About this blog

This is a window into the weird world of Anglicanism, as experienced on a Cathedral Close. Has anything much happened since Trollope's Barchester Chronicles? You will still see the 'canon in residence' hurrying across to choral Evensong, robes flapping, as the late bell chimes. But look carefully and you will notice he is checking the football score on his iPhone as he runs. This is also a writer's blog. It charts the agony and ecstasy of the novelist's life. And it's a fighter's blog. It charts the agony and ecstasy of the judo mat. Well, the agony, anyway.

Sunday 5 February 2012

DAY 36--The Art of Wearing Tweed

Tweed is a difficult fabric to wear without feeling stuffy and middle aged.  Clearly at 50 I must consider myself middle aged at the very least.  If you are not middle aged at 50, then I don't know how long you're planning on living.  But can tweed ever be edgy and now, rather than itchy and yesteryear?

Itchiness is one of tweed's least attractive qualities.  To me, at any rate.  There may be many people who seek tweed out for precisely that reason, perhaps to mortify the flesh in Lent, or too gee the flesh up for reasons I will not begin to speculate about.  There are doubtless tweedophilia websites out there if you care to search.  Itchy clothes were one of the miseries of childhood.  Who cannot remember squirming in some lovingly hand-knitted woollen jumper which you were forbidden to remove because you'd catch your death of cold?  Some jumpers could itch you through two layers of shirt.  So why, in a world of fleece and brushed cotton, would I choose to don a tweed suit with the tactile appeal of crumbling brillo pads?

Yes, you've guessed it.  Because I got one cheap in a charity shop and it looks rather fab.  It's by Zara, wide herringbone tweed, wide leg trousers and tight little zip-up jacket.  It was once admired by a gay man.  This alone should certify its wondrousness in the eyes of most women; but honesty compels me to admit this was about 8 years ago.  If back then his admiration was based on the suit's cutting-edgedness, then he would probably curl his lip contemptuously now, in the manner of a hair stylist enquiring if you've been cutting your own hair.

And now another confession: I wore woolly tights as well.  There.  After all I said in an earlier post about the slattternliness of tights under trousers.  But I made that pronouncement without thinking through the implications of tweed.  I now offer tweed as an extenuating circumstance.  You may wear woolly tights under tweed trousers.  Unless you are a bloke.  If you are a bloke, just man up.  Take the itch.  Go for the burn.  Or buy yourself lined trousers.  In fact, if you are a wealthy banker, you could probably pay someone else to wear you tweed for you, while you concentrate on your bonus.

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