Foundation Garments

I can’t believe I’m even talking about this, but these are the times we live in.

Some men have admitted to keeping underwear for more than 20 years, a new poll has found. Clothing firm Tom Clinch conducted a poll, which found that the average British man only buys new pants once every five years.

Put me in the “5 years” category, for one simple reason.  I only wear undies from Marks & Spencer, I buy about 20 pairs at a time, and I rotate them conscientiously.

And they’re all black.  I’ve been buying these for over twenty years:

One style, one color.  Life is too short for me to waste time on stupid shit like deciding which underwear to wear every morning, but least I’m not the guy who takes 20 years to decide to get new ones.  (Seriously?)

And all that said, life is too short for me to write about this nonsense, and for you to waste your time reading it.  We now return to our regular fare of guns, Commie-hatred, ill-tempered invective and patriotic bodacious wimmens (sample below).


If ever there’s evidence needed that fashions go in circles, take a look at this foul trend:

We used to call that a “convict” cut (somewhat ironic, as the pic is of Australian Shane Warne) or else a “boarding school” cut — which I remember with loathing — and the last time it was popular was in the 1940s, seen here on George Orwell:

I myself think it looks like shit, regardless of era, but it’s all a question of personal taste;  and if that’s going to be my biggest complaint of the day, we’re not doing too badly.

Anyway, when I think of some of my own hairstyles, worn proudly back when I were a yoot… actually, Warnie’s isn’t so bad.


Over at Knuckledraggin’, Kenny posted this interesting gif:

…and it got me thinking.

I’ve never bought into the whole jewellery thing.  It’s not just my long-time hatred of the loathsome De Beers diamond cartel and their criminal business practices (although that certainly plays a part), but there’s a part of me which just applies commonsense and cynicism to the whole ethos of “precious” metals and stones.

The “metals” part I can sort of understand because they at least have useful properties for some applications, and ditto diamonds when used industrially (cutting, grinding and what have you).

But as decoration?  What a load of old bollocks.  Wearing diamonds as decoration, in necklaces, pendants, bracelets and (ugh) engagement rings is really just a way to say, “I’m rich and can afford to spend money on these useless baubles as a way to show off my wealth”.

In the old days, jewellery was used by royalty to show their social superiority over their subjects.  Nowadays, when some illiterate oaf who is able to string a series of mumbled rhymes into a “song” can load up his neck, chest and teeth(!) with gold and diamonds — well, that kinda devalues the whole thing, doesn’t it?  Except that’s precisely the point  of expensive jewellery.

I don’t care much for most modern terminology / slang, but I love the word “bling” because it describes perfectly the inherent emptiness and worthlessness [sic]  of slapping shiny rocks onto everything in sight.

Don’t even get me started on those tasteless morons who load up their (already-expensive) wristwatches with jewels, driving the price into the stratosphere for absolutely zero  added utility*.  Here’s one example:

“MasterGraff Ultraslim Tourbillon” (AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI)

And when I said “stratosphere”, I wasn’t kidding.  I don’t know the cost of the above — Graff is remarkably (and understandably) coy about publishing prices for their watches — but one of their other timepieces (which is too ugly for me to picture here) went on sale for $55 million.  Small wonder that these and their ilk are the preferred watches of drug kingpins, Arab oil sheikhs and Russian oligarchs — breeds not known for their exquisite taste — because that is the target market of all jewellery:  people with newly-acquired wealth who have to show it off.

In a way, though, I’m glad that these parvenus pricks buy into this nonsense, because it enables us to label them, correctly, as “suckers”.

So when somebody looks at a diamond pendant and sniffs, “Glass”, I’m the guy who replies, “Who cares?  It looks just as pretty.”

And if it gets lost or stolen, you can simply shrug and buy another one, more or less with the loose change in your pocket, while the owner of the identical-looking “genuine” diamond item has to open negotiations with the insurance company.

Next week:  art.

*Longtime Readers, by the way, know that I love expensive watches — my “lottery” watch is a Vacheron Constantin Royal 1907 (retail: ~$50,000) — but that’s (much) less than the sales tax  one would pay for Graff’s foul “Hallucination”.

Appearances Matter

Despite the “we’re all equal” trope that seems to be all the rage today, !Science! tells us that it just ain’t so (emphasis added):

People perceive a person’s competence partly based on subtle economic cues emanating from the person’s clothing, according to a study published in Nature Human Behaviour by Princeton University. These judgments are made in a matter of milliseconds, and are very hard to avoid.
In nine studies conducted by the researchers, people rated the competence of faces wearing different upper-body clothing. Clothing perceived as “richer” by an observer—whether it was a T-shirt, sweater, or other top—led to higher competence ratings of the person pictured than similar clothes judged as “poorer,” the researchers found.
Given that competence is often associated with social status, the findings suggest that low-income individuals may face hurdles in relation to how others perceive their abilities—simply from looking at their clothing.

I’ve banged on about this topic several times before, but now that I have !Science! to back me up, I’m going to say it again, with feeling:

Appearances matter.

Dress like a slob, get treated like one.  Even worse, if the above study is to be believed, is that if you dress like a slob your competence  is going to be dismissed, especially when compared with someone who doesn’t look (as I’ve said before) as though he’s just come from a beach party by way of working on his friend’s car.

It doesn’t matter, by the way, how unfair  you think this prejudice is;  it’s simply the way of the world, and bleating about the unfairness of it won’t change a thing.

Neck What?

I see that Insty is all over this thing called  “neck gaiters” — and I had to follow the link he posted just to see what the hell he was talking about.

Oh.  What we used to call “neck warmers”, I suppose.  Of course, people of my age have always had neck warmers, only we called them “scarves”.  Here’s your humble host, wearing one of the objects in question:

You will note that the thing is quite long, so that you can wind the thing around your neck multiple times if the weather turns Minneapolis on you, or else loosen it if a winter’s day in Rome turns out warmer than expected (as was the case above).

And the scarf’s advantage over the gaiter is that if your neck starts getting hot, you can simply loosen it to adjust the degree of warmth, whereas the gaiter is kind of a binary thing — it’s either on or off.

Failing that, of course, you can always wear a gilet with a zippable high collar:

…which I seldom zip all the way up because it’s a little tight — kinda like one of them gaiter things — and if I (literally) get too hot under the collar, I have to unzip it, whereupon my neck is exposed the the cold — once again, just like a neck gaiter.

Now that I think of it, the problem may be with the word “gaiter”, which to me has always referred to the things we wore over our army boots in high school:

…so using a footwear word to refer to something one wears around the neck is akin to calling gloves “foot-socks”.

Anyway, I think I’ll stick to my scarves.  I have about half a dozen of them, ranging from thick wool to loosely-woven cotton — and differently-colored withal, to add a touch of color to my otherwise-quite monochromatic outfits.  Plus, I’ve worn them in cold weather for decades, and I’m not one for change.

Not even if Insty likes neck gaiters.

Not Quite The Look

Okay, I saw this pic while scanning the headlines:


I’m not going to bother with a link to the article because it isn’t relevant — the guy is semi-famous for being on some soft-core porno reality show in Britishland, ergo  of no interest to me or to my Readers.

But I have to ask:  is wearing what looks like a chick’s sport bra just to show off your flat stomach not the gayest thing since Elton John’s wedding?