These liberating and encouraging Goldie words from Richard Kaby deserve to be shared far and wide!
Things took a brighter turn for me when i started to enjoy choosing what to wear and stopped being concerned about what people thought or how they judged. Why should older retired men be doomed to join the herd of drab shufflers meandering through the gloomy city streets.
I have always shopped in charity stores and take delight in discovering unique and quirky treasures at a pension price point. However, I look at the men’s sections and there is inevitably a short row of dismal cast offs which are all dark black, blue or grey to match the weather! No interesting shapes, forms, colours or textures just denim and polyester. The same old drab trousers, shirts, jackets and commuter suits. The only colour is an occasional Hawaiian shirt or football colour sports wear. So I started to focus on the more inspiring women’s section. I am always getting redirected by the helpful volunteers who presume that I am a bit befuddled or just strange. Now I proudly proclaim, “no it’s for me actually!” To which I get a quizzical look or “well I suppose it takes all sorts!” When paying there is always a dilemma over how to record the sale genderwise! They deliberate over should the item be classified as men’s even though it came from the women’s rail. I say well it’s man’s now cause I’ve bought it! I discovered that I can fit into XL “ladies” embroidered colourful jackets and I now have a good selection. I found it wasn’t too difficult to get over the embarrassment factor of buttons on the wrong side! (what’s that all about anyway?!) I now have a vast selection of colourful scarves and hats, which are perfect for the monthly Colour Walk as a new combination can always be concocted. The compliments received on the streets are heartening and were quite a surprise actually. I reckon it’s a confidence thing as well. If you wear a different style and break the rules of conformity you have to celebrate and own it! Don’t think – “mutton dressed as lamb”. Think – “a Leo dressed as a peacock”!
By Richard Kaby 2018