Monday, 5 September 2011

Why Do All Clothes Look Shit On Me?

I could probably answer that question in one short sentence: because I'm fat. But that would be to oversimplify things and I'm here now so I'm going to wax for a bit. And, let's be honest, if I left it there, you might accuse me of implying that you can't look good in anything if you're fat. This, of course, would be arrant nonsense. Many larger people manage to pull it off: George Melly, a proper pudd'n if ever I saw one, always looked elegant in his baggy flannels and floppy hat; there's an overweight woman who runs our local tea shop and she looks fantastic; Oprah's never too shabby. Vanessa Feltz...sorry, bad example (this is what is known as a cheap shot - it doesn't make me proud, but it's staying). Oh, and let's not forget, there are plenty of skinny bastards who look shit, aren't there?

I'm not going to waste time on the fat v thin debate here - yes we all know there are societal pressures, that obesity (and ultra-skinniness) can be unhealthy, that prejudice and bullying can be rooted in something as trivial as body shape. No, I want to keep this as superficial, shallow and egocentric as possible. I merely want to establish the reason I look so shit in everything, and being fat is right up there.

Fatness, of course, is a relative term. In many people's eyes, I'm not. 5' 10" and 15 stone 9 suggests otherwise, I'll grant you, but I'm very square-shouldered, unusually broad and don't have an especially chubby face nor a pot belly, so I carry it reasonably well. But as soon as I slip into Gap jeans - Easy, Straight, Boot, you name it - I look like a man harbouring Elvis and his fatter twin brother down either leg. My thighs are heavy and my knees buckle inwards due, in part, to ruined, arthritic joints, and my legs always look like a pair of mutant slugs having weird 'X' shaped sex in a sack . Lest you think this is a Gap-based issue, I've tried Next, Hennes, M & S and more. They don't make jeans for people like me. Or trousers. Or shorts. Underpants? Just about.

Then there's shirts. I've tried them all; tees, V-necks, button-ups, button-downs, Grandfather tops. I dunno. I just look shit. I adhere religiously to the 'black is slimming' trope, but to no avail. In fairness, I've got a better chance of looking semi-presentable in a shirt than any pair of trousers, but it's a fine margin. So why? Short neck? That probably doesn't help. No waist? A problem. Lack of definition around the torso? Yeah, ok, you don't have to get offensive mate.

Maybe I need to employ the services of one of those people who just know which clothes work with which shape. It might be painful, I might have to accept certain limitations, but at least I won't look shit. That or lose some weight. People, I have been dieting for a week and lost 6 pounds. So maybe I should hang on before getting Gok Wan over. It might save me a lot of money and the gruesome misery...of having Gok Wan over.