So chaps, a few weeks ago we briefly discussed what to wear for any upcoming outdoor shenanigans that might come your way. (I love the word shenanigans, don’t you? Conjures up such wonderful images). I digress, as always, forgive me. I think the long and short of it was, try hard not to resemble a peacock or one of the hired help. The world of fashion is such a precarious one.
Well, today you are in for a treat as I shall delve a little deeper into what is, and is not acceptable (in my eyes) as far as sartorial suave summer outfits go. I have said it before, and I will jolly well say it again. Short-sleeved shirts are an absolute no-no. A nice, fitted polo shirt is fine, (and by polo, I do not mean one of those awful shirts with a life-size horse emblazoned upon the front). Discretion at all costs, as any Sliema lady of quality, will tell you. And when I say fitted, that is just what I mean. Too tight and you’ll look like a Soho go-go dancer (whatever happened to them?) Too loose and you will look like you have raided a charity shop on the way there.
The same rules apply for shirts and trousers. Loose-fitting linen trousers are wonderful in the heat, but if your better half surreptitiously plays anything by MC Hammer as you are getting ready for the night, I’d consider getting changed. And heavens knows why, but the rarely seen practical side of me rears its head at this time of year, I have no idea at all what comes over me. I simply become my mother. If it fits, I will have one in every colour thank you muchly. All muted though, obviously. I would hate anyone to think I was trying too hard. If like me, you buy multiple items of the same thing, then you have several pairs of shorts/trousers/shirts etc, that you know are going to fit well and blend together nicely without that fleeting thought of “But does this fuchsia silk shirt go with these bottle green shorts?” as you step out of the front door.
I also like to make sure that no man-made fibres were harmed in the making of any part of my ensemble. So when choosing shirts, trousers or shorts, think linen, cotton or silk. Repeat aloud three times after me: “Synthetic fibres are not your friends”. I once saw a rather well-known personality stand suspiciously close to a candle in the beautiful garden at The Phoenicia Hotel. It didn’t end well is all I will say on the matter.
I know I said muted colours work best, but let me quantify. Let us just say that primary colours look wonderful on children’s clowns and leave it at that, shall we? Muted does not mean dull. Oh no, not at all. One can have oodles of fun with spots or stripes, just steer clear of checks if you can. We all love a good lumberjack, just ask my chum Adonis, but there is a time and a place for everything, and summer soirées ain’t one of them.
The final subject of this week’s agenda is footwear. I know I have been quoted as saying good quality penny loafers should be sufficient to see you through most of your summer bashes, (unless you’re under thirty that is, then feel free to wear whatever you like, you have my permission. Youth forgives all). But, if you have been invited somewhere you feel may be slightly more elegant than your local pizzeria, a pair of monk straps could not be a wiser investment. And I mean investment. Do not scrimp and save, it will show. I have a dear actor friend called Richard, (no, I’m not telling you his last name, so don’t ask) who will only talk to a man if he is wearing a monk strap. I have seen him literally walk away mid-conversation after he has glanced down at somebody’s particular choice of footwear. In fact, I have it on good authority he proposed to his husband on their first date as he peeked under the table and saw the holy grail of a double monk. Sadly they divorced not long after, but shoes played no part in that particular episode, I can assure you.
So chaps, quick re-cap for those of you like me with the attention span of a goldfish. Fitted clothes look great, even in the heat, trust me. Go easy on the bright colours, ladies dazzle, men glow. Keep fabrics towards the natural end of the market as much as possible. And invest in at least one decent pair of shoes. It may even end in a proposal, who knows?