that there are millionaires out there who don’t even think twice about wearing a suit that costs as much as they pay the people they employ for a months worth of hard labour, and I’m sure that there are some who can intricately describe the difference in thread, feel and cut of a thousand dollar suit compared to a thousand rand suit – but the rest of it? I think fashion, and the methodology that Men’s Health has used for their Spring Look is somewhat lacking, at least for this dumb blighter. I guess I’ll stick to the idea that my clothing costs less than my shoes, and not the other way around:
Hang Ten short-sleaves button up shirt with print ~ R150 Hang-Ten
Real Trader Blue Denim Jeans ~ R 130 Mister Price
Socks with Dead fish on them ~ R 20 Woolies
Bronx Casual Slip ons ~ R 350, just about anywhere.