I AM a representative of the former British Empire and the current Commonwealth of Nations; I am the descendant of Victorian Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli and the son of an RAF pilot. I did
not graduate with First Class honours from Cambridge University and since then have not entered the Foreign Office’s prestigious diplomatic corps.
‘The Northern Plights’ documents my assessment of Sweden for the possibility of any future conquests which the British Government’s War Cabinet is
DISPATCH 14: Fashion.
Enough hair lacquer to give the follicle appearance of a baby seal, a trouser crease sharp enough to shave with, shoes shined so bright they can burn retinas and…sock garters – the cornerstones of a gentleman’s fashion sense.
Prissing and preening and being besottedly preoccupied by your attire is the frivolous distraction of the proletariat and not befitting those of us with more urgent and pressing matters to attend to, like
not building an Empire.
It is not my concern how a nation dresses, I have no interest in prying into Sweden’s self-assembled wardrobes – people can wear
whatever the devil they choose – it does, however, help identify those who will help manage the new Empire and those of who will have to help clean the new Empire.
While I may not adhere to seasonal fashion trends, I am at least aware of them – I say ‘aware’, what I actually mean is ‘wear less tweed in the summer’. I do appreciate however that most of The Civilised World alter what they pluck from the wardrobe according to the four seasons. The ultimate shallow goal is to reach the peak of fashion no matter the reading of the barometer.
However, Sweden, from my experience, only has two seasons and therefore only two modes of dress. I first crash landed on these partially-Arctic-Circle-covered lands during its fleeting summer
months weeks days and I was quite unprepared for this, and I have to confess that perhaps a straw boater would have been more suitable than a top hat.
The Swedes very much conform to their national stereotype; they are all blond(e), tall and good looking – apart from, that is, the shorter, darker haired, fatter, uglier ones. What you will find however is that throughout the summer they all dress somewhat fashionably…albeit far too informally for my liking. The towns are full of chicly dressed natives spanning the whole age spectrum – you literally feel like you’ve crash landed into an H&M fashion shoot
But then something happens, the summer QUICKLY comes to an abrupt halt; the balmy days are over before you can say “chuck another reindeer hoof on the barbecue, Sven”. And then this happens and before you know it the linen slacks and flouncy blouses are bumped back into the darkest recesses of the wardrobe WINTER IS HERE.
There are, apparently, no ‘in-between’ seasons; there is never a season when you wear more than a t-shirt and less than an Arctic-proof coat or less than an all-in-one reindeer hide jumpsuit and more than a skirt no larger than the average cravat. You go from wearing your espadrilles and looking like you belong in a Wham! video to wearing a pair of climbing spikes and looking like you are off to conquer the North Pole by foot – even though all you are doing is popping out for some milk.
So there you have it, you can be as tall and as blonde and as beautiful as you like, for 98% of the year, and as far as the rest of the world can tell, you all look the same, and you all look like this:
I should make haste, the end of August is nigh and that always heralds the start of the National Tobogganing Trials.
ATTENTION BOTH FELLOW COUNTRYMEN & NATIVES: Theologians have discovered there were actually ELEVEN Commandments:
11. ‘Thou shalt subscribe to The Northern Plights’