Sunday, 27 February 2011

Leggings: The Closet War.

So I'm staring at a row of fifty-odd non-slip coat-hangers (space savers, they call them) in the wardrobe and wondering why it feels like the dawn of something sinister. Slim and black, the clothes hang uniformly from them like a particularly tactile Hitler Youth gathering. Despite all this apparent tidiness,  planet wardrobe still seems sad. I ponder its meaning for a moment before realising it is lifeless and barren, this new regime. Sterile, with no chaos to offset the order (a bit like when mankind couldn't get on with the first Matrix cause it was all a bit cosy and utopian.) 

Kristallnacht.
What's lacking here, I slowly conclude, is ethnic variety. What happened to those chunky, wooden beech-boy hangers that kicked sand in your face, or at least gave you a slap in the eyebrow if you snatched your T-shirt off too hard? Or those old-school wire ones that left smudges of lead on your hands and buckled uselessly under the flimsiest of pressure? There's even a sudden place in my heart for those daft-looking hangers they tried to reinvent the wheel with, by attaching a sort of  framework to accommodate Elizabethan gowns or blacksmiths pinafores on. But, I can see there's no place for any of that in this Brave New World. These deviants were silently earmarked for cleansing long ago, then dragged silently from their beds one night to be stuffed into mass graves of charity shops and Tesco recycling ovens. All in the name of 'progress'.

Of course I'm not so easily fooled. Shoes, as is so often the case, are the catalyst for this axis of evil.  Shoes and Kipling handbags and Dennis Basso coats that have multiplied and won't fit under the stairs any more. When shoes and handbags and Dennis frigging Basso coats can't keep it in their pants, you can bet it won't be long before they've annexed the wardrobe. Then perfectly good wood and sturdy(ish) iron gets melted down for clothes pegs. Worse, comfy sweatshirts and jogging bottoms are ousted from their homes and herded into musty gulags called 'bed drawers', never to be seen again.

So yes, I'm bitter,  because it's always my territory - I mean wardrobe - that suffers. Just because someone needs an entire nation - I mean wardrobe - for the several hundredweight of leggings that ALWAYS have a victory salute for fashion's Final Solution. That's the bottom line, comrades. Leggings, in their many evil guises, turn women into power-mongers. And in case it has to be spelled out to you, in case you're one of those men who think."Yeah, they're tacky and unflattering on anything less than a roller-skating teen, but what harm can they do?" Well, let me tell you, my friend, when a certain little lady first combined jackboots with Lederhosen and called them 'jeggings' that's exactly what the Nazis thought. "What harm can they do?" Just chilling with our Reichstag buddies here in this Bavarian hillside retreat. We've all had a drink. Let her have her fun; no-one need know.

One night. One shining moment. Was that so wrong?
You think the ruthless reign of leggings left any room in poor Adolf's wardrobe for the Wehrmacht equivalent of hair shirts and Speedos? No sir, and once those pernicious pants took their seat of power, wasn't it just a few short goose-steps up the Champs-Elysee to disaster for the mighty Wehrmacht? French resistance? American firepower? Bulldog spirit? Forget it. One word: Leggings.

And while we're at it, who do you think it was convinced the Fuhrer that the world's most powerful men could win a war dressed as Finchley show-jumpers? Eva Braun, that's who. The real fist in the velvet glove. The real smile behind the Swastika. Don't be so naive.

Men everywhere need to examine their complacency, that's all I'm saying. Leggings are nothing less than the hidden master race promoting evil and hatred to anyone not allied to their cause. And just when you think that threat has been exterminated for good, out comes a subtle variation, imbued with the same mad designs. The Ski pant, the pedal pusher, the jodhpur?  Greater  monsters than any power-crazed warlord.

So if that feeling of unease I was talking about had a voice, it would be saying. "Wake up, Waldo" (even though I'm not called Waldo) "There's a new revolution going on; a new night of the long knives, and it's beginning again, right here in your own wardrobe."

Of course, I say 'my wardrobe' - but in reality there's more chance of Palestinians saying 'my place' in Tel Aviv. Come to think of it, my wardrobe has more in common with modern-day Gaza than it ever did with Ikea, and,  just for the record - what was the Middle East garment of choice behind this divisive landfall? What was and is still worn unwittingly beneath the Jubba and Burqa of desert man and woman alike, clinging lightly yet firmly to the hairy legs of latent unrest, forging mistrust and violence across the free world quicker than you can say '60% lycra'?

Leggings.

So fine,  it all starts with a few new coat-hangers in town, pushing their weight around and creating a bit of 'lebensraum', But, before you know it, the latter-day Eva Brauns, the fairer-sex Commandants of QVC have conceived their New World Order, and it comes ready-made and razor-wired up with Dennis Basso Belsens and Kipling bag Lubyankas for all who stand before it.

So when you're leading your children tearfully through the gates of that apparel Auschwitz, and  when they point - confused and wretched - at the coat-hanger wire legend 'Primark Macht Frei' hanging above it and say "Why, dad? Why?"...

I'm just saying. You were  warned.


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