Wolves in sheep’s clothing
It is said that you should not judge a book by its cover, yet it is something we all do and, in an instant, make a judgement as to a persons character and position in society without even knowing them.
Dress code can influence your attitude to someone as you look for a stereotypical hole to slot him/her into.
As an example, I saw a young lad walking up the street the other day and immediately deemed him to be a sudo Chav; baseball cap, sports-gear, trousers tucked into white socks, swanky walk. I characterised him as belonging to a typical gang of youths who hang around street corners swigging cheep cider, smoking cigarettes, spitting on pavements and shouting obscenities at passers by. I then wondered what type of parent would allow their children to succumb to being such a social nuisance in allowing him/her to wander the street looking for trouble. I am in no doubt that he would be a trouble-maker, or at least would be in a larger group since they are always braver in a crowd.
My thoughts then formulated a picture of what his parents would be like and I even clothed them in a fashion I deemed suitable for uncaring parents. I dressed them according to how they would have looked at his age and then I recalled some of the hilarious and outrageous costumes I had worn down the decades.
During the Seventies we wore shoes that even Niaomi Campbell would have difficulty walking in; trousers with the highest waist band imaginable sporting several rows of buttons; twin set cardigans and tank tops; cheese-cloth shirts; the list could go on forever but I am too ashamed to admit to most of them.
With each remembrance a smile crossed my face, sometimes through joy and others through shear embarrassment.
We may have looked daft, but we never looked threatening. We left the threatening to the kids who shaved their hair and wore Bovver Boots.
It is quite ironic then that I now wear Doc Martin boots and sport a near-to shaven head (the hair is through necessity rather than choice due to an ill fated lack of hair!). I am even less of a threat to society now than I was then despite my appearance.
Will the Chav ‘look’, which at times reminds me of the look of an old man in cloth cap, become the acceptable face of old age in years to come? If so invest in white socks and caps to sell on ebay for I would now amass a small fortune for some of my ‘retro’ fashion mistakes.