Eoin O’Neill showed that tasteful sportswear is also a no-go when attempting to be fashionable in Ireland: “Was wearing a vintage nike jacket in a very long que [sic] for drinks at a boxing match when a Belfast lad goes “fuck me this is taking forever, your man has been here since the 80’s”.”
For Andrew Beatty, even a perfectly ordinary outfit caused issues. “I once ordered a taxi in Belfast for a night out,” he wrote. “The driver pulls up to my house and just says “yer not going out like that. Go back in and change, I’ll turn off the metre.” I swear I was wearing normal jeans and a normal jacket.”
It quickly became clear that your fancy fashion from across the water won’t go down well in Ireland.
“Came back home with a jacket I bought in Manchester thinking I was cool…first pub I walk into…. “If it isn’t Sgt.Pepper”,” said Thomas McCaffery.
Evan O’Connell’s attempt to dabble in some multi-lingual garb met mixed results: “Wore a t-shirt with a slogan in French in Clontarf once, a teenager shouted “oohlala ye c***” from across the street”.
While Jennifer Forde’s sister discovered that even when abroad themselves, the Irish take their selective sense of style with them. “My sister was in France sporting a new trench coat, thought was so stylish,” she said, “but went into an Irish bar and got called Inspector Gadget by the first guy that saw her”.
Irish celebrities got in on the action with their own embarrassing moments, showing that your typical Irish wag in the street is no respecter of status when sharing their fashion hot takes.
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Singer-songwriter James Vincent McMorrow shared the story of his attempt to keep his neck warm in Kerry. He “was in Dingle for Other Voices, wearing a scarf of fairly Lenny Kravitz proportions tbf, older man stopped me and said ‘hey where’d you get that scarf’, i said “my friend bought it 4 me, do u like it? he looked me straight in the eye, said “NOPE”, & kept on walking”.
Meanwhile comedian David O’Doherty revealed another very Irish characteristic – our very long memories for past ‘misdeeds’.
“A guy I know who is called ‘Shorty’ not because he is short or tall but because he peed his pants at his fifth birthday party and had to wear shorts,” he wrote.
Don’t think that your attempt to be fashionable in Ireland will be forgotten.
Brian Comey revealed two cautionary tales of the long-lasting fashion fall-out. “Played football with a lad who was called Moses by all his friends cos he wore sandals once when he was 9. Another was called Barney for years after he wore a purple jumper,” he said.
Mark O’Connor said he’s still feeling the effects of his toddlerhood. “My mother put me in a red/navy striped t-shirt when I was about 2. Neighbour kids called me Dennis. Now 37 years later there are people in my hometown that think my name is Dennis. It’s not, it’s Mark.”
Kyle Thomas Spence underlined the special, imaginative cruelty of the school playground, “A fella I worked with needed a new school bag so his mum sent him to school with an old briefcase of his da. For the rest of his life he will be known as Budget Boy”.
Though, as Matthew found out, sometimes the teachers can’t resist a punchline either.
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And, if you’re unlucky, they’ll deliver it with precision timing. “I once wore a silver jacket to college, turned up late for class, said ‘sorry I’m late’,” he said, “lecturer said, ‘that’s ok’ then waited til I was halfway across the front of the full class before following up with ‘trouble with the spaceship again was it?’.”
Irish humour won’t take a break in solemn situations, either. “My mother wore a fur hat to her aunts [sic] funeral in December, she went to sympathise with her cousins to be greeted with “Patricia, how was Moscow?” The rest of the day she was introduced as Our Russian Cousin,” remembered Liam McArdle. “At the time they were all in their 60s.”
Nor will Irish humourists let a little thing like spelling get in the way of a gag. “Late 1980s in Dublin, a bloke was walking towards me wearing a ‘Y’ Varsity jacket,” wrote NortonReport. “Two lads behind me said to him “Y for wanker.””
Donald Draper wouldn’t have stood a chance on the mean streets of Dublin, if Loic Wright’s experience is anything to go by. “I wore a suit with a matching tie and pocket square to my first day of work at an advertising company (I thought I was going to be in Mad Men I guess) and the staff sent around and signed a communion card for me with a fiver in it.”
A salute then, and a weary nod of recognition, to all the fashion trailblazers of Ireland. Though our choices may have been bad – click here for the story of my own worst haircut, which resulted in the moniker ‘mushroom head’ for my first three years of high school – we are a brave breed.