I saw a couple of reminders today that it’s the little finishing touches to an outfit that can make or – crucially – break a look. Take Kevin*. Kevin works in sales, where he has risen to the dizzying heights of ‘Sales Specialist’. I don’t know what Kevin sells or where he does it but I’m guessing it’s over the telephone because Kevin does not look much like a salesman: Kevin looks like a man-mountain topped with a crew cut. He drew my attention through the thrash metal that his iPod headphones were transmitting tinnily all over the train. He had a couple of facial piercings and a strange plug in one earlobe that suggested he was going for the Masaai warrior look, and enough tattoos peeking out from underneath his band t-shirt to suggest a world of colourful illustration lurked beneath. So how do I know so much about Kevin? Because he was also wearing his staff pass complete with job title and department. It’s kind of hard to believe in a genuine rock-n-roll, what’ve-you-got rebellion from someone wearing their company ID. No amount of facial piercings are going to cancel that one out.
And then take the three lads on the train home this evening. They were twenty-somethings, with tattoos, sunburn, beer cans, lairy laughter – and a shark. An enormous, cuddly orange shark so big that I couldn’t really begrudge it its own seat even on a busy train. Yet, ever the gent, the shark’s owner pulled it off the seat and onto his lap to let someone else sit down and, when the beer and the heat had taken their toll, fell asleep safe within its furry orange flippers, with his head on its shoulder. Awww. It wasn’t very rock’n’roll. But I liked it.
Have a good weekend one and all and if you’re going out tonight, please remember to take your security pass off first. And leave the shark behind.
* possibly not his real name.