Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Once were shopping warrior

In just over 2 years my ability to shop confidently has unravelled and I am either middle-aged dad or 14 year old geek redux.

It is difficult to believe a blogger might not so long ago have been reasonably in control of the zeitgeist, able to walk into a shop full of colourful trainers and walk out with some fantastic vintage Golas just before the style took hold, or a pair of bright red Ferrari one-offs mere months before red was everywhere. But, dear reader, I bordered on such control. I shopped with confidence. Even Beloved acknowledged I had an eye for style and cut; indeed she's spoken many times of the instant impression I made when we hooked up in London back at the tale end of 2002. So long ago.

For a guy, and I accept the proscription, I dressed pretty well.

So *ahem* as you know I've had 2 kids and largely been in hibernation where things cultural are concerned. Even my blogging suffered! And now I'm starting to walk around, blinking, trying to dress myself again and finding it hard to avoid ending up in Katmandu tops, generic-looking running shoes, and other 'comfortable' wear befitting a man of a certain disposition. That is, the dad who has given up on aesthetics for good.

I'm not there, but it's unnerving. I'm insecure in shops, in a way I haven't been since perhaps my late teens when I first started to get a sense of personal style. Worse, I see things such as '80s style basketball trainers and I want to give people a lecture on how we had those back when I was a boy.

Damn! How does that sneak up on you?

Anyway this is not entirely a narrative of horror and fatalism, I think I persevered and found a pair of trainers that both suit me and do not mark me out as someone who inhabits Bunnings and Football BBQs. They are retro- back to the '60s, which beats the '80s any day for me.

But in the process I basically got 2 different shoestore dudes to "explain to me how it all works at the moment with shoes and stuff", which is probably like going up to a lifeguard and asking how to do the dog paddle.

Now... shirts, jackets, jeans....


Ann ODyne said...

dear Armagnac Esq.,
simply buy or flip through a copy of ESQUIRE magazine.
The Sartorialist website.
or that glossy that comes with The Fin on the first Friday.

I had Converse High Tops in 1965 when they were not a ridiculous price, and everybody thought I was really weird (not in a good way). fk 'em.

it is also very easy for any young mother adrift from the workforce, to suddenly be sartorially insecure about arriving at any big event. watch out for The Mother too.

cristy said...

Ha! This post amuses me. I feel fortunate that I never had any style to lose through parenthood! My friends at uni used to call me 'fleece girl'. 'nuff said.

Helen said...

I plead guilty to buying Kathmandu stuff, I'm one of those cold blooded people who love wearing 50 layers.

But I so do recognise the syndrome. I feel so awkward in clothes shops now I have the middle aged mum thing going on. But then again, I was always shit scared of boutique assistants looking me up and down.

Anne O', remember when converse high tops only came in navy, navy or navy? I used to wear them.

The Accidental Housewife said...

This is me, but unlike some I'm too shy to ask. I keep telling myself I will buy the nice clothes next month, after a few more baby kilos are gone... I have to get my act together!