For as long as I can remember, I’ve had an interest in fashion. No, I don’t mean what’s being paraded down the catwalk in Paris, Milan or wherever, I’m referring to my own appearance and what I wear.
At primary school in the 1980s, the big decision revolved around trainers – should I go with Adidas Kick or Puma Match? As I got older, the rest of my clothes became as important as my footwear. Memories of my high school years include a variety of Joe Bloggs and Benzini t-shirts and tops. As a student and in my early years of work, I had the money to splash out on French Connection, Firetrap and Calvin Klein – give me a break, it was the 90s.
Not surprisingly, as I settled into married life and started to focus on my newly born kids, buying expensive new clothes was fairly low on my list of priorities. I still liked to look the part but there was more ‘value’ in my purchases. I didn’t spend anywhere near as much on clothes and I started buying from shops that I wouldn’t have gone near, just a few years before. Most buys were made on the premise that I needed something, rather than just wanted it.
While that situation remains the same at the moment, over the last few weeks I’ve started to look at what’s in my wardrobe and decided that it’s time for some changes. Some tops and t-shirts for example, have started to look a bit tired – no surprising really, when you consider that I have owned some of them since before my kids were born. I wasn’t kidding when I talked about value.
This doesn’t mean I am about to go on a huge spending spree. I don’t have the money for that and, even if I did, I probably wouldn’t feel too comfortable about doing so, when I could be spending it on the kids.
I have treated myself to a new tracksuit jacket and I will buy a couple of t-shirts for summer – a new pair of jeans wouldn’t go amiss either, since I don’t wear much else away from work.
I will offset any expenditure by selling some old stuff on e-bay. I have a Christmas gift (a hooded zipper) which didn’t fit and still has the label on it. That will go up for auction along with a pair of old school Adidas trainers that I don’t really wear and one or two other items.
This isn’t some vain attempt to keep up with the youth of today. I’m not interested in keeping up with all the latest trends, particularly not the recent resurgence of all things 1980s. My ‘style’ (if you can call it that) is more like a 90s student – t-shirts or hoodies, loose fitting jeans and suitably retro trainers.
I don’t there’s anything wrong with wanting to look your best, but I it will be interesting to see what my attitude is in the years ahead. Will I still be hunting for the right pair of Nike trainers in my 50s? Or perhaps I will eventually give in and begin to dress for my age.
I’m sure my kids will be quick to offer advice, particularly if it’s something they don’t want me to wear when I’m going somewhere with them.
As long as I don’t start borrowing clothes from my three boys when they’re older, I think I’ll be ok.