I never dressed cool. In my teens I was broke so it looked like I was wearing outfits cast off by circus clowns. My favourite outfit was an orange nylon polo-neck shirt with velcro fastenings, bought from one of the catalogues my mother then sold. I looked like Simon Dee.
In my twenties I went through what friends laughingly called my ‘Star Trek Era’, wearing entirely ridiculous tops inspired by Captain Spock. In my thirties I started dressing like a gay lumberjack, complete with moustache. After that it was all downhill until I arrived at basic black, the only option left for an urban man who finds that everything in the shops is aimed at a 21 year-old Japanese boy with a 23 inch waist.
But I always hoped fashion would outpace me; the young are meant to shock us with their creativity. So how did we end up here, in the Era of the New Cosy? Knitwear, corduroy, polished brown lace-ups with novelty socks, cupcakes, jumpers, cardigans and woolly hats? Surely, given the ubiquity of new technology, we should all look like characters from Tron by now?
Instead, everywhere I look, everyone’s dressing like their grandparents. There’s nothing here that would seem out of place in an episode of ‘Dad’s Army’. The recession has sent us from the streets into the potting sheds. I wonder if we’re seeing the first generation of social networkers growing weary of cyberspace and hankering for the dimly remembered past seen on old newsreels?