On Friday night I went to a pub for the first time since Covid. I wore olive Needles HD pants and polka dot bucket hat, a flowery Engineered Garments jacket and a pair of navy Yuketen Blutcher Rockers. And I felt a bit ridiculous.
Our al fresco drinking was punctuated by trips indoors to the loo — requiring the further addition of a mask. I walked in and caught sight of my costume in the pub’s grand mirrors. And I felt uncomfortable. Embarrassed even. For the first time in years, I questioned the way I dressed.
The root of this paranoia is lockdown, or rather emerging from it. For months I’ve been nowhere, seen no one. Life has been a daily cycle of plain tees and battered shorts, there’s been no call to ‘dress up’. So Friday night came as a shock to the system — it actually made me wonder if I’d been getting it all wrong. Do I really dress like a clown?
I’m a butterfly released from its chrysalis. But no one ever wonders if the butterfly actually likes its new look?
I recalled my Friday night torment when I saw this suit by Comme des Garçons Homme. You can buy the jacket and trousers separately and it’s exactly the sort of thing I typically love. And exactly the sort of thing I’d want to wear down the pub. But now I feel chastened. I’m second guessing my instincts. Would I just look like a middle-aged Minecraft character?
I hope your mental constitution is feeling more robust than mine. If so, perhaps you’ll appreciate this garment-dyed masterclass.
The jacket seems more boxy than usual for Comme-Homme — I often find their typical mildly waisted silhouette feels oddly formal. While the trousers appear to have a decently loose shape. Of course, it all feels very Engineered Garments and hardly the envelope-pushing confusion you associate with Comme. But Comme-Homme is Junya Watanabe’s baby, so it feels like a diluted (and more wearable) take on his main line — rather than stemming from Rei Kawakubo’s joyous, but frequently impractical musings.
Of course with Comme you’re looking at serious ca-ching. And £1500 for a suit you can’t wear to a job interview is not everyone’s idea of value. But nevertheless, it’s a strong look. It just needs a strong disposition to pull it off. And as I’ve suggested, I need to work on that. I suspect I need to take the oldest old chestnut advice there is. The sort usually foisted on the sad, the lonely and the socially inept. I just need to get out more.