2004-08-18 : Do not adjust your dress sense – no wait, on second thoughts…

I don't know much about fashion. In fact, probably hundreds of people would testify to that end, and provide enough evidence to allow Fashon Squad to throw me away for life.

I admit, I've been guilty (in front of fairly sizeable crowds, I might add) of wearing bright orange trousers; it hardly seems to matter whether I “match” them with a bright green terry-towelling tshirt, or with a pair of neon blue Nike's. At one point I had enough loud shirts in my wardrobe to enable me to wear a different one every day for 3 weeks without having to wash any of them (a hypothesis which I later went on to prove). And several of my female friends have threatened me with restraining orders if I so much as *think* of meeting them in public with my hi-visibility yellow polo shirt on.

But what in the HELL is going on with people wearing gingham and pinstripes at the minute !?

As I've already outlined, even *I* know that you don't put a checked shirt with striped pants !? I can point to several (failed) experiments involving camouflage pants and tie-dye where I've picked up the idea of conflicting pattern… but out there on the tube every day, there it is ! Checked shirts ahoy.

Pinstripe suits I can understand, but I was always taught that the accessory to a suit was always a white shirt; coloured shirts detract from the presence you get from the contrast and patterned shirts make it look like you're trying to cover up the fact you've worn a pyjama top to work. It looks as if the trendy set have tried to form some kind of giant human test-pattern! I sincerely hope that this silliness has not reached my beloved Australian shores. Next thing you know it'll be happy pants all over again !

And while I'm in the mood of getting fired up, what's the deal with Burberry ? I understand the idea of people having different tastes, but I guess my visit to Paris shortened my tether considerably with designer labels. OK, so you take a shirt, put a label on it and charge someone $150 for it – at the end of the day (in the case of Burberry), you've still only got a tartan shirt ! Maybe nobody's told the folks on Regent St or the Champs Elysees, but you can get a tartan shirt for about $6 at Coles!

“Don't be silly, that's just rubbish – this is Burberry !”. OK, so I concede, the stripes are a different colour. And whilst that's enough to have apparently caused fights among Scotsmen for centuries, it's not enough justification to stop me from thinking that the sort of people who go out of their way to buy this stuff are complete berks.

Maybe I should get someone back home to ship me over a bunch of Australian blue singlets (as worn at the Goondiwindi Truck Stop* – Australia's Premier Truck Stop !) and stitch a brand name on to them and flog them off for $90 a pop as “shearer chic” ? Maybe I could create my OWN label – “Bolloques” !

(* Incidentally, I couldn't find any links or pictures anywhere of the Goondiwindi Truck Stop, so this picture of the Goondiwindi Tractor Pull will have to suffice. Please don't ask me anything about this regional Queensland ritual, as I have no idea.)