The husband has invested in some loungewear.
This is a big deal because:
a: the husband hates clothes shopping, least of all for something as insipid as loungewear.
b: he only purchases items he ‘identifies’ with. It’s hard to fathom exactly what this means. But let’s just say the husband doesn’t identify with garments very often.
c: Just like with fishcakes and cous cous (details here), the husband can ‘turn’ on items of clothing in an instant. For example, he was happily wearing a pair of leather desert boots from Ted Baker until last week, when he suddenly announced he had no suitable winter footwear at all. When I tried to get to the bottom of what was wrong with said boots, he simply said: ‘they are too shoey’. Shoey??
This is what we are dealing with.
But back to the loungewear. Loungewear, in case you’re wondering, is the name given to casual clothing worn around the home. For men, this involves some sort of elastic-waisted, pyjama-style pant (perfect for expanding middle-aged bellies), often teamed with a loose-fitting t-shirt.
For the last five years – possibly more – the husband has been rounging (Lancashire word for lounging combined with a bit of rolling) around in a tired old pair of Ben Sherman joggers.
To sport loungewear around the home and still look stylish is a tricky look to pull off.
Word on the street was that Derek Rose was your man when it came to cool loungewear. I’d seen swanky Derek banded about in Style magazine and other high-end fashion mags.
But a quick gander on Mr Porter (posh men’s clothing site revered by stylish 30-somethings) revealed that buying a pair of Derek Rose’s silky trousers involved parting with approximately £300! Surely there was other loungewear out there that didn’t involve re-mortgaging one’s house?
Luckily, there’s a man for whom stylish sleepwear at affordable prices is his speciality. Let me introduce you to loungewear lothario and king of the cotton trousers… David Gandy.
Gandy has been peddling his super-silky loungewear at good old Marks and Spenny’s for some time now but had somehow fallen under the radar.
We headed into town, the husband trailing reluctantly behind (muttering something about his moth-eaten Ben Shermans being perfectly functional for slovenly sofa surfing).
Pitching up at M&S, our favourite male model was very much dominating the men’s loungewear department. Take a gander at Gandy below (and spot the husband too!). This man isn’t just about shiny dressing gowns, six packs and smouldering looks; he actually purports to be a don in the ‘art of relaxation’.
The husband was dispatched to the dressing rooms with piles of Gandy’s garbs.
There was a long wait and then he called out, ‘I’m going to take them all.’
‘ALL of them?’ I said. ‘Are you sure?!’
‘I’ve never been so sure of anything in my life,’ the husband called back. ‘They’re just SO comfortable.’
Armfuls of Gandy pants purchased, we headed off for a drink.
‘I can’t relax,’ said the husband. ‘Because all I want to do is get home so I can change into my new loungewear.’
Driving back, we decided to investigate The Curious Incident of the Tartare Sauce Sachets.
A few weeks ago, during a visit to the husband’s grandparents, his Gran mentioned that she loved tartare sauce but was struggling to find it in the supermarket. I’m not sure why this is but for some reason tartare sauce is not an easy condiment to lay your hands on.
So, on the way home, I hopped on Amazon and before you could say ‘ta-ta’ (another Lancashire favourite!), 50 sachets of Gran’s favourite sauce were winging their way to her retirement flat in Preston.
A few weeks passed and I’d actually forgotten all about the tartare sauce delivery until one night I said to the husband, ‘don’t you think it’s funny that your Gran has never mentioned the tartare sauce we bought for her?’
There was a pause and then the husband said, ‘I know what’s happened.’
‘She’s received the sachets of sauce in the post and won’t know they’re for her. Right now, they’re probably sat on her kitchen worktop and she’s panicking, thinking they’re a mistaken delivery and actually for the restaurant downstairs.’
We phoned my mother-in-law. She confirmed that yes, Gran had received a mystery parcel of 50 sachets of tartare sauce, and yes, she didn’t believe they were for her and yes, she had been wracked with worry that she’d received them in error and would be hunted down for the money she owed.
Poor Gran had, in fact, barely slept for a week. My good Samaritan sauce deed had turned sour.
That night, the husband kept mumbling how luxurious his David Gandy loungewear was.
In the morning, we checked the label to try to get to the bottom of what made them so super soft. They were made of ‘modal’ – an undisclosed mixture of materials.
”It’s a mystery ingredient,’ said the husband. ‘Gandy will never reveal it. He’s the Willy Wonka of loungewear.’
The husband was reluctant to take his Gandy-wear off. He started making noises about wearing his lounge pants out of the house and had to be cajoled out of them.
Secretly, I think he might want to be David Gandy.
‘Perhaps David Gandy will branch out into outerwear,’ I said hopefully. ‘He’s already got swimming trunks and underpants; it’s only a matter of time before he takes his signature look outdoors’.
‘If anyone can, the Gandyman can,’ said the husband.
‘I feel like I’ve really identified with him’.