Thursday, 11 August 2011
A Sermon for Slovenly Times
Maybe I'm spending too much time in Kensington - maybe? I'm definitely spending too much time in Kensington - but I keep noticing men with waxed moustaches (usually with beards attached). I wonder if this is a 'trend'? Perhaps Susan, who writes the indispensable Retroprogressive column in The Dabbler on Saturdays, might explore the subject... Anyway, trend or not, it is to be commended. If you're going to sport facial hair, the least you can do is take good care of it, introducing a little order - and a little raffish style - by bringing those moustachios to a neat point. It is all part of the great programme of making the best of ourselves, making sure we're well turned out. In these slovenly times, this, I believe, is a quasi-moral imperative. The way we dress and groom ourselves affects how we feel, how we move, how we carry ourselves and interact with the world - ultimately how we behave. It might be possible to behave decently while dressed in a shell suit, or in tracksuit bottoms and a hoodie - but it will be an uphill struggle against powerful countervailing forces. Examine the pictures of those rioters who have lately been a feature of our urban streets. Not a waxed moustache among them. Nor, I'll warrant, a cravat. In dress as in prose, le style est l'homme meme. I rest my case.