My Catwalk of Shame

I deserve to be bald. I once had a mullet, which later became a ponytail. I also rubbed soap in my hair to make it spiky during my faux-punk period, and there was a time when I applied more gel to my scalp than the average professional football team uses in a season. In short, my hair had every reason to get the hell out of Skullsville.

I can trace the root of this hair-brained obsession back to my youth in South Africa, where we not only had to wear school uniforms, but also had fortnightly inspections to ensure that our hair was off the ears and collar. Tragically, my ears were the first part of my body to start growing in adolescence and, because our uniform included a shirt and tie, the collars rode high up on our necks. To add insult to injury, my father insisted on “trimming” my hair with his electric clippers and, being a perfectionist, he would keep working on my fringe until he thought it was straight, which usually meant it ran in a jagged line across the top of my head. As a result, I didn’t get to speak to a girl until I was about sixteen or seventeen.

I also blame school uniforms for my precarious relationship with fashion. Because I never had to choose which clothes to wear to school, it took me a long time to realise that I had no sense of style whatsoever. My wife loves telling people what I was wearing the first night we met, but I still don’t get what’s so funny about tucking your woolly jersey into your stovepipe jeans and stepping out in your patent-leather winkle pickers. It is testimony to her sense of humour and charity, however, that she didn’t dump me later, when I turned up wearing tiny shorts and bright-red, handmade, calf-high moccasin boots that made me look like a giant, rather sexy Christmas elf. My wife still wakes up some nights, screaming: “Did you burn them?! You did burn them, didn’t you?!”

To her credit, she seldom comments on my choice of outfit these days. Partly because I eventually learned that you can’t go wrong if you always wear black, and partly because my wife’s cupboards are full of fashion skeletons dating back to the early 1980s, with lurid fluorescent colours, sequined disco tops and a jungle’s worth of leopard prints screaming for attention.

Perhaps the explanation for this chaotic collection is that my wife has worn a KLM uniform for most of her working life, which means she hasn’t really had a chance to develop her own style yet. Fortunately, my dad never cut her hair and I’ve managed to convince her that she can wear whatever she wants, as long as it’s black. (I’m also really glad this blog will be posted while we’re away on holiday.)

On the downside, we’ll be missing the many fashion events taking place in Amsterdam in July. Here’s the full schedule. If you are around, please let me know if bright-red, calf-high, moccasin boots are back in fashion. I still have a pair hidden in the attic.

Posted by:   Richard de Nooy  | 
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Tina S.

Richard, you are hilarious. You look lovely bald.
Groetjes uit Seattle.

Tina S.

Richard, you are hilarious. You look lovely bald.
Groetjes uit Seattle.


Dang!!!! I know this is an older post but…. I just bought me a pair of those red moccasin red boots when I was visiting the Netherlands in 2013. Could have been a real trend setter here in Canada!!!!! Won’t be bringing them back when I come back in 2015!!!!

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