At my destination, plenty of backgrounds were represented. The home counties, the suburbs, the townies, the north, the south, the west, the east, the Welsh and the Scots were all in the mix and so a fashion-hungry eye like mine just had to drink in the sights that reflected the state of the UK. Always working, see. The main lessons? There were three.
One: domestic geographical fashion divides are eroding.
It’s hardly surprising given the immediacy and generally joined-up thinking courtesy of social media these days but there was really very little to mark out any sort of geographical differences in the way these fellas dressed. Be they from the north or south; town or country there was a basic holiday uniform, which consisted of a knee shorts and polo shirt, worn with plimsolls or flip-flops. There were various degrees of sartorial success in this mix of course but when it was done with quality and a little verve, it created a winning sunny style. Think Lyle and Scott or Polo Ralph Lauren for reference. Interestingly, these key items are very much the things which we chaps also like to wear at home. Which brings me on to number two.
Two: the holiday wardrobe (otherwise known as the suitcase) is no longer radically different from the one at home.
Now, I got to talking to quite a few chaps about their fashion habits and most (like me) had bought a couple of new bits for their hols (surely this is one of life’s greatest pleasures!) and while they may have bought into a bit more colour here and something a bit more lightweight there, they did not, on the whole, buy things that were very different from what they wore at home. This is a good thing. Just because you are abroad doesn’t mean you have to go in for some sort of fancy dress. Be yourself but just a teeny weeny tiny bit more adventurously, perhaps. And that leads nicely to point number three.
Three: Despite the link between the home and away kits (as it were) when on holiday we can – and do – experiment just a bit more.
Just to chuck a mosquito in the ointment of my previous point there were chaps pushing the envelope a bit more than I suspect they do at home. (Truth is never a simple thing, my friends.) And in the main it was good to see men dressing with a bit more flair. Bib-front shirts worn with linen shorts; lightweight jackets and panama hats (I kid you not!); rolled up chinos and nautical striped T-shirts all stood out. And I salute them all. Like in The Forest of Arden in ol’ Bill Shakespeare’s As You Like It, on holiday we can be the versions of ourselves that we long to be. (Note to former English teacher – see, I was listening at least some of the time. It was just that you kept wearing that tank top – it put me off!)
So there you have it. I urge you to keep your eyes open when on your hols too. Overall, my feeling was that the UK male is doing pretty well in the sartorial stakes – I bet it would have been different if I’d gone during the World Cup. Anyone in a resort during the month-long football tournament can expect to see a rash of football tops!