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Shades of mediocrity


Individuality? What’s that all about then? All this bleating on about, ‘being true to yourself’, ‘discovering yourself’ and ‘expressing yourself’. You know what? If all these fucking ‘yourselfs’ went around ‘being true’, ‘discovering’ and ‘expressing’ all the time, we’d never get anything done.

What’s wrong with being like everyone else? You know where you are. And you know who you bloody well are too. You only have to look at the chap next to you – that’s who you are. It’s much simpler. Why would anyone want to be different anyway? Other people laugh at different. And they’re right to. Other people have got the right idea, they’re all the same. I want to be the same. And so should you.


Buy some of these Nike Roshe Runs. They do other colours, but most people have black and white like these. They’re part of that whole, head-to-toe, monochromatic uniform thing that people are slotting into. Everyone’s buying these, because they’ve seen everyone wearing them. You should too. Not in spite of their popularity. Because of it.



New Balance are so popular now, everyone’s forgotten that they used to hate them. They’ve forgotten that they only used to like Nike and Adidas, because they’ve now seen everyone wearing New Balance. And magazines say that it’s okay to like New Balance now. So most people like New Balance. People like them so much, that if you walk down any street in London, you’ll definitely pass loads of other people wearing them. And if you wear New Balance, other people wearing New Balance might smile, and say things like, “hey, I like your trainers.” And you’ll see they are wearing New Balance too. So they kind of mean that both of you are really cool and part of the same club. But like a club that everyone’s in. How brilliant is that.

You’ll need a rucksack to go with your new trainers. This rucksack…


Everyone in the world has got one of these rucksacks. Or at least everyone in the world has seen these rucksacks so frequently, that they’re convinced they own one. Even if they don’t. Even though they probably do.

These bags have a circular badge and a funny name, Fjallraven Kanken. They look a bit like a bag a Lego character would carry. I think that’s why everyone loves them so much. They do them in all the colours so far invented. You will never properly fit within modern life unless you own three.



Get a rucksack by Herschel Supply. If anything, these bags are even more popular than Fjallraven Kanken – a feat that is almost mathematically impossible. Don’t be put off by the fake leather straps. I don’t think people that carry Herschel Supply even know rucksacks can be made of leather. And that should be you.


I once saw a guy on the tube. He had 67 zips on his coat. All of them were branded Superdry. I don’t think anyone alive has ever looked cooler, while simultaneously appearing identical to everyone else. Of course, no one could mistake what he was wearing, because it said Superdry on it 67 times. But also, because everyone else in the carriage was covered in Superdry zips. It was brilliant. And you know, all those zips have practical purposes too. It says so in Japanese.



This is a coat by Penfield. Last winter, when temperature dropped, literally every man I saw was wearing this jacket. Every single man. Men on the street, men swimming, newsreading men, men polishing the roads, men transacting business, men floating in space, men being knocked over by trams, men practicing the dark arts… If you buy anything by Penfield, you will definitely be a man. Even if you are currently a woman.

cuffed jeans

These are the best jeans to wear. They have a cord tie waist, like all the best jeans. And they have cuffed bottoms, like tracksuit trousers. But denim. During the evening hours, I have observed a great many people wearing these, they are often standing outside popular fast food restaurants, fishing pieces of limp burger out of paper bags. But they are equally wearable while drinking outside a Weatherspoons, shouting some good natured abuse at disabled passersby.


These All Saints boots are a good choice for when you want to blend in with people dressed like X Factor contestants. Fortunately, that is most men, in all provincial towns in England. Remember to tuck your jeans in the top and you’ll get a lot of wear out of these.


If in doubt, fall back on Jack Wills, Abercrombie and Fitch or Hollister. Wear any of these brands, with their fictionalized logos of yachting crews, equestrian events, and polo teams and you will be welcomed into any social group. You will be one of them. One of everyone. Everyone, proudly wearing bold insignias, representing their imaginary lives of privilege. Lives they never had. Which is fine, of course. At least they’re not different.

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