If Clothes Maketh The Man........ I Could Be In Trouble!

I suppose all good things must come to an end but I was not prepared to let go of my trusty "Folk Bloke" hat just yet...
I had been looking for a hat I could wear without developing migraines (I have an enormous head shaped like a football with the point at my forehead) and which didn't look ridiculous for quite some time. I had some idea of a Casey Jones type hat to help cement my imagined status as a bona fide folk singer. I had also finally accepted that, although I have managed to maintain a reasonably full head of hair, it has little or no redeeming features and usually looks a bit like a middle aged curate who has just woken up after leaving one side of his head resting against a static charged balloon. Anyway, I finally found my hat for $30 at a Rivers store and I was set. It went everywhere with me and is the cap I'm wearing on the park bench in the main pic of my website. In recent months I had been obliged to get another hat as my wife Ann had informed me that it was "pretty disgusting" and probably had something living in it and should be thrown out. I found another cap in Cairns ($20 this time) which is ok but I refused to throw the old one out, instead hanging it on a peg in the laundry as my "gardening hat" (code for the hat I'll wear when nobody's looking). I cheerfully imagined I would wear it in a photo shoot or something as an iconic part of my folkie alter ego "The Folk Bloke".
Imagine my horror when I went looking for it the other day only to find it had been thrown out and I couldn't even rescue it from the bin as the rubbish had been collected! I was mortified, well, not really, but it did cause me to reflect on the history of the male members of my family and their invariably appalling dress sense and stubborn refusal to let go clothes that had long since surrendered any vestige of style or class.
My father used to tell of memories of his father receiving a right dressing down when attempting to wear his favorite green cardigan to church. "Maynard, you are not wearing THAT!" my grandmother would say.... Dad, himself was a truly awful dresser, opting for his favorite combination of boiler suit and terry toweling hat at the first opportunity. I have vivid recollections of him sitting at a table in a restaurant somewhere arguing the finer points of industrial relations with one pair of glasses pushed up on his head and another hanging from his neck on a dirty black cord with a soggy lettuce leaf draped over them, mayonnaise slowing dripping off one end and onto his pants.... 
I think the thing is that, as men, we think clothes (like guitars) are at their best just before they're about to fall apart. Oh, and we simply hate shopping for clothes (I attempt to do a years worth in 20 minutes and then put up with the ill fitting consequences for the next 12 months). With rare exceptions the only reason we look any good at all is because the women in our lives care enough about us to make sure we don't leave the house looking like we're one step away from penury....
This attachment to old clothes can lead to unfortunate situations at times. I came seriously unstuck at Northland shopping centre a year or so ago when trying to get just one more wear out of a pair of underpants the even I accepted were probably past their prime. It was a hot day and I was wearing my work shorts (another stylistic triumph) following my family around from shop to shop whilst in my mind working on a new song when suddenly, and with no warning, the elastic gave out on my trusty old undies! So there I was, in the middle of consumer land, waddling around with the very tired ends of a tatty pair of underpants peaking out below each leg of my shorts.... I know cool young hipsters like to show the elastic in the undies to the world but not from this angle! So, I waddled into Target, bought some new ones and waddled to the toilets to change them. Lesson learnt! Undies are good for one year and not a day longer!
So, with the folk bloke hat gone (and a fresh set of undies) here is my new look.
Cheers

1 comment

  • Colin

    Colin Preston

    I hear ya Pat, but I think your being extravagant shopping for clothes every twelve months. I have two T'shirts that are 16 years old. I bought them in Bali of all places. You are correct on the underpant situation. The underpant molecules of today don't bond like they used to and aren't up to the vigorous demands of the modern world. Congrats on the Titfa Tat.

    I hear ya Pat, but I think your being extravagant shopping for clothes every twelve months. I have two T'shirts that are 16 years old. I bought them in Bali of all places.
    You are correct on the underpant situation. The underpant molecules of today don't bond like they used to and aren't up to the vigorous demands of the modern world.
    Congrats on the Titfa Tat.

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