Beau Brummell, where are you?

Not too many people would rate me in the fashion stakes. In fact, the fashion police field more calls about my clothing choices than any other unfortunate. What I have found myself wondering lately is: who or what is responsible for the horrid men’s wear seen in downtown Wellington. I am continually amazed at the ill fitting clothing – clearly, suits cost a few hundred dollars through to more than a few hundred – but they fit badly. I am not a tailor, but I can see collars not fitting, rear vents gaping, fabric twisting, and of course, the obligatory trousers exposing an excessive amount of ankle. Horrors. Absolute horrors. How hard can it be?

I think there’s a real gap in the market for a menswear shop where the owners have figured out that most guys don’t mind buying, but they don’t like shopping. There is no need for 10,000 colours of anything fundamental. At all. That clothing can be elegant and simple and functional. That the range can be colour coordinated so that a guy can only buy colour combinations that work. There are no pink ties as there is never an occasion for wearing them. No. Not even Halloween. Men need clothing that is sculpted, women need clothing that is draped. Arms start at the shoulders. Jackets and shirts should reflect this reality. The general theme could be classic quality never goes out of fashion. And the shop assistants genuinely assist. A guy cannot tell if the jacket collar does not fit to the shirt collar does not fit to their neck while they’re walking. That the vent gaps. And as for pin stripes that done line up properly – where is the pride of workmanship? If it was all working nicely, what the guy was wearing would be unnoticeable. You’d just think, ‘He looks good’. Sharp. Smart. Impeccable. Instead you think, ‘Oh lord, who on earth suckered every buyer in town into buying pink ties?’

As I said, what’s my qualification for this critique? I’m a fashion nightmare. I’m not a tailor. But I look at the suits on the street and I think – argh! I want to grab shears and chalk and pins and just fix them up. Why Wellington, why? Has WOW made wearing off the shoulder bin liners acceptable?

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