I’m still looking at shirts like these.
Even as the last respirator is wheeled into NHS Nightingale. As Matt Hancock trembles through his briefing. As my Slack channel overflows with YouTube exercise links. Even though the world is on its knees.
I’ve no intention of participating in a home exercise video. Everyone, it seems, is taking this opportunity to jump and bend like they never did before. Apparently there’s a big rise in crafting — a notion I always associate with the making of beaded pencil cases for pencils no one uses. People across the UK are reaching for more complex recipes or taking a spade to the garden for the first time in years. People are reading novels. Or dusting off a board game.
I’m doing none of those things. At least no more or less than I did before Covid-19 ransacked our way of life. I remain in stasis. Fossilised in cultural amber. I like looking at clothes and thinking about clothes. Clothes I’m not going to buy. Clothes I’m not going to wear. Clothes that suddenly seem to have no purpose.
Our heroic frontline workers are facing the daily threat of sickness and death and I’m sitting here wondering how colossal the sales will be at the end of the season. I’m embarrassed to write that, but it’s true. I’m immune to the apparent allure of Joe Wicks’ beardy enthusiasm. I have no interest in doing anything with turmeric. I just like looking at Japanese shirts.
This is a nice one. It’s Eastlogue. Blocks of different fabric. A military style pocket on one sleeve. You know the drill. I want to say you can grab it over at I Am Shop, but I can’t imagine anyone’s in the mood for that right now.
People keep telling me that you’ve got to seek solace in your passions. I’ve even written as much on this site. But I am struggling with it. The joy of clothing isn’t just the wearing, it’s the socialising, the mixing with like-minded people. It’s not just about what you wear, it’s sitting outside a cafe watching the landscape of style flow past. It’s pogoing in a Peckham club full of sneakers, hairstyles and freaky jewellery.
And there I go, just listen to me. People are breathing their last and I’m whining about not being able to go for a latte. Christ. None of us are perfect. I just feel a lot less perfect than everyone else.