A Word In Your Ear - February 25, 2016

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“DON’T put those on!” exclaimed She Who Knows, as I reached in my wardrobe for a comfortable pair of old cords, “They make you look a fogey.”

Well, I suspect you’re thinking, he is a fogey – so why not dress like one?

When I was younger, I tried to stand out from the crowd in fashionable togs of bright, trendy colours.

But, there again, wasn’t that just conforming to what other youngsters were doing?

Since maturing a little, I appreciate people looking like who they are – even if those appearances can deceive.

I resent, for example, being told I should diet by a clinically obese nurse. Similarly, one would hardly have confidence in a dentist with poor teeth. Neither would I trust advice from an overweight sports coach, or scruffy assistant in a clothes shop.

People should take what they do seriously enough to live up to their image. You expect your bank manager or accountant to be soberly dressed. One flaunting Hawaiian shirts would be as unsettling as a non-drinking licensee, or starved chef. It’s almost as alarming as a builder whose house is falling down.

When a young reporter on this newspaper, I used to wear a brown trench coat. It was practical, of course, since I needed many pockets and stood around in all weathers awaiting the famous or infamous. But, most importantly, it made me feel the part. Police detectives used to wear similar coats but black; while Special Branch favoured dark anoraks, which hid their guns. These ‘plain clothes officers’ made it very plain who they were.

The fact is,we all like to fit in and be one of our group.

“You’re right, of course,” I conceded to She Who Knows. After all, I’m not a fogey yet but, rather, am just starting to enjoy our ‘third age’ of freedom.

Instead I donned my slightly less old cords.

* For Roy’s books visit royedmonds-blackpool.com