Grazia column

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If a man voices an opinion about clothing in the woods, and there are no women around to hear him, is he still wrong? Increasingly, I’m beginning to think this might be the case.

Women usually buy clothes because they are fashionable but men buy clothes because they like them right now, and will probably still like them in 10 years’ time, and don’t really care if other people like them or not. And, for some reason, this annoys women.

My fiancée has patiently suggested on more than a few occasions that several items in my wardrobe need to be thrown out. The Stone Island jacket I bought in 1994 is a prime example of sartorial dispute that has reached a deadlock: “It’s falling apart!”, “No, it’s worn in”, “It’s 17 years old”, “It’s vintage!”, “Buy a new one”, “They don’t make them any more”.

That last point is why now, if I find something I like I buy more than one of them, because next season they’ll be gone. That’s why I have four pairs of Nike Presto trainers, one pair of which I refuse to throw out even though they’re disintegrating and causing Detective Mittens (our cat) to cover his nose and howl when I walk past.

This week I bought an oversized Detroit Red Wings ice hockey jersey. I got it cheap on the Internet – so it’s probably fake – it’s too big, and the logo on the front is so stiff it’s like wearing a bullet-proof vest. But I love it. It’s the same as the one that Cameron wore in Ferris Beuller’s Day Off, even down to the number nine on the back and name of ‘HOWE’ printed across the shoulders.

The missus hates it though. She laughed at me when I first put it on. Apparently it makes me look like I should be throwing gang signs and walking with a fake limp. But I don’t care. If a 36-year-old man can’t buy an illfitting hockey jersey because it was worn by a fictional character in a film 25 years ago, the world has gone mad.

As for my other clothes, I’m hanging onto them. After all, even a stopped clock gives the right time twice a day and soon they’ll probably be fashionable once again. Not that I’ll notice… but I’m sure I will be gently reminded until they are.

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