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A disproportionately bloated neck

The menswearist in Manchester is obliged to stop by Oi Polloi. I was there last week; it took me three minutes to hijack a new popover. If any guys in the UK embody the contemporary casual vibe right now, it’s the bros that work in the Polloi. Beards, five panels, Birkies, anoraks – you know the drill. The look, with its roots in the earliest football casuals, feels like a product of Manchester, one that informs the city’s notions of comradery, belonging, practicality and identity. And people say fashion is superficial.

The name ‘Cottonopolis’ originated as a nickname for Manchester during the industrial revolution — it referred to the region’s role in the production of fabric and the country’s growing clothing manufacture. It’s now the name of Oi Polloi’s in-house brand.

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So the popover is brilliant. Ripstop cotton, kangaroo pocket at the front, plus another dinky pocket down low and blazing white buttons – it’s based on a Swiss Army Shirt and looks like it’s got enough pocketry for all manner of military tomfoolery. I’m big on this thing.

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The only troub with it? The neck is a little tight. I bought a medium and it fits perfectly, apart from buttoning the top button up. I nipped it off and re-sewed it, 5mm further along to gain a little more neck-space. Have I a disproportionately bloated neck? I didn’t think so, until now. So, like, if Mr Cottonopolis is reading, maybe make the collars a smidge more generous next time round.

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I’m also busting some Maiden Noir chinos, which, last week, I knobbled at a Goodhood Yard Sale. I got them for £25. Yep, twenty five quid. They must have been well over a ton originally. Score.

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The other notables in this swag-casual kit-out are my Tigre Brocante socks. Multi-threaded, stripy and with that crude (smiley face, peace sign, anchor) stitch detail, I get very excited by the fact that you literally can’t buy these socks in the UK. Anywhere. Such is my life.

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So today, I’m wearing kit drawn from Manchester, London and Japan. I’m actually from the Midlands and I often think I exist in a something of a hinterland. Neither one thing or the other. But always, influenced by all.

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