Saturday, June 19, 2010

Clothes maketh the man

This blogger is prone to swings of a sartorial nature in the Sunday posts. Considering that he is a recipient of several "Worst Dressed" awards, this is a tad curious. But then you can hardly answer tags that ask “what are you wearing ?” (a matter of sublime importance to the fairer sex), in a non sartorial way. And if you have strong views on the necktie (aired here) and on that horrible abomination that Indian ladies wear (aired here), then perhaps it is inevitable that such a matter finds its way into this blog.

This post is instigated by one of the most awful sights in the football World Cup in South Africa. No its not the vuvuzelas, awful though they are. No its not the utter depths that the England football team has descended to. It’s the sight of Diego Maradona in a suit !

I have long been intrigued by what is worn on the sports field. When you play, or coach, or do whatever, on a sports pitch, you ought to look elegant. But its amazing how many manage to dress in something utterly comical. Take tennis, which is the game with probably the worst displays of them all. Pride of place goes to Pete Sampras, who played divine tennis, but in a striped kachcha (an underwear that some Indian men are sometimes seen lounging around in). And that too in the hallowed Centre Court , where the Duke and Duchess of Kent lord over, impeccably dressed. And the women players specialize in wearing silly outfits that purely cater to somebody with an underwear fetish.

Or take the sport of snooker. Pray, why does anybody have to wear a bow tie while playing ?? The silliest sight today, in any setting, is an old gent in a bow tie; and then they make young snooker players wear that awful contraption, But then what can you expect from a sport, where their idea of injecting sex appeal is to have one lone female referee ! Or take American football. Huge hulks wearing tight fitting flimsy trousers is not a sight for sore eyes. Take even cricket. Pajamas have been, alas, accepted for a long time ( where did that era go when gentlemen dressed in impeccably starched whites played cricket), but do they have to be green at the top and red at the bottom (Gils please note).

But football is a curious case of complete anachronism. The payers are OK – decent shorts and decent tops. But the managers ?? Dressed most inappropriately in a suit. Football managers are prone to pacing up and down the sideline, yelling obscenities, questioning the parentage of the referee, making theatrical shows of despair at a miss and utterly comical celebrations at a goal. You can’t do that in a suit, for gods sake. The sight of Maradona hugging and kissing Lionel Messi dressed in one of Saville Row’s finest, is enough to put me off football forever.

But then there are some small mercies. These days women are making their entry into one of the last male bastions – football. The day when a woman football manager emerges is not far off. The very thought of a salwar kameez clad football manager doing all of the afore described actions is enough to make me tremble with sheer terror. I can even swallow the sight of the sartorial extravagances of Maradona.

But then, Diego, just do us a favour. Please. Wear something a little more in keeping with you. We’ll give you a toot on the vuvuzela for that !