The pandemic has made us all care less about appearance | Blaise Tapp

Nothing says winter is on its way out more than the sight of middle-aged English men wearing shorts, even though the daffodils are barely in bloom.

Friday, 9th April 2021, 3:34 pm
Blaise says the pandemic has made us more carefree.

It may well be that the unseasonably high temperatures will prove to be a blip but it is almost certain that the summer attire which was taken out of bottom drawers across the country late last month is here to stay.

Personally, I couldn’t wait to dust mine off, even though I had to dig deep before finding the pair with an expandable waist – essential following more than a year of eating away the lockdown blues.

Even though it was chilly around the calves on day one, I can see no good reason, apart from maybe snow in April, that I would want to revert back to jeans.

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Shorts in spring are a statement of intent – that you only care about your own comfort and don’t give two hoots about whether strangers think you are half a butty short of a lunchbox.

There cannot be many men under the age of 70 who would rather wear a suit or a pair of cords than expose their legs to the elements, especially when there is a bit of a nip in the air.

While traditionalists will argue that knees should only be exposed on beaches and certainly not in the frozen veg aisle of the local supermarket, the reason why you might see more men in shorts this spring is a simple one – people now care less about the opinions of others.

Twelve months of not having to wear a shirt and tie before logging on for work has taken its toll on millions of us. It is possible that it could sound the death knell for traditional office attire, especially if large chunks of the workforce don’t ever actually return to the office.

But does what we wear during our working day or even when we do our weekly shop really matter that much, especially now that we’ve spent a year admiring the knitwear, not to mention the comedy T-shirts, which adorn our colleagues whenever they appear on Zoom?

If we’ve learned anything during the past year, it is that we can be pretty certain that many aspects of daily life will never be the same again.

It’s a given that, outside of Westminster and few other outdated institutions, the handshake will become a minority pursuit. As will the blowing of one’s nose in public, unless you want to be subject to mass tutting from a bunch of strangers.

You very rarely hear people cough in public these days and nobody I know is in any great hurry to catch a train again.

Experts with impressive job titles have suggested that the wearing of masks and keeping one’s distance will endure for many years to come. Who knows if we will ever be able to pull up a stool and chat to the landlord of our local at the bar, rather than from a distance at a lonely table.

One thing that is for sure is that we will learn to live with these enforced changes, which might well include an end to our unhealthy obsession with appearance.

How we look has become a lot less important to many of us since the first outbreak, especially now that the world has seen what we look like with shaggy, grey hair.

I’d like to think that people like me, who have never had the coolest wardrobe, might now be considered trendsetters, thanks to our effortless chic and vintage (old and holey) t-shirts.

The world’s population has been through an ordeal which none of us are likely to forget.

We now have a chance to shape a bright new future, one where we don’t sweat the small stuff, beckons for all of us.

If 40-something men want to get their legs out while the temperatures remain below 20C, then leave them to it.