Dilemmas about Clothes

You are probably tired of me telling you how I lack the creativity gene, but I am afraid I am going to mention it again. I was looking through my Instagram feed this morning, noticing the creative activities that people were completing – dancing, singing and playing instruments. Me? Posting an image of my soya latte! I’ve never really been creative and/or artistic and I often I have real problem about colours. Not seeing them, although my eyesight is less than perfect, but more coordinating them. This not only presents problems when choosing wallpaper and paints, it also present a real problem when I am trying to coordinate my clothing. However, when it comes to clothing, this is usually the least of my problems!



I woke up on Monday and after the usual morning routine, pulled on a purple T-shirt ready to head to work. It was then that I suddenly had a dilemma – was I allowed to wear a T-shirt for work and, perhaps more importantly, what would people think! As it happened I swapped it out for a more ‘formal’ look, but it got me thinking about the issues I have about clothing and how I dress.

  • Blue is the colour! -I mentioned in the introduction of the blog about how I find it difficult to see colour combinations. When I was teaching in a primary school – I often had to ask my teaching assistant whether colours went together before putting them up on the wall, since my choice often left much to be desired! If you were to look in my wardrobe you will see a multitude of blue. Jeans, shirts, tops, blue everywhere! Why? because I know that blue seems to go with things and what goes with blue. Blue jeans and white T-shirt, blue shirt and jeans, and even blue stripey formal shirt and black trousers. These are all probably ‘safe’ options but for me, I know that they will work together and that, when wearing them, no-one is going to be looking and thinking -OMG! I do, sometimes, branch out and buy a different colour. I am becoming quite confident with purple now, with blue and/or black of course, but apart from this the palette remains somewhat limited. I often look enviously at other people who manage to match colours perfectly, including patterns and stripes and even dots. Maybe this is just confidence, or maybe they just possess that ability like an interior designer or painter to match things and make everything look perfect. When I do it, the word jumble sale comes to mind!

  • Mutton dressed as Lamb! – I was teaching mathematics recently exploring mathematical skills with the students as they created scale models of the Big Friendly Giant (BFG). As they created items of clothing for their models to wear, I noticed that many of the BFG’s shoes appeared to be modeled on ‘Converses’ (apologies if I have spelt that incorrectly or I have used the wrong word). These seem to be what I call ‘posh pumps’ but I am sure that they is more to them! Some of the designs look great and I often wonder whether I should actually buy a pair to wear – not for work – but over the weekend when I am chilling round the shops. In a similar way I often see people wearing certain pieces of clothing that I think – I like that! or that jacket looks great! However, before I even consider buying something similar, I am struck with that old saying – “Mutton dressed as Lamb”. For those who might not know the saying, the essence of it relates to people trying to be something that they are not. I don’t think I would ever buy a pair of converses (again apologies) since I consider myself ‘too old’ for them and would hate to be walking down the street and people to be thinking – omg look at that old man wearing converses! I recognise that some clothes shops are for the ‘younger clientele’ but am I now only able to shop in the over fifties section of Marks and Spencers? Looking again at the content of my closet, I am thinking that I might already be there!

  • Personal Shopper – A few years ago I remember chatting to a men’s fashion expert online – well it was while playing Star Wars on TwitchTV, so he might not have actually been a fashion expert, but it appeared that he worked as a personal shopper in menswear! This is something that I think I would benefit from. I mentioned in my blog about winning the lottery about employing staff and a personal shopper would definitely be on the list! I need someone to actually tell me what to wear – to present different styles and outfits, telling me what goes with what and dress me suitably for my body shape and probably my age. There appears to be many experts out there, although they appear to be focused more in the women’s market or, they are avoiding people like me. I’m not the best at clothes shopping – growing up it always used to be a catalogue. Even now I tend to walk in, walk around and leave. As I walk through town, there are some lovely shops which are displaying a range of menswear and I often wonder whether I would look ok in some of the outfits. I never go in of course – that would be sheer madness! but I do wonder.

  • Some people can pull fashion off – they just seem to know what to wear and how to wear it. I’m the sort of person who gets his clothes out, tries to create a new outfit and ends up copying the mannequin in the shop or just returning to the usual combination of clothing. At Christmas the time will come which I have been dreading for a while. I will actually be fifty and I feel my opportunity for trendy dressing will be well and truly gone. Currently I have nine months left to branch out – so if you do see me in town, wearing a pair of red converse – then please, let me have my moment…

    Do you find it easy to put outfits together? Do you have any helpful tips? Is your name Gok and you are reading this and can help me feel trendy at 49! Are you some of the designers who dress Jim Chapman and would like to see our outfits on an older man? Well as always I welcome all your comments and points of views so please feel free to add them in the comments below or send them to be via twitter or facebook.

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    2 comments for “Let Me In! – Simon’s Cat – YouTube

    1. February 19, 2017 at 2:00 pm

      Would be cool to play an one off, one of the dungeon crawls you made! Maybe the 8 level one!!!

    2. March 21, 2017 at 12:05 am

      I miss those early days so much. The current state of rpg’s , the rpg xubculture if you like, doesn’t feel like it did back then. I can’t quite put my finger on it.

      I was introduced to Advanced D&D 1st Edition, by my sisters boyfriend (the BEST boyfriend of the many she had IMHO..), who showed me S3 Expedition to the Barrier Peaks module after discovering I enjoyed computer based adventure games, I was hooked immediately and it wasn’t too long before I was hanging around the local game shop, Games Gallery, from which I was invited to join in a game run by the assistant manager, who was to become my long and good friend Steve, who was coincidentally, the reason I got to work at the local branch of Games Workshop for a time. Working there, in those days, before it became a Warhammer only shop, was amazing. It was the proverbial kid in the sweet shop!. Staff discount made it even sweeter – 50% off GW’s own products, and 25% off everything else. We also ran a great rpg club, with about 60-80 members at its peak.
      I was always the GM for my main group as no one else had the time it took to prepare a game properly, though after a few changes to the group, and people from the club popping up, I eventually got to play. Games by a company called Fantasy Games Unlimited (FGU) were very popular in all of my groups. FGU sold games such as Bushido, Aftermath,Space Opera, Chivalry & Sorcery, Freedom Fighters, and Bunnies & Burrows, but there were many many more games, by many different companies, covering all sorts of genres – and I still have them all. Many were, as was the style back then, table and chart and rule HEAVY. We loved that. Comparing themto the current crop of “rules lite” systems, I would certainly go back to the old games instead. We played these games sometimes 5 days a week, as for a time we were all unemployed. It was all we did.
      I often spent days creating scenarios, making maps, creating player characters as well as npc’s. I found it quite therapeutic, as is miniature painting – thousands of the little buggers packed away testify to the time I spent doing it. My “toy soldiers” as my brother in law calls them…
      I used to get quite attached to my favourite characters, and whilst one or two died over the decades, most did not.
      For almost all of my characters I would go overboard by most people’s standards. I like to have an image for my characters, whether a photo or artwork. Sometimes I will see an image and that is the base for the whole character, built around the image.
      I always believed as a player, that giving the GM a detailed background, list of goals, motivations, friends, contacts and enemies, will help the GM bring my character into the game more, by using some of what I have given him in the game. As a GM I like to see what players come up with for their characters, and will often use it in the game. It involves the player more, makes the game more personal if part of the game is suddenly about them, and it can help the players become more invested in their characters.
      For myself, I would often map out the characters home, create a family tree, siblings, etc.
      For our Star Trek RPG (by FASA Corp), I created the whole crew of a 500+ personnel star ship… All as detailed player characters. Unnecessary and a bit OTT I know, but it helped bring every department on the ship alive, every member of the landing party was a person not simply a red shirt.

      I am often bemused whilst watching streams when I see the gm of a streamed game pull some “new” idea out of his box of tricks, and the players are like “wow!”, “that’s original”, “I would never have thought of doing it that way!”, knowing we did it 30-40 years ago.

      The games my most recent group and I played/ran, were very detailed games with a lot of depth. Quite dark games too, mature themed, and often very emotional and intense. Having played with the same people for nigh on 20 years, you create a bond, a closeness and familiarity that allows you to communicate in a way you couldn’t, with people you don’t know very well.
      I have been brought to tears several times in recent years during the last (decade long) game we played ,as some scenes were simply too emotional or powerful, overwhelming (GM was a bastard – but an EXCELLENT GM).

      Sadly the group folded, but the GM offered to keep the game going for just me, which he did for a few years, which to be honest I really needed, as it helped me through a bad depression at that time).
      Over the years I have experienced a lot of things because of rpg’s, and made some great friends, too. I have a lot to be grateful for, regarding rpg’s. I was discussing with my brother in law, my collection of rpg’s and miniatures. When he realised how much they are worth, (some regularly sell for £100’s!) he always tells me to sell sell sell. He doesn’t grasp what they mean to me .
      Yet I won’t. Part of me hopes and prays that I will get a local group together (even some of the old group!) and start using them again. But aside from that, as my memory fails, little by little each year, these boxes and books and miniatures on the shelves are my constant reminders of happy and sad and exciting moments, and great fun, and more importantly, great friends.

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