New research has found that we are gullible types who will believe anything that comes after the phrase "new research has found". Well, I might have found the sticking point of disbelief - new research has found that men spend more on clothes than women.
I know, ridiculous. Men HATE buying clothes. The only thing that men hate more than buying clothes is helping women buy clothes.
This dread was often instilled at an early age when being dragged round Marks by our mothers. Up until that first visit to the shops, the previous template of boredom was: Sunday.
Sunday used to be boring on a level that young people today can not conceive. Imagine no internet, no satellite, nothing to do but watch Songs of Praise and wish the clock could go faster so that Monday would come and we could go back to school. That is how boring Sundays were, we yearned for the sweet relief of double geography.
But Sundays were as nothing compared to the brain boiling tedium of trailing round the woollens in M&S looking for the perfect beige cardy.
I would say something like: "Mum, can we go now?", or "PLEASE can we go now?!", or "aaarrrggghhhh". That sort of thing.
Shopping for clothes instils in most men the same sort of shuddering dislike that we also have for tapioca pudding, and if you do not know what that is, then you have never eaten school dinners in the 1970s. Lucky you.
Men hate shopping for clothes. Women, on the other hand, think that shopping for clothes is essential to their life force, even if they are not actually shopping and are just looking.
Just looking is part of the shopping ritual, apparently. It is the hunting part of the process, storing details and colours and prices and sizes so that they can return at some later date for the kill, wherein they will buy something, but only on the condition that they can return it later, when they decide that it is not for them and that what they really want is the pullover they saw at the beginning of the hunt before they scoured the racks for another 86 hours.
The notion that men spend more on clothes than women could only be true if men just bought the first thing their eyes alighted on and did not check the cost, and accidentally purchased something with an Italian's name on the label that was priced the same as the last car they bought but they didn't care because they absolutely, positively had to stop shopping immediately or their heads would explode. This usually takes about ten minutes.
If we are to believe the research, men spend about 10% more on their attire than do women but then they don't wear any of it.
Apparently, only 13% of the clothes men buy are ever worn outside the tight confines of the shop changing room. That men ever try anything on in a shop at all is surprising, what with the grunting coming from the next booth and that smell...what IS that smell?
At first glance that seems preposterous. Men buy clothes but then do not use them? Stupid men, you might think, and you would be wrong.
Most things men buy to wear are appalling. This is particularly true of teenagers and men in their twenties, thirties, forties and fifties. After that, no man ever buys clothes again, they just put on whatever needs cleaning the least, regardless of whether it still fits because we know that we are never going to have sex again, so what difference does it make what we look like?
Before that, however, there is a cornucopia of awfulness best kept locked in the wardrobe. All those red trousers and lime green shirts, the T-shirts with amusing pictures on them, or words, or anything that takes more than a glance to decipher, Christmas jumpers, shoes in any colour but black or brown, novelty socks, shirts with statement collars, hats, anything you wear round your neck that is not a tie or scarf, establishment specific ties and scarves, clothes with a message, scooped necks, anything orange and trousers that you can't sit down in because our bums are too big for them and we never tried sitting down when we tried them on in the shop. They felt a bit tight but we bought them anyway because we cling to the notion that we still have the same sized waist as we had when we didn't have hair growing out of our ears.
As long as men keep not wearing them, they can spend as much on their clothes as they like.
This is excellent advice: men - when it comes to dressing, be boring. Be boring like a Sunday morning.