Being the girlfriend of a journalist who writes mostly for men means my eyes are often opened to facets of life about which I had previously been blissfully unaware, be they thrilling videogames; exceptionally hot supermodels; or newly released books, beers or brogues.
And men’s fashion is, I’ll happily admit, one area about which I have learnt a hell of a lot over the past 11 months.
The Writer is, without a doubt, better dressed than I am. All the bloody time. Even when I think he’s gone and put on something outrageous, it turns out his instincts are right: much as I might put up a fuss, give me 10 minutes and I tend to come round to his way of thinking. A brand new tie is a case in point: when he whipped it out of a suitcase groaning with transatlantic splurges, if I’m honest, I pulled a bit of a face. But, having seen him wear it, I’m going to have to grudgingly admit that, despite the fact I’d have gone nowhere near it under my own steam, it’s actually quite cool.
But there’s apparently an emerging trend in the world of male fashion that, despite TW’s claims of style, I refuse to get on board with: jewellery on men (the other thing I refuse to countenance is the terrible portmanteau that TW and his colleagues have come up with to describe it. You can go and look for yourselves).
As readers with longer memories will be aware, the concept of man-bling isn’t something I’ve ever been fond of, and my tastes in this area are showing little signs of change – because there is just something fundamentally unattractive about jewellery on a man.
Watches I have absolutely no problem with. Ditto a wedding ring (these also happen to be a useful and instant marker of cheaty idiots when one’s flirting with chaps in bars), and sometimes a nice signet ring (but only if you actually have a family crest. None of these nasty Argos-y type things, please). And that’s it. (Just so we’re clear: cufflinks, tie pins, tie clips and pocket squares fall into the category of “accessories” and are all fine. Nay, to be encouraged.)
I am, however, wholeheartedly against all and any of the following: necklaces, be they chains or little leather things with shells attached picked up whilst on a surfing holiday or Gap Yah; rings that aren’t wedding rings; wedding rings that aren’t plain metal (you’re a man, not a magpie: leave the diamonds to us); earrings; bracelets; penazzles (no, I have no idea whether they’re a real thing or not, but just in case they are, I think they’re worth including in a list of “to be left WELL ALONE”); friendship bands; festival wristbands (what are you? A grubby 18 year-old?); toe-rings; or anything else that you wouldn’t be surprised to see adorning Peter Andre.
Whilst arguing the point with TW, I thought I stood on pretty unshakeable ground citing as many manly men as I could call to mind (I can not for the life of me imagine James Bond standing before the mirror and bedecking himself in a sparkly earring), before having my theory backed up by a unanimous opinion from a bevy of my female Twitter followers who echoed my thoughts straight back at me.
It’s good to know that my instincts aren’t entirely off-whack just yet. But who knows? Another quirky tie, and I might just find myself tipped over the edge.