It's not a girls top, and even if it was I'd still wear it. You bastards.

I know, I thought, I’ll buy myself some new clothes. That’s the sort of thing that makes you feel all nice and good about yourself, isn’t it. New clothes. Perhaps something a bit daring, maybe even glaringly colourful. Yes, new clothes, that’s what I’ll do, get some new clothes. So off I popped to the village shops, where I exchanged money cash for goods. I purchased some rather jaunty red corduroy trousers, a lovely ‘Christmas’ jumper and a striped, long sleeved T-shirt. Due to my recent decision to run a marathon in April I have been in training, this training has resulted in less fat about my person and this has resulted in me purchasing a smaller size garment than I’m used to, which is most pleasing. So I was feeling pretty snazzy, all decked out in fresh new togs, a glint in my eye, a new thirst for excitement and adventure and all that bollocks. I felt good. I looked good, or rather, I thought I looked good. Fortunately I’m surrounded by people – I hesitate to call them friends – kind enough to correct me, and apparently I in fact look a bit of a twat.

Yes, it would appear that red corduroy trousers are either completely hysterical or ‘good trousers for a stand up comic’, and although I am dabbling in that field of entertainment I suspect the person who informed me of this meant that I looked ridiculous. My lovely jumper also attracted guffaws and varied criticism which made me question the validity of the compliment offered by Miss Lovely at work, though I have since decided it was genuine due to her Lovely stature. However, it was comments on the striped, long sleeved top that confused me the most. According to one particularly helpful acquaintance, it is a unisex top but the stripes are too thin and close together, making it look like I am wearing a girls top.
First of all: fuck off. Secondly, no it doesn’t. It was at this point someone, admittedly defending me somewhat, explained that it couldn’t be a girls top because the pocket was on the wearers left, as if this was a dress code fact that every adult was in possession of. Which they are not, because I didn’t have a clue about this, or the follow up knowledge that buttons are on the other side for the ladies. Why? I’ll bloody tell you why: so that if you walk into a shop and see a top you like, you can’t sodding buy it because it’s been decided that it’s for the boobed among us and so has wrong buttons and a pocket on the right, to you, if you’re wearing it.
Anyway, as luck would have it I don’t really give a stuff about what other people think about my dress sense. Well, most people. I still happen to think I look rather spiffing and as such I shall continue to wear what I please. I happen to believe that the idea of ‘cool’ or ‘hip’ or whatever the kids are calling it these days – probably ‘hool’ – in relation to what one wears, only exists in those that don’t give a hoot about what someone may opine about their wardrobe. As long as you think you look good, you will feel good. That is really hool. Anything else is a variant of pathetic fashion chasing, which is most certainly unhool. What I am a little worried by is this new clothing based information that has fallen into my brain. I had no idea that a top that could otherwise be worn by anybody, be they of penis or vagina, is rendered rather useless to one team by the strategic use of a gender based pocket and button system created by retailers in order to sell specific looks and the like to specific genitalia owning persons. Not on really.
I suppose you could buy a ladies top, with its pocket and buttons on the wrong side, and wear it on your hairy, manly back. I suppose you could do that, but as it seems that the entire world has been aware of the rules for a long time before I cottoned on, someone will probably call you a variety of names and maybe even question your sexuality. Now that I know the rules I sure as Hell will. If it wasn’t for the pockets and buttons – oh and if I’m to believe what I hear, the thickness of stripes and how close they are together – we could all wear what we wanted. But then the shops couldn’t control us and split us up in demographics, like the silly little wankers they obviously think we are. Next they’ll be trying to tell me that all underwear isn’t unisex. Patronising idiots.

So I shall be ignoring all fashion advice from anyone I don’t want to have sex with. This seems a pretty good rule of thumb and means that I shall remain in control of how I look, rather than Top Man and River Island and Next. Which, having seen the mannequins in the windows of said shops, is a bloody good thing. Because they look like cunts, and I hardly need to underline my personality by wearing a uniform.

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