There is a very specific breed of heterosexual male, the one that combines a total lack of fashion sense with an overwhelming brand-obsession. Mhhh, dangerous. The result is always the same: all these men go for those very samey and blah brands that can easily blend into each other: Jack Wills, Hollister, Abercrombie & Fitch, Super Dry, Bench… These are what I call “OPADS”: OverPriced Averagely-Designed Sportswear. Just lots of standard T-shirts and hooded jumpers and frayed shorts and jeans. Basically, what you’d find in any bloody high-street store for a fraction of the price. The only difference is the overwhelming presence of branding, that modern society concept that makes people think they’re automatically cool when associated with them. Well, newsflash: you can look absolutely crap even with “trendy” brands on.

I can understand it and even condone it on teenagers. After all we all needed the security that established brands give you when feeling insecure whilst growing up; we all needed to belong to a tribe. But when is it a good age to stop dressing like a hormonally challenged, spotty adolescent: 21? 25? Surely by the time you hit 30 you must feel that certain things belong to the next generation and not yours… But these men, often sporting big beer bellies or too much hair sprouting from their shirt necks, will only wear what the mass around them wears, automatically elevating the brand to “cool” status. Any regular reader of this blog will know that, if the big mass is wearing something, it will be a huge turn-off for me (my immediate reaction being “if everybody’s wearing this, there must be something wrong with it”), but clearly that’s not the case for people without personal taste. And these brands are clever enough to find some angles to sell well to this type of shopper.

‘Ooh, it says Super Dry Japan, so it must be a cool Japanese brand’. Nope, it’s designed and manufactured in their head offices in Cheltenham. Niiice! ‘Ooh, at A&F stores the lights are low and the music very loud like in a club, that’s so wicked’. Nope, it ain’t wicked, it’s just disappointing to go back home and find out the red trousers you bought are in fact pink. ‘Ooh, Hollister’s shopping bags show hunky guys with big muscles, it must mean that if I wear their clothes (and let everybody know that with huge logos plastered all over me) I will look hunky too’. And nope. Nope nope nope. But if we could hear people’s thoughts, we’d be stunned to learn how many men think this exact thing. Unbelievable. Just hats off to whoever started that kind of advertising that – although obviously and blatantly homoerotic – still has an effect on straight guys in a very ironic way. It just makes me laugh…