I firmly believe that if you are, for want of a better word, physically ugly, you can make up for it by dressing exceedingly well.
Let's face it. Nobody wants to hang around an ugly, poorly dressed, boring person with deficient intellect or conversational skills. If I wanted company like that, I would head straight to the Western Suburbs or the CBD on a Friday or Saturday night.
Have a skill. Deadpan wit, cut throat conversation, historical expert on any number of esoteric topics. And dress well. If you have these in your armoury, you become instantly INTERESTING. Step it up a notch and in Melbourne, you may even enter the stratosphere of the ECCENTRIC.
Look at 2 of my favourite Frenchmen - Sartre and Gainsbourg. Now, we can forgive the French for being the ugliest, rudest and most communist European nation for their unmatched contributions to gastronomy. We can also forgive them for proving that ugliness can be surpassed, dare I say even overlooked, by some redeeming features.
These 2 examples were ugly motherfuckers. Yet we can forgive Sartre for his contributions to existentialism and Gainsbourg for the marvellous music he produced. That, and the fact he is the finest living example of an ugly man who banged the hottest chicks on the planet after he added Bardot and Birkin to his stable.
Unfortunately, the only credible poster boy for batting above his average these days is Shane Warne. What has become of the world?
This brings me to the issue of suitable attire for relaxing at home. Many of you would picture me at home, pipe in one hand, glass of calvados in the other, wearing a plum coloured smoking jacket. I hate to shatter your dreams but there is only one credible alternative to this Oscar Wilde nightmare.
Derek Rose Cotton pajamas are the gold standard. These are old school, long pants and sleeves and suitable only for winter. Admittedly, I do get a thrill wearing my made in the Czech Republic Derek Rose's, knowing someone has toiled hard in the third world for my evening comfort, I would achieve a better level of nocturnal relaxation knowing they are made in the UK (the ones currently being sold at Harrold's are, I believe, made in the UK).
Church's leather home slippers are the only suitable footwear. Period.
As for dressing gowns, cashmere is the only way to go. I remember seeing a beautiful camel coloured pure cashmere dressing gown by Derek Rose, in Henry Buck's Collins Street store many years ago. It was buttery soft, perfectly sized but imperfectly priced at $3000. I subsequently learned last week that this said dressing gown was on the floor at Henry Buck's for several years, only selling at one of the sales for a mere $2000 after discount.
My desire for a cashmere gown was firmly cemented when several years ago, US GQ profiled how a number of young, upwardly mobile American males would be spending their NYE and how they would be attired. Some of them chose black tie functions (Brioni tux etc), otherwise went casual (woolens and down vests like a Penfield) while the wisest of the bunch stayed at home. He was the smartest and smartest looking by far. Emulating a dignified Hugh Hefner, he was outfitted in a beautiful pair of red pajamas (silk or cotton I can't remember), slippers and the featured camel coloured cashmere dressing gown. His accessories profiled in the article to help celebrate NYE were a bottle of Dom and some cigars. He failed to mention or show the 3 Brazilian hookers and kilogram of cocaine he also needed to help him cross the finishing line.
So here is what I choose to wear at night. I do my best work after midnight.
As for whisky, Ballie Nichol Jarvie seems to be the weapon of choice at the moment.
Striped cotton pajamas by Derek Rose, Henry Buck's own 50% cashmere, 50% wool mix dressing gown made in New Zealand, vintage GMT Master by Rolex of Geneva.