Friday, December 17, 2004


Last weekend I succumbed to temptation and did something that all civilised, right-thinking men instinctively recoil from doing.

I bought a polyester suit.

I should say that it is a suit made from 'microfibre', which is to other polyesters what iPod is to other mp3 players. But that isn't really an excuse. I could also add that it's the only suit I could find that matched my favourite shirt and fitted properly. I've been looking for months, and the next closest possibility in pure wool was $600 and the colour of elderly guacamole. It hangs better than a suit costing twice as much, and it's very slimming, so much so that people keep asking me if I've lost more weight. But still, that's a plea bargain, not an alibi.

The central fact is that I'm wearing an outfit made from chocolate-coloured plastic (with a fine tan pinstripe). It doesn't breathe, it's a little shiny, my elbows slide off surfaces if I lean on them, and the creases ironed into the legs are so sharp that I have blood from my severed arteries pooling in my shoes.

This is what I get for venturing into Man-to-Man, a franchise clothing store frequented by apprentice plumbers and teenaged office boys*. I should have been warned by the fact that the saleschick** asked me, "So what's the occasion?" when I told her I wanted a suit, as if the bulk of her clientele never realised the need for a suit unless suddenly confronted by a wedding or a job interview. She even offered to hurry the alterations in order to meet any deadlines I had. I had to keep telling her, "No, it's just another suit to wear to the office. I own several. There's no rush."

So I'm a traitor to my class. Or perhaps more accurately, a traitor to my pretensions of class. I can go home tonight and change into wool or linen or even, at a pinch, a wool-viscose blend, but the polyester suit will be there, like a back-alley whore at a wholesome family Christmas dinner.

I feel so cheap and dirty.

*and winner of the 2004 Most Homoerotic, Counter-Productive Business Name Conceivable Award.
**she was decidedly a saleschick rather than a saleswoman. Saleswomen don't dress like Shakira.


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