Today is the first day of the year back to work for the average office and factory worker – henceforth known as Smart Clothing Dayâ„¢.
Today is the day that people proudly walk around like models from a 1970s catalogue and show off the new jacket, suit, scarf… or socks given to them by their loved ones a couple of weeks ago.
Shoes seem just a little bit more polished than usual, and in a couple of cases I have observed this morning – also still retain the purchase sticker on their soles. In a couple of days time will be New Shoe Limping Dayâ„¢ as the feet finally give up their struggle against the stiff new fabric and cause the owner to limp around while desperately trying to look as if this is their normal gait.
Although the weather is cold, there is a sudden change within the scarf department as last months collection of random scarfs is replaced with this months collection of new woollen strips, which being all purchased at the same time will, for a short while, share a unanimity of fashion and colours. A third of the population will suddenly share a single fashion statement, almost as if in on a secret joke not known to the rest of us.
New coats and jackets will have that subtle hint of newness that comes from the darkest deepest blacks that have not yet succumbed to dust and multiple washes that will inevitably dull them slightly to a inferior shade of dark grey. Bright coloured coats and jackets also come with that glossy sheen that says they have not been scuffed and marked by the daily commute on a packed and sweaty tube train.
Offices where people once casually flung their jackets over a chair or on a hook by the door will ring out this morning with cries for coat hangers so that the prized new item can be given the care and attention it deserves.
For a few days.
Next week, the proud gait that marks someone wearing a new coat will have been beaten down by familiarity and the drudgery of work, while the jackets will be flung over chairs with the disdain that comes from casual contempt.
Enjoy the fashion show while you can – like a spring flower, it lasts just a few days and comes but once a year.