Fashion, OldVenue

My Wardrobe: Brett Mottram

Brett Mottram
Into the wardrobe of Brett Mottram.

Anyone curious enough to look inside my wardrobe would be confronted by a forest of shirts. Just imagine the fur coats in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. These shirts are hardly up to Gatsby’s standards, but I like them. In mostly pastel shades, but with vibrant exceptions, they’re suitable for any weather, and any season. Their long sleeves and buttons ensure that you’re warm in autumn and cool in summer, and the various hues make them suitable for myriad occasions. They range from smart through to casual, with a few making great party wear. As a note, it’s surprising how easily you can defy expectations by wearing darkly luxuriant colours: I’ll never forget the imprecise but hilarious false antithesis ‘you do history and you’re wearing a purple shirt!’

Brett Mottram
‘Begging for eviction?’

There are also suits, jeans, trousers, jackets, boots and shoes. The grey, elbow-padded jacket gets an outing more often than, say, the brown corduroy one, but combinations are everything. When combined with a neutral-tone shirt, appropriately light-coloured leg-wear and leather shoes the colour of luscious burnt sienna, the corduroy can work as well, especially in summer.

Like everyone, I have some hidden horrors. A black shirt with electric, marine-coloured stripes is just begging to be evicted, and another stripy abomination in white, pink, purple and red shouldn’t have been admitted in the first place. Not that I’m a hater of all stripes: there’s a white shirt with soft, thin navy blue lines flanked by cerulean bands and broken up by a delicate fern leaf pattern, which can definitely – and indefinitely – stay. I have mixed feelings about my vintage yet cumbersome brown coat, however, with its broad faux-fur collar and its buttons the size of golf balls. But hey, you never know when you’ll need to look like a bear lost in fin de siècle London.

For the most part, though, the collection resembles that of a student from the early Seventies who has pretensions towards academia. I’d like to think I don’t give this impression, but I know that on occasion I already have. I remember going to a literature party in Fresher’s week dressed like a twenty-year-old Martin Amis. The fatal flaw was that I conspicuously looked – and still look – nothing like Mick Jagger. But it could have been worse: the trousers weren’t quite flared, and the boots weren’t that high…

Overall, my wardrobe is a formula for ‘tousled yet presentable’, and like everyone’s collection of clothes, it must somehow reflect its owner’s personality. It needs a revamp, but in the meantime, as long as you care at least a little about fashion, why care about a few funny looks?


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January 2022
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