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Embrace the irony

A very serious looking vest here. It’s from the imperious and frankly intimidating brand Nemen. Nemen’s a bit like Stone Island – but for grown-ups who don’t need a logo to feel like the big man. And it’s technical. All “high tenacity nylon tape details” and “acid dyes”. I’m not sure if a gentleman needs, “high tenacity nylon tape” on what is, let’s face it, a vanity piece. But therein lies the irony with so much of this kind of high-specification garb. It might be built for scaling a cliff-face, but if the highest you get is a bar stool, do you really need it?

I’m no expert in ‘quick wicking thermal underwear’ or ‘Pertex/Pile systems’. That said, I do recognise, and indeed celebrate, the importance of technical clothing. Especially when worn during banal activities. Under unadventurous circumstances – in a pub, a cafe, shopping for a complex savoury lattice in Greggs – technical clothing’s only real function is as bunch of conversational bullet-points. For showing off to your mates. High tenacity bragging basically.

So, as discussed, the vest is acid dyed. No idea what that actually entails, but the result is dense, mysterious and mildly terrifying, like the brain scan of a serial poisoner. It’s 100% nylon, features the aforementioned nylon tape details, four pockets (referred to as “3D”, meaning they bulge out) and giant elastic bands round the back, which are adjustable and velcro fastened.

For men of a certain age, this may feel like ‘top boy’ terrace wear. Others will see it for what it is, expensive, premium contemporary streetwear, constructed to withstand the kind of arduous situations it will probably never encounter.

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