I’ve finally done it. I’ve perfected a look that I have found illusive all my life.
Being not much of a fashion expert, and generally not taking too much care over what I look like, I’ve always settled for “that’ll do” with a polite shrug in the mirror, before heading to the pub. But then, just the other day whilst examining my increasingly aging face before exiting the house, I realised I’d finally cracked it. That day, I left with a smile instead of a shrug.
The Dad-bod (without the ‘Dad’ part) has been around for a while. I secretly kind of like it. My metabolism when growing up was the Usain Bolt of cell transformation. I was always super skinny. Not a complaint, understand, it’s definitely something to feel lucky for, but when you’re trying to ‘bulk up’ for sport and nothing is sticking it can get a little frustrating. Of course, now that I don’t do much more than splash around a pool every week or two, the little belly has arrived. With any luck it will mostly be gone before my wedding next year, but I’m fine with it for now.
Most of my t-shirts (and I pretty much only wear t-shirts) are 5+ years old, making them look vintage, but with curled up collars and oil stains. Some of them are actually a bit gross, but being a hoarder of sorts I keep wearing them anyway. I match these off with a relatively nice pair of jeans, which almost always have a hole in their pockets, just so people are aware that I don’t have it all together.
Then there was my face on that day. Prematurely lining, as mentioned, but with hair that is a little too long to maintain and a beard that is just the wrong side of untidy. My eyes are almost always a little bloodshot these days, and my eyebrows have become a little unruly. Accompany all of that with a nice bomber and a brand new pair of Nike Cortez and I’d reached my stylistic Nirvana. I had finally won. Of course, the next day the beard was too long, as was the hair, the trainers were no longer new, the t-shirt was replaced with a clean one, and I’d slept well, so my eyes were as white as Jesus. How cruel the world of fashion can be.
I was trying to work out whether I cared more what I look like now compared to my teens and early-twenties, and I worked out that it’s about the same, as in never really too much at all. I’ve found there is little you can do to your face to improve it, save from an ill-advised flirtation with guy-liner in my late-teens, and I’ve always just wanted to wear something comfortable. That isn’t to say fashion isn’t important, on the contrary it is often a fantastic statement of self-expression, but maybe my clothes represent being relatively laid back, not always totally functional, and a little bit messy. . . But with shoes that show I’m a little bit awesome. Either way, I will spend the rest of my life trying to recreate that perfect look.
Jonathan is a writer from London. For more of his work, check out http://jonathanhatch.co.uk/