I wore the same ancient three-piece suit with the same faded blue shirt (20 quid from Topman) to every television interview I did for more than two-and-half years. Not a single person noticed. Not one.
I mentioned this to Loose Women regular Nadia Sawalha a while ago and suggested that she try appearing on her show in the same outfit more than once. Within two days the programme was inundated with a combination of complaints and concern (nearly all from women) that Nadia had lost her mind.
Outside of social media, public displays of really nasty sexism seem to have petered out, along with Jim Davidson’s career, but the double standard about who’s wearing what has never really shifted.
As a middle-aged man doing an ostensibly serious job, my clothes are not considered to matter but, last week, Theresa May went into a tough round of Brexit negotiations wearing “Prada loafers and a recycled Chanel jacket”. Throughout my Strictly rehearsals I would turn up in whatever heinous drabbery came to hand that morning. When I forgot my shorts I just nipped into Tesco for a pair of pyjama bottoms and all was fine (if not dandy). Louise Redknapp, on the other hand, was cross-examined on her dancewear on what felt like an hourly basis.
Although this pervasive prejudice towards women has deep roots, the solution — in part at least — is far shallower: we need to make men’s fashion far more fabulous. Whereas women’s clothes are an endlessly evolving array of colour and form, men’s options (especially for anyone over 40) consist of the same 10 vanilla pieces that can only be distinguished by price and the quality of tailoring. It’s all eye-wateringly boring, like being sentenced to life in the missionary position.
This dulling down of menswear is relatively new. For centuries, real blokes wore lace, doublets and codpieces. Respected men would prance about the grand courts of Europe in lovely tights — even a girdle wasn’t a step too far for a fellow who fancied a trimmer waist. These displays of delight in personal appearance have disappeared into a blur of navy/monochrome drudgery.
I would like to be a riot of colour, texture and silhouette, rather than just looking a bit nicer in some suits than others. I want to be Nadia Sawalha and have the people of Great Britain threaten to lock me up for the most minor fashion sin.
I understand that good-looking A-lister boys have immense commercial influence over fashion but the stuff they’re peddling, in general, is one massive sartorial snoozefest that has had almost no effect on cultivating a broader range of men’s options. This all contributes to an unhappy situation where, unlike women, men never really have to be that mindful about what they put on as nobody is likely to comment. There are hardly any men in the “What-were you thinking?” red-carpet lists of shame. For as long as men can go around looking like bollards, women will keep picking up the fashion flak.
I haven’t the know-how to lead by example but I hereby commit to holding men to much higher standards — and at least to not wearing the same thing twice.
There is apparently an intimate video of Lewis Hamilton and his ex-girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger that has been leaked online. The footage appears to have emerged as a result of someone hacking the iCloud, where it was archived.
There have been other incidents of famous people having deeply personal photos stolen. As soon as news of the leaks emerged, rather than the public expressing outrage and refusing to view, the material went viral within hours.
get that celebrities should be careful about what they do in their private lives, and that recording themselves in the middle of a sex act is probably not a good idea. But I don’t understand why anybody watching this stuff would not immediately think they were violating someone’s privacy.
This isn’t just an issue of cyber security — the responsibility of stopping this rests with us all. It is not just light banter to be forwarded to mates with an LOL. It may be a celebrity’s today but it could be your profoundly embarrassing photos tomorrow.
One of my first celebrity crushes, Mark Feehily of Westlife, has got engaged. It’s cause for double congratulations. First for his nuptials, and second for finding a partner who couldn’t care less about the trappings of fame — so much so that we don’t even know their name.
What we do know is that, rather than exploiting their celebrity status — and the lucrative opportunities that would bring — they have chosen to keep their relationship away from the public gaze, which says everything about the quality of their commitment to each other.