I’m a slave to snobbery. I’ve never had any interest in the brand NOAH. Those multi-coloured logo hoodies did it for me. Why was everyone suddenly dressing for an Australian pub quiz? And those caps. With the little + under the brand. Yeah, we get it, you’ve got £48 to spend on a hat. Logos, logos, logos… gah.
But this shirt is a different beast. No brazen branding, no threadbare aphorisms. It’s just a simple white shirt with splash of visual poetry on the back. Because I’m such a hateful snob I struggle to admit I like it, but I kind of do. If you’d told me this was by Yohji Yamamoto and only cost £148 I’d bite your hand off.
So yeah (through gritted teeth) I like it.
That said, I do sometimes find wearing a completely plain front and a heavily printed back a challenge. It’s the abrupt schizophrenia of it, the hard yin-yang. Up front you’re doing business, shaking hands, getting deals done. Then you turn to leave and you’ve got a massive bunch of flowers on your back. Now you’re a gaudy libertine? Quick, cancel the order. And fire that man.
In fairness though, this is no business shirt.
It’s probably not ideal for a visit to The Chelsea Flower Show. And it’s far too on the nose to wear while lecturing The Gardeners Guild. But as I make it my business to remain 1000 miles away from anything horticultural, I’m probably alright. Rather, it’s built for arsing about in pubs, cafes and parks. Or simply wearing at home — which is of course our only option right now.
At least at home the hypocrisy of my snobbery remains intact. There’s no one to ask me what brand my shirt is.