Thursday, 17 December 2009
Posh or what?
In this week's The Sunday Times Style magazine Shane Watson says 'We're all posh now,'whilst Andy Beckett tells me it's 'The day of the toff' in The Guardian G2 - with Tory toffs Dave and Sam Cam slowly edging their way towards Number 10 (Dave on his bike, Sam following behind in a chauffeur-driven limo, Smythson Nancy bag in hand) - could it really be fashionable to be posh, again? And now that Hunter wellies and Barbour jackets are more Shoreditch than Sloane Ranger, how easy is it to figure out who's posh and who's not?
A fortnight ago, That's Not My Age was fortunate enough to bump into Peter York, co-author of The Official Sloane Ranger Handbook, and the man who gave us the eighties YUPPIE, so what does the style guru think?. In vintage Liberty scarf, Hilditch & Key coat, Paul Smith jacket and Balenciaga jeans, York says that post-crunch, the make do and mend attitude is back with a vengeance. Super-rich bankers, Russian oligarchs and Trust Fund Babes are far too 2006, but, ' If you can be respectable, dignified and middle class you've got it made.'
Wondering whether or not I've acquired a taste for upper-class chic, That's Not My Age takes the toff test:
1. I've got my eye on this quilted leather Barbour biker jacket - only £599 from my-wardrobe.com . This traditional toff brand is having a bit of a fashion moment, a shop opened this summer on Foubert's Place (off Carnaby Street), and Barbour sells alongside hip labels Acne and APC at Liberty.
2. Mr York says, 'The richer you are, the greener you are. Poor people can't afford to be green.' And, even though I'm a bit skint, Abel and Cole veggie box arrives at That's Not My Age mansions every week.
3. I'm partial to BBC Radio 4 of a morning, and reality TV is not for me, not even in an ironic way. Oh alright, I do like The Apprentice but Mr & Mrs That's Not My Age spent Saturday evening watching White Ribbon at the BFI and not the X Factor final indoors.
4. These things I own; Burlington argyle socks, a tweed jacket, Breton top (make that a stripy Gap t-shirt), a string of pearls and a pair of brogues. Though they are never, ever worn at the same time. And, as Peter York says, ' There's nothing better than a Breton stripe, it's worn as resort wear by people of style.'
This brogue Chelsea boot is a recent purchase from heritage brand, now Prada-owned, Church's - and the best thing since sliced bread (but that'll be white, working class Mother's Pride, I'm afraid).
Or common as muck?
1.That's Not My Age grew up an estate, but we're not talking landed gentry, this one belongs to the local authority.
I'd just like to point out that this is the actual road I lived on, photographed during the 2006 FIFA World Cup - hence the flags - but that's not my family home!
2. These things I do not own; a double-breasted navy blazer, Hérmes scarf (more's the pity), leather riding boots, waxed jacket or a shotgun. Though I did once own a pair of red cord pants. I was about fifteen, they were from C&A, and worn sans tweed in a punk rock stylee.
That's not my boot...
3. Mr & Mrs That's Not My Age do not own a Roller/Range Rover/or any kind of car for that matter - we use a combination of public transport and push-bike. And even though The Official Sloane Ranger Handbook says, ' Bicycling in towns is one of those slightly mad, jaunty things Sloanes do.' My folding commuter bike is a bit posh, but it's not a Brompton.
That's not my bike....
4. City life not country life, is where it's at. There's no Aga in the galley kitchen, no wellington boots in the hallway of our two-bedroomed flat. Though last time (and it was the last time!) I went to Glastonbury, a pair of £8 wellies saw me through the weekend, then I left them to rot on the balcony.
What do you think? Am I posh? Are you posh? Are we all posh now?
Hunting photo from The Official Sloane Rangers Handbook
Barbour jacket from my-wardrobe.com
Riding boot, £249, Hobbs
Brompton from www.brompton.co.uk
PS Even though Peter York says, 'Blogs are what you do if nobody will hire you,' I still took his picture!