Spare us from these sunshine-related fashion disasters
PUBLISHED: 11:11 21 April 2018 | UPDATED: 11:40 21 April 2018
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Sartorial Shockers in the Sunshine would be a good name for a band - a modern twist on Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark. But the reality is OMG, not OMD.
For, while it makes us smile and feel better, warm weather also brings out fashion horror shows and an unappetising feast of flesh.
I don’t know what it is that makes us so incapable of welcoming a heatwave with dignity. Maybe it’s because of a lack of practice?
The seemingly endless winter didn’t help. After experiencing shades of grey, day after day, we are all prone to overreact when the sun emerges to reveal colour.
But there’s no need to panic. I wish people would pause, look in the mirror and have a word with themselves before leaving the house.
It would save us all from seeing sights that visit us in the witching hours and that even Cillit Bang cannot scrub from our brains.
At this point, I must make it clear that I am not the ginger Gok Wan. I am also not Trinny or Susannah, in case you were wondering.
To the charge of fashion hypocrisy I plead guilty. After all, I often look like I choose my clothes by rolling dice.
But at least I keep most of my porcelain skin covered up. Less is more: nothing is everything.
Out on the mean streets of Norwich, though, there are countless human exhibits that should never have been given planning permission.
They definitely are not in keeping with the architecture and milieu of our medieval city and are an offence to right-thinking shoppers. Norwich City Council, raise your game and rid our streets of these abominations.
As pretty much everything offends me (yes, I don’t even have to pretend to be intolerant and objectionable for this column. It comes naturally), I should be more specific.
So here is my top seven of warm weather fashion faux pas:
1 - Flip-flops:
Feet - with a few exceptions - are ugly. I don’t want to see bulging veins, bunions, hairy toes and grubby toenails. Keep flip-flops for the beach.
2 - Short, short shorts with bits of butt hanging out:
I like to call these the not-hot pants. Uber-short shorts might work for Daisy Duke, but buttock spillage isn’t an appetising sight outside Jarrolds.
3 - Low-slung shorts:
At the northern end of Planet Bum, we have the next horror show, the glimpse of ghastly gorge. Think builder’s bum with a twist - Death Valley. Belts are readily available, so buy one.
4 - Three-quarter length trousers:
They occupy the no man’s land between shorts and trousers - and no man should ever venture there. They are the hideous product of an illicit union between half-masts and culottes, creating the illusion that the wearer’s legs are the same width from lower calf to backside: butchers’ sausages with feet.
5 - Muscle tops:
If you want to look like you are in a torrid romance with your reflection, go for it. Muscle tops are all about “look at me, I’m so sculpted”. In reality they are “look at him, he’s 1980s Iron Curtain”.
6 - No top:
This look is often accessorised with a can of Monster and a devil dog, so I avoid pointing out the error directly.
But why on Earth would you go down Gentleman’s Walk topless? It puts people off their Pret A Manger.
Here’s my simple rule: top-off in shower, bath or bed; top-on everywhere else.
7 - White, cream or beige chinos:
This is a crime that is more often committed indoors. As the heat arrives, the odd office worker unleashes their summer wardrobe. Out come the chinos, which - unless you work for Del Monte - really should have stayed in the sweaty offices of the Raj.
Within a few hours of the hot weather arriving, the next ugly sight emerges - sunburn.
As if acres of pasty skin wasn’t enough for our delicate stomachs, along comes the roasted pig look.
It is accompanied by the white patches that hide behind a strap or a sleeve, leaving the person looking as though they’ve been stencilled.
The combination of all of the above conjures images that could have been painted by Hogarth.
Personally, I lean more towards LS Lowry when it comes to life on our streets.