I have a bit of a problem when it comes to matters sartorial. Someone once said that "clothes maketh the man," but it makes no difference, whatever I wear I tend to looketh like a pillock.
Other people - men, even - seem to be able to cope with dressing themselves. They somehow know instinctively what to put together to make themselves look the part. The best I can hope for from clothing is the avoidance of nudity. And somewhere to put loose change.
It's hard enough getting stuff to fit. Being the wrong side of big-boned (seriously, how large can bones get?) means that I'm not catered for in most stores. Actually, while we're on the subject, I have a question. Why do stores put the smaller sizes in front, hiding the fatboy sizes at the back of the rail? They're really hard to reach. They should reverse things; I'd have thought someone who can fit into 30 inch jeans would have been far more flexible.
That's me in the corner. That's me at the clothes rail, losing my rag and hunting around at the back for the XXL shirts that inevitably aren't there. OK, it doesn't scan but if Michael Stipe weighed 250 pounds he'd have made it work somehow.
But, regardless of the size issue, I just don't help myself. Katie often despairs as I trudge downstairs after dressing. "Come into the light, let me take a look at you," she'll say, before wincing at the latest combo. "At what point," she'll sigh, "did you think an orange pullover would work with brown jeans?"
"Does it not look...autumnal?" I'll ask hopefully.
"What are you, Willy Wonka? Get changed."
It's come to the point where I'm not generally allowed to buy clothes for myself. It's just easier that way. What happens now is that I get items of clothing as a by-product from Katie's shopping expeditions. When she comes home laden with bags there will invariably be something for me, in the hope that I'll be distracted from the bank account decimation that has happened. I'll go from indignation to ooh-look-at-the-nice-shirt in 30 seconds flat. Works every time.
I'm not to be allowed in a clothes shop on my own. Typically, whenever I do shop as a solo project I bring things home with all the style and elegance of a fresh axe-wound. Katie just sighs and turns back to her Bejewelled Blitz. I'm not to be trusted.
However, I think I've encountered someone even more clueless than me. I was, despite best advice, in a store this very evening, a few hours ago. And as I watched, a man in his forties browsed the ties. He picked one up - a rather conservative design with blue and grey checks - zipped open his jacket and placed the tie against his shirt to see if they matched.
Seems reasonable, yes? You might think so. But he was wearing a plain white shirt.
Compared to this guy, I'm the next Tom Ford.