From time to time – specifically when I’ve run out of ideas – I’ll ask people what I should write about for this column. Sometimes, I put a call out on Twitter, sometimes I ask strangers, sometimes I ask friends. In fairness, a lot of people have total gems to offer; a seed of an idea that can easily be developed into something I never would have thought of. Last year, I wrote a three-parter on dressing for pregnancy – as a happily unpregnant person, this had, rather selfishly I might add, never occurred to me before
I talk to my ex on Viber quite often (for the uninitiated, it’s an app that allows you to talk to people for free via your internet service). It’s great.
Unfortunately, when you chat via text, you can rarely interpret tone correctly, especially sarcasm (and as both a naturally sarcastic and defensive person, that can be a volatile mix for me).
So, when I asked him what I should write about this week, I was greatly taken aback to see the following pop up on the phone screen. “How the f**k should I know? For f**k sake Sarah, it’s not my goddam motherf**king column, go wrote about horses**t for all I care! Jesus f**king Christ!”
He was joking.
However, his subsequent suggestion (some guff about Fred Perry tops and sports brands in mainstream fashion) was incredibly boring, so I’m going to talk about the mythical hidden contrasts in men’s attitudes to fashion through the men I’ve spent some, um, quality time with.
1) Being into style somehow makes men gay. Surprisingly, I have only ever had one ex (that I know of) who showed same-sex tendencies and he was quite well-dressed in a homogenous, Topman kind of a way. However, this is because, at first, it was me who was dressing him.
Unenlightened menfolk, homosexuality is definitely not about clothes; and you definitely don’t have to compensate for being stylish by being aggressively hetero towards women – that’s aimed at you, Stylish Guy who referred to me, nauseatingly, as ‘intellectual pussy’.
2) Being into style means that men have unnecessarily inflated egos. We Irish people love to use the phrase ‘Oh, he loves himself’ as an insult. It is patently not an insult – you’re supposed to love yourself.
However, this horrible attitude means that men who takes any pride in their appearance are seen somehow as more selfish and self-absorbed than others, so in an effort not to appear that way, a man must look like he doesn’t care that much, even if he does. This can easily be seen in the scores of exes who would happily wear their jeans out well after the hem had ripped, not stopping until one rainy day, when an accident happens and a sodden pants leg is ripped up to the back of the knee.
I called those days ‘good days’.
*At this point I should tell you that my ex is a very nice person and almost never comes across as a total dipshit.