Something new, then. Unexpected and uncharacteristic.
How about my relationship with clothes?
I’d like to say I don’t give a damn about what I wear but it’s not entirely true. I’’ve retained a casual shirt (see pic) for almost thirty years. Long sleeves, dark colours; I can wear it for weeks without laundering. The cuffs are ragged, showing the lining. Any stiffness has disappeared and it hangs on my body like a sack. My affection hinges on the fact that the inner surface of the lapels are contrastingly blue-and-white striped; they do something for my face and scraggy neck. Don’t know what.
I wasn’t sure I’d get the half-promised job in the USA in 1965 and had to be prepared for further interviews with other US publishers I’d written to. I decided to sell my Englishness in these chats and bought a speckled black/white three-piece suit from Hawkes of Savile Row in London. Bloody well cut. Though I say it myself I looked suave, even wealthy, quite unlike the real RR. As it was, I got the half-promised job so the suit was never truly tested.
Other than cheapness anonymity has been my goal. While still employed my outfits were just about formal. Retired, I lapsed joyfully into shabbiness. My trousers are either beige chinos or black jeans – the latter with tight-fitting legs concertina-ed into wrinkles. My winter shirts are single-colour fleeces, so light in texture they are utterly shapeless. The sort of clothing worn by a chronic invalid who finds getting dressed a chore. Yeah, there’s irony.
Have I become vain by striving to avoid vanity? It’s a possibility. My socks all have highly visible holes and my family constantly point this out. I am chuffed by their disapproval. I last wore a tie… do you know, I can’t remember.