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The last time I did this was about three years ago when I returned to the workplace after my (WONDERFUL) year OFF. On that occasion myself and The Pattern Of My Fabric went to Fat Face and Marks & Spencers and selected a whole bunch of perfectly reasonable WOrk Shirts (NB for my sort of work, so basically what other people would call Casual Shirts, mostly CHECKED) which saw me through the years that followed. It was all fairly painless and, I thought, would be again. I thought INCORRECTLY!
Maybe it is the time of year, but I could find NO reasonable Work Shirts AT ALL. We live next door to Westfield in Stratford which is RAMMED FULL of clothes shops, ALL of which I schlepped around, unable to find ANYTHING reasonable. There were plenty of EXPENSIVE shirts, and MILLIONS of cheapo shirts in "SLIM FIT", but precisely NO standard Work/Casual Shirts for a gentleman of my girth and status. "WHat is going ON?" I thought. "WHere are the SHIRTS?!?"
It is a situation which the aforementioned Buttons In My Buttonholes has referred to as "Try To Buy", where one does one's BEST to go round traditional high street-style stores to buy something, but is FOILED at every turn, and thus, as in this case, turns to THE INTERWEB. We didn't find any Standard Work Shirts here EITHER, but we DID find a whole HEAP of Reasonably Priced and NICE Shirts and, after all the HASSLES of going round the shops I fell upon them in relief and bought LOADS.
So it was that I suddenly found myself in possession of approx EIGHT new shirts, ALL of which were DEAD NICE. This sounds good, but it was actually a bit difficult to get my head round - I'm used to having Standard Work Shirts that I wear in the day, and then 2-3 NICE Shirts which are reserved for Going Out In, and the two very rarely interact. NOW, when I open my wardrobe of a morning ALL I see are Nice Shirts, and I feel a bit guilty putting them on. Shouldn't I be saving this for a trip to the PUB or something?
I did wonder if this was all in my head, but it seems not - since I started wearing Nice Shirts I have been COMPLEMENTED on them THREE times, which is precisely THREE times more than I have ever been complemented on a shirt in my LIFE. It is Quite Unsettling for someone who has spent his entire life so far being mostly UNNOTICED clothes-wise to suddenly be OBJECTIFIED in this way. It's nice of people to say, but it FREAKS me out a bit!
So what I'm saying is, if you see me out and about, do not be ALARMED if you see me in a dead swanky bit of clobber. I'm probably not on my way to an Awards Ceremony or Wedding Reception, this is all I've got!
posted 29/8/2019 by MJ Hibbett
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