Fat Men and Heavenly Fashion

I’m reading Hardy Amies’ ABC of Men’s Fashion (1964). It has the potential to be a rather dull volume, with sections on various types of cloth, different cuts of fabric and the origins of wools. There are, however, some rather splendid little entries, and this, I feel, is a prime source for blogging to which I shall return. For Bowler Hats, he writes:

“It should never be worn abroad, never by foreigners, and Americans who attempt to do so should be fined.”

For pressing, he advises that “Everybody knows that trousers have to be kept well pressed and nearly everyone knows how to do it. If you haven’t been in the Services then get a wife and train her. 

Under a section called Fat Man, he writes:

“If you are vain enough, as I hope you are, to read this book, surely you can be vain enough to want to make yourself less fat. I am sure that all hints on dieting add up to the simple suggestion ‘eat less’.”

He goes on to offer practical sartorial advice to the abdominally enhanced: 

“Be sure and wear clothes that are too large for you and never those that are too small. You will then achieve one of the first rules of good dressing: you will look relaxed”.

Under Gold, he explains that this is

“Another name for yellow, particularly one with a brownish tinge. Although the sales of it are good, and therefore to be respected, I have to say that I do not consider it very attractive. It is becoming to the very dark and the very fair and the very young- but then almost any colour is. It is dangerous for the gey-haired and disastrous to the portly”.

Our fashion industry is awash with new designs, trends, colours and styles. Clothing has never been so cheap and readily available. But what shall we wear in heaven? Our first parents wore nought in their innocence in Eden, yet Revelation describes the saints as wearing white linen: Chapter 19 and verse 8 reads And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. This is metaphorical, and yet Revelation 3:5 states that ‘He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment’.

We who are used to altering our wardrobes to keep up with trends and styles will find no such need in heaven; outside of time, there are no changing tastes, neither will we possess such nauseating quantities of vanity. To both look and be pure will be enough for the people of God. Amies includes a section on White. He loves the colour but bemoans white garments’ propensity to attract dirt and yellow with time. His general advice to the dapper gentleman will, methinks, apply to any saint in glory:

“A man should look as if he had bought his clothes with intelligence, put them on with care, and then forgotten all about them.”

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay