STYLIST’S CHOICE: THE ARTIFICIAL HIPSTER
I don’t know about you, but once I hit 40, I started to question my dress sense: everything had to be held up to the Dogs Dinner test; have you heard of it? It’s that old yardstick using a scale of lamb on one side and mutton on the other to gauge the level of inappropriateness to my outfit – i.e. how much of dog’s dinner am I likely to look if I opt for one particular fashion statement versus another. See, it’s not just the ladies that have this crisis of faith when you hit the four-oh writes Style Commentator, The Artificial Hipster.
In years gone by, I’ve been renowned for a certain sense of swagger, sartorially-speaking, often wilfully bending the trends or ignoring them entirely: I remember (not fondly, if truth be known) the time when I considered skirts were in. I hunted high and low for a skirt suitable for a man, but lo and behold, none came to fruition, so I made one. A wraparound number in a tartan print that my mother would’ve been proud of. It was a statement and I wore it with misguided pride. Oh the folly of youth.
As too was the phase when the Mothercare shelves would be raided for statement t-shirts for a night out clubbing- who wouldn’t want to go out with a print of Sesame Street’s Big Bird emblazoned across their pecs? Adornment aside, these were tees made for a toddler, they had to be XS so that the mid-rif could be on display. I still display mu mid riff occasionally although now it is entirely unintentional.
Hindsight is a curious thing, but the purpose of this reminiscing is to illustrate a point that fashion and me are former bed-fellows. Or were until a few years ago. In a social media age of immediacy, visibility and perfection-seeking, I’m feeling invisible and it troubles me. I’m robust of nature, by most accounts, and a professional holding down a relatively high-powered job, but I’m unsettled in this fashion wilderness. Unnerved, as I want to get it right. Who does one turn to for style advice when ‘mid-age’ kicks in? Who does one rely on to help you pass the mirror test? Who pulls you back from the precipice of chinos and button down collar shirt? Who tells you when you look like a dogs’ dinner (DD)?
I love sports luxe but I don’t want to be ‘that’ man, you know the one who’s trying just too hard. That man who looks great from the back view, but turns around and is greeted with a (polite) gasp. He’s definitely DD.
In the absence of style advice properly aimed at the savvy, 40-plus gentleman, I’ve decided to strike out for a generation lost somewhere in between M&S and Zara, Hilfigger and Hugo Boss. It’s why I’ve decided to take matters in to my own hands and launch a blog entitled The Artificial Hipster aimed at people like me. People who want to fall back in love with fashion, but on their terms and for their bodyshape. Let’s face it, we don’t all aspire to Bieber or Beckham levels of sixpackedness – some of us much prefer to embrace the Dad bod from the comfort of our Lazyboy.
And so it begins. Head on over to www.theartificialhipster.com for style tips and advice on generally gadding about fabulously.