Something old: My lovely “vintage” (well, they’re four years old) Dries Van Noten sort-of-trainers. (Or the nearest I’ll ever get to such dread apparel, at any rate. I’d join a gym tomorrow, if it wasn’t for the sportswear.)
Something new: I was all-new above the waist, so two items.
1. Canary Wharf may have a lot of clothes shops, but in a place where the identikit Business Casual look dominates, it’s inevitably a tad light on “directional” fashion.
(Aside: having eagerly taken advantage of the Four Business Shirts For 100 Quid offer at T.M. Lewin, I was rather disconcerted to find a good four or five people wearing the exact same blue gingham checked number as me, every time I ventured down to the underground mall for lunch. Sheesh. Remember that little window in the early-to-mid 1980s, when clothing was deemed to be all about expressing individuality? God, how that dates me.)
So, anyway, thank goodness for the new season’s range at Thomas Pink, which has gone firmly down the Exploiting The Brand Name For Maximal Commercial Advantage route. Yup, with pink still (still!) very much the “in” colour with the Canary Wharf Biz Cazh set, Thomas Pink are pushing their pinks for all they are worth. I plumped for their brightest, most vibrant stripes, with some broader scarlets thrown into the palette for contrast. Natty!
(Or at least as natty as you can get when you’re basically living inside a 3D-animated Artist’s Impression. I never did post my Why Canary Wharf Is The Most Suburban Place In London rant, did I?)
2. Having spent the two days before the Big Day working from home, and sweating buckets over a particularly chewy assignment which I had to restart from scratch at the eleventh hour, I finally handed the work over at 16:10 on Thursday afternoon.
Just popping into the office to hand my expenses in, and catch up on a bit of admin, I said.
OK, not strictly true. For I had a Fashion Emergency to resolve.
Now changed into the brand new Thomas Pink shirt and tomorrow’s trousers (see below), I marched briskly up to the counter of Flannels in Bridlesmith Gate.
“I have a Fashion Emergency!”, I declared. “I need to find a jacket to match this outfit, and I need to find it before you close for the day.” (Which was in less than an hour’s time.)
“What sort of jacket are you looking for, sir?”
“I have absolutely no idea, ha ha! I was rather hoping you’d be able to help me!”
OK, borderline hysteria beginning to seep through mask of calm and control. Half the people who have ever served me in this place are gormless wide boys who’d tell me I’d look good in a sack. The other half, however, do know a thing or two about clothes. Fifty-fifty shot.
“Have you thought about cream? There’s this one over here…actually, it’s more of a stone colour…”
Without even asking my size, the assistant is pulling a stone coloured jacket off a display dummy. It looks nice. Really, really nice. He helps my arms through the sleeves.
Oh my God, it’s perfect. Really, really perfect. Nothing like anything I had imagined – more relaxed, seemingly more unstructured – but actually, an understated triumph of tailoring.
“You’ll notice there are no back vents. That makes the effect more…”
“Slimming! I know! And it covers my paunch brilliantly, look!”
“And it really lifts the shirt…”
“Absolutely. It adds an edge to what is otherwise a fairly conservative business shirt. I can’t believe I’m buying the first jacket I’ve tried on…”
(Some people over at the till have turned around to look at me. How gratifying.)
“…but I’ll take it. How much does it cost?”
I have just looked at the inside label. Oh God, it’s Gucci. It’s going to be a small fortune.
Actually, it’s only about two-thirds of what I would have expected to pay for a Gucci jacket. Done deal, then.
(Gucci, ferfuxsake! I’ve never bought Gucci before in my life. Waaaay too bling. And yet this isn’t, not even slightly. My, they have changed since Tom “Grrrr!” Ford left.)
K – who stocked up on a head-to-toe Gieves & Hawkes outfit the previous weekend in Birmingham, the sneaky bugger, so much for who-cares-what-we-wear-on-the-day, we’re-only-signing-a-bit-of-paper – is delighted. No longer shall I be the poor cousin at the altar.
Something borrowed: The outdated trappings of a decaying heterosexist institution, obviously. Oh, I’m still quite the Gender Politics warrior, I think you’ll find!
Something blue: Paul Smith jeans, bought in Birmingham Selfridges in April 2005, on the day of our twentieth anniversary. (Yes, we spent nearly six hours of our twentieth anniversary shopping for outfits in Selfridges. Wanna make something of it?)
Coming up: Those going-away wardrobes in full. Or maybe not…