Liz Hurly’s reportedly carrying 13 outfits for her wedding while Lindsay Lohan changed thrice at a friend’s b’day party. These are celebrities and their tantrums. Then there are dappers like my N, who need to change with the times of the day, especially when on a holiday. You’ll never catch him in the same clothes throughout the day. And, it’s not just for the photos, because he’s rarely in them, preferring to click us. Sample this. If we’re going out for a long weekend, which means max three days, N necessarily carries at least 9 shirts/t-shirts, 2 pairs of jeans, a pair of cargoes and a pair of cool linen chinos. Need I say what size of suitcase I need to carry if it’s for 7-10 days?
These are people suffering from Multiple Outfit Syndrome (MOS). They just can’t be happy with what they wear. The Adman that he is, N’s extremely brand conscious and nitpicks while shopping for his clothes. Oh, and it can’t be just the brand. It has to be the right colour combinations, the cut and the style. And of course, he knows best, the long and the short of them. And funnily enough, the man has a body that fits into a 38, a 40 and a 42 size with equal panache. Ok, I’m talking about the casuals here, the branded formals are almost always 40. But if he falls in love with something that he must own, size doesn’t really matter. He manages to fit in, and the snugger, the better.
The story was quite different a little more than a decade ago. (P sits down with her coffee, to tell a long story. )
When we first started dating, or let’s put it this way, when I left him no option but to date me, when he was this bespectacled JUDEan , the norm was a full-sleeved semi-formal shirt, properly tucked in to a pair of jeans or semi-formal trousers. I’d never, yes, never seen him in a half sleeved shirt, torn jeans or any thing else that could be remotely considered cool and casual. Dressing down for him meant at most, a kurta and jeans!
You know what they say about a man being known by the company he keeps, right? So it was my schemes and his brain. A lethal combo that drove him all the way to MICA and, that my friends, was the turning point of this match. In two years, there emerged an ad rookie. Beau Brummel knew all about brands and their case histories, how to position, manage and market them. I gradually found out, he even wore some brands on his sleeve. The man had fallen prey to his own profession and with age, the sense of dressing has acquired a style and class that is most often envied more than it is admired.
The wardrobe which used to have only whites, off whites, pale and pastel shades, solids and checks, now has almost every hue and shades of them from a dark purple to an ultra marine blue in checks, stripes, geometric patterns, floral prints and other weird and stylish prints. Oh and the sleeves have gotten shorter too.
In trousers and jeans, he’s moved over from the staid pleated to the flat fronts, chinos and the cargoes. I see there are courdroys, frayed, faded but not tattered jeans, cargoes with 6-8 pockets ( haven’t tried figuring out why he needs that many) and white linen trousers, which I firmly believe look more like pyjamas, but am told, it’s the ‘in’ thing. Sigh! In short, he hates admitting it, but considers himself quite a Candy man, and knows more about men’s fashion than even my Dad, now!
Ladies and gentlemen, in the last few years, he’s spent a sizeable fortune on clothes and needless to say that he occupies, 3/4ths of the three wardrobes, with G and I just about managing to wrangle a couple of shelves each.
But recently, the man’s not been fitting into his pants, thanks to a bulging paunch. Considering he’s a teetotaler, don’t ask me where he got that from. Something he’s always hated and the only thing he’s been particular not to acquire all this while. He’s been complaining about it for sometime, but of course the fat annual fees at Talwalkar’s is only accumulating interest for the gym, because Beau Brummel has absolutely no time to indulge in such luxuries, bijee man that he is. For the first time today, I heard him resign to fate, caressing his little potbelly, “I hope this is truly a sign of prosperity.”
I hope so too, Dude.