After excitedly waving a big goodbye to the cold spell in the UK and swapping it for some canarian sunshine. Bear hugging and hi fiving the most welcome and glorious warmth as the plane door opened, I realised very quickly fashion is something
that we Brits don’t bring on holiday with us!
Playing 'Spot the Brit' is far too easy when in foreign shores and even when throwing in Expats its still not that much of a challenge.
No surprise given we are a nation of sun lovers whether
it be in the garden at home or abroad, just the first sign of the sun and whole feeling of sunshine on our little pale bodies makes us want to throw off the layers in wild abandonment!
I blame the unpredictable British weather which brings on a don’t
care attitude and Pipkins approach (doing a Topov for anyone old enough to remember and young enough to Google) as more moobs than Jabba the Hutt are displayed in all shapes and sizes.
The sun cream is forgotten in the race to see who can get the most
white bits by the end of the week which in reality translates as who doesn’t resemble a human beetroot by the time they pack to return to the cold.
Interestingly the word in Spain commonly used to describe the brit abroad is ‘guiri’
which means a pale foreigner in shorts who burns easily.
Dressing stylishly for whatever reason seems to utterly defeat most British men who I am sure look perfectly presentable in their daily lives and yet suddenly when faced with regular bouts of
sunshine have an attack of the sartorial collywobbles.
Its a shame, but a reality check needed that the majority seem inappropriately decked out. However, what man shops for his 'abroad robe' (summer wardrobe) given that to most the whole concept of
shopping is traumatic enough! Therefore fashion decisions are left in the hands of partners/wives who it appears see this as an opportunity for revenge!
There is a lot of angry people out there as hard evidence and their pay back is clear without
being a fashionista.
I readily admit people watching has always been my weakness which has its ups and downs (there is a difference between staring and watching). However colourful trousers seem to be the weakness of the male population over a
certain age on their jollies or to whom Lanzarote is now where they have laid their sombrero and call home.
There is a real gap in the market for some style advice aimed specifically at the ageing male population and without casting aspersions from
my observations they could also do with a little pep talk on toning up and shedding some pounds (and I don’t mean the ones in their wallets easily parted in exchange for beer).
In the warmer weather, like caterpillars shedding their skin ready
to turn into butterflies, the male species are much similar. However, as they shed their clothing, alas they do not transform into beautiful specimens, instead the end results are tinged with burnt bits or resemble a life sized tomato.
of bodies whose best before dates have passed are seen in abundance. Perhaps it’s not so much style advice as providing tips for damage limitation!
It would be hypercritical to say I expect to see perfection (whatever that looks like) especially
in light of still carrying a winter paunch of my own with body conscious issues pre this early year break. But the chaps make you wonder if they think about anything apart from quickly unrobing and running into the sea as they don’t appear to be
outwardly bothered about how they look or what they wear.
Apart from on golf courses, never have I witnessed such a choice of jazzy array of male leg wear both short and long and as much as I try to be happy for everyone to have the freedom to wear
anything comfortable or what suits what I am seeing is a constant fashion faux pas and I am thankful for my ray bans.
Daytime attracts a selection of shorts followed by the early evening slack and then an abundance of shades of corduroy for the evenings
still having a chill in the air but nothing compared to the freezing temperatures in good old blighty.
I cannot help but be drawn to what seems to be acceptable colours in the male wardrobe; aubergine, mustard and red seem to be the most popular worn
loud and proud or is it that they just don’t care any more?
If British women are often described abroad as suffering from underwear amnesia (rude! - I cannot speak for all women kind, but I for one am not easily parted with my pants!).
But if the case the equivalent for men surely has to be T shirt amnesia. I have seen more tattoos than the great wall of China covered in graffiti and a far greater selection of bare chests than I care for!
Not a six pack in sight, just varying
colours and crops of chest hair with man boob cup sizes that require either covering up or a visit to their local M&S for a proper bra fitting all parading around the promenade or whilst tucking into their morning pint to compliment a full English.
Socks and sandals are another irritant of mine. A trend that men on their hols seem unable to shake and never an acceptable outfit of choice unless putting the bins out - what would the neighbours think?
When does that transition happen
where you wake up in glorious sunshine and think this is a day to wear socks with my sandals?
Perhaps this is a sign indicating alone time is required? From my sightings the sock and sandal wearer is a lonely breed maybe missing the comfort of
the shed they left behind in a soggy or frost infected garden. Unless of course their partners/children just flatly refuse to be seen with them and thus they are wandering around like lost souls with their sensible but ugly footwear - the difference
a sock can make!
Or have I missed the point and I am simply not doing the S&S brigade the justice they deserve?
Perhaps they are sensitive soles considerate for Podophobes (those with a fear of feet who get easily upset at the sight
of them). They could be wary even verging on being frightened by those who have a fear of things and known to react in either the flight or fight mode. Flight to run away screaming and fight to attack. Two feet could confuse the situation
sending out mixed messages causing the Podophobe to initially run away only to return to cause irreversible damage! Lets face it hopping is never a good look for anyone let alone the sock and sandal wearer.
Perhaps the no socks rule goes out of
the window as the heat builds as a lot of summer sandals are prone to hum and there could be nothing worse than enjoying the rays with the faint aroma of someone’s gently composting verruca’s next to you or within ten paces! At times there
is no denying socks are mans best friend but they need to become more particular with the ones worn. It says so much about a person! Ideally little socks that don’t show, certainly not the knee-length socks masking as surgical stockings and
it must be noted black socks are a complete non starter.
It appears when you get to a certain age, wearing socks and sandals becomes acceptable. I am not sure what this age looks like and I am certain I haven’t reached it yet and to be honest
its a destination I dont ever wish to reach. I can only conclude it arrives shortly after the need to have the heating on all year round and the regular purchase of corn plasters.
Speedos are another bugbear of mine which luckily being on an island
where stunning beaches are not featured I am relieved to report no sightings, but perhaps that is because we are still in February and not in the height of summer! Not a single budgie smuggler! Phew!
In my opinion they should all be made
into swimming caps (although don’t get me started on that subject!) Maybe sun hats? Either options would be so much preferably than having to wonder how many socks have been stuffed into such a confided space (or is that me and a bit too
much people watching?)
Shorts should only be worn on the tennis court or on the beach or never if you're British. They need to be kept simple at all times even all you label whores and reflect the age of the wearer. Skate shorts inevitably
make the majority of men over a certain age look like a geriatric extra from Bill & Ted. And what’s with the high cut athletic shorts which have the potential to create a number of male wardrobe malfunctions never pleasing for the passer by.
Flat-fronted, no pleats look like amputated chinos and neutral shades or gentle pastels depending on the shape can make or break a look. It is always advisable to wear boxers just in case pushed in the pool unexpectedly, no-one at any age looks
good in a pair of high-cut tanga briefs.
It should be accepted that both flip-flops and sandals belong on the beach and need to be left there, whereas a smart pair of decking shoes or Birkenstocks are just the statement piece to be wandering around
this part of the world in.
I appreciate women’s summer shoes are so much more exciting and allow the fairer sex to express their personality through the medium of strappy sandals but this is factual and just one of those things so man up men and
make the best of what you have!
Baseball caps should all be burnt and any floppy cloth hats, Panamas and straw hats shout be approached with extreme caution.
The trouble with the traditional Brit on his hols is that he looks like he's about to
pop down to Asda rather than be heading out for a sunset and sauntering through a balmy Mediterranean resort.
Without doubt lots of British people are perfectly stylish but why as a nation especially British blokes, are such unattractive shapeless
leisurewear displayed along with so many strange habits that they wouldnt do at home?
Roll on Summer! Let the people watching commence in earnest!