18.4.12

Man Shape Guest Blogger - Sir Peter Fleming

XXL man in a 'Slim Fit' world.

I am back!  I had hoped that my return would not start with a rant, but alas, it does!  Please rest assured that I will be following this up with a special report on my particular style suggestions for the coming summer season, although right on cue, my window is being rattled by a fierce north easterly wind & pounded by the wet stuff!

Who shrunk all the men!?  As regular readers will know, I am what has been previously described as 'cuddly', 'chunky' or 'porky'.  Being of the ginger persuasion, name calling really is water off the proverbial duck's back.  In my defence, I am a little over six foot tall, weigh in at a little (stop sniggering at the back) over fifteen stone, but am basically in proportion.

How is it then that I am finding it increasingly impossible to find clothes that fit when shopping in the nation's retailers!  Often leaving with an overpowering sense that I am in fact a freak of nature!  Some examples I hear you cry, through the darkness of cyberspace?

Last week, whilst in London, I found myself drawn towards H&M.  As I am off to Greece for a wedding in a little over a month's time, I thought now would be a good time to explore my sartorial options.  I descended into the bowels of the shop & happened upon, what could only be described as, the perfect ensemble; a cotton linen mix jacket & trouser, in a lovely blue hue.

I rushed to the rail hurriedly, flicked through the hangers to the back, to pursue the jacket in its largest form.  It looked okay, but would it fit.  I lost some layers & proceeded to put my arm in it.  Immediately it became apparent that something was going to have to give, it was the strained stitching or me!  I persevered & managed to get the jacket on.  Glancing in the mirror, I looked like my arms were in handcuffs behind my back, the jacket was open, with no hope of closure.

I again had been defeated by the scourge of British menswear, a world dominated by emaciated man children with no shoulders!  I approached the ├╝ber trendy sales assistant (trilby hat at a jaunty angle, channeling Olly Murs) who gave me a wilting look & told me this was the biggest size!

After that experience, I approached my local Joules (lovely line in dog cushions, for those of you interested).  In the window, I spotted the perfect suit.  On home ground I girded my loins & entered the lion's den.  Hmmm, even I could appreciate that I was never going to fit into a medium (largest size on the rail, appropriate for an eleven year old!), however, I wasn't prepared for what came next.

This time I was approached by a sales assistant who cheerily told me my only hope was the jacket in XXL!  She then proceeded to the stock room to find me one.  Meantime, the manager told me that these particular jackets did "come up small".  Having reappeared with, what to all intense & purposes can only be described as, a tent, I was cheerily told "don't worry if the buttons don't do up, it looks good open".

I am not going to lie to you, it was a squeeze.  I didn't purchase & the hunt continues.  Moral of the story?  There is no room for normal, average men n the high street today.  [sob]

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