Twice daily on my travels through the metropolis of Sydney, I pass through the central business district (which itself is something of a misnomer because it's not in the centre and if business means to shift numbers from one screen to another, I'll eat my shares in Hansen Australian Technologies Ltd). As I pass through, I've noticed a subtle change in the way people dress, something which was perfectly normal for most of the 20th century and I'll illustrate this by firstly showing why I don't belong.
My wardrobe is less adventurous than the majority of the office army which twice daily fights its way through the city. I have half a dozen white shirts, black trousers, a few black waistcoats and black suits; most of my hats are also black, save for one which is grey.
The reason for this is perfectly pragmatic. Whites get washed with whites and blacks get washed with blacks and never the twain shall meet. Unlike some strange nationalistic fervour, these colours might run and I fear that happening.
The only real point of colour in my working wardrobe is a series of ties; even then I tend to favour sensible colours and stripes. If I have to meet people in a professional capacity, I don't want to look like a packet of Smarties. However, I am atypical.
As the office army intraunts and exeunts via the vomitoria of underground railway stations and motor omnibuses, I have noticed that the uniform of this army has now become a plethora of pastels. Suits are still grey and black but people now sport shirts of blues, greens, purples and other colours which my protanopic eyes can not see and my EGA mind can not find names for.
The riotous mish-mash which has now arrived upon the gentlemen where once it was just the domain of the ladies, appears to me, to be more at home in the Dulux Weathershield range than an office environment.
As a result of this chaotic kaleidoscope of colour that people are now wearing, the need for the tie has almost entirely been negated. Why bother with that one point of colour if you're already walking about lit up brighter than Trafalgar Square anyway?
Now I know what you're thinking (or if you weren't you're about to because you can't help but think the thing that's written down), what gives me the right to be the self-appointed fashion police if by my own admission, I can't even see half the colours I object to?
Whilst it is true, that I have the fashion sense of a grilled-cheese sandwich which has been hurled into the turbofan of a Rolls-Royce Trent 970 and that asking my opinions on fashion makes about as much sense as placing a custard tart on top of the 378 bus to Bronte and asking its opinions on the merits of the new President of Indonesia Joko Widodo, that's precisely why I'm perfectly placed to offer my opinion. The regular police don't care of the merits of the law, they just make sure that it is enforced and when it comes to the business world, when serious decisions are being made, I don't expect that the people making them should look frivolous.
The tie may have originated when Croatian mercenaries served in the French Army during the Thirty Years' War and may indeed have been little more than a convenient piece of rag to wipe one's nose upon but as a small point of colour, the tie was far nicer to my mind than coloured shirts which are properly meant for after work, Saturdays and Sundays.
Mind you, I also think that we should bring back stovepipe hats, fedoras and whoopee caps; so what would I know anyway?