Clothes don’t maketh the man – but they help

sports bra
Raymond Deane (15) was sent home from school for wearing a sports bra with mum Kim Deane (Picture: Gavin Trafford)
SOME months ago I met a very important man, a senior executive at a top firm.
He was giving a presentation in a boardroom and came equipped with an Apple iMac, lots of slides and an air of authority.
He also wore no socks and sported a rather scruffy polo shirt. To add insult to injury, he also had significant turn-ups on his trousers, revealing the full horror of his white hairy ankles.
Reader, I judged him.
Here was a business man in a top level meeting with other business leaders and he looked like he’d just fallen out of bed.
First impressions count, don’t they? Dressing appropriately is important – that may sound a bit old fashioned but it’s what I strongly believe.
Clothes don’t necessarily maketh the man (or woman) but they don’t half help.
I was ruminating on this as I read the story this week of a lad sent home from school in Bootle for wearing a sports bra in support of a female student. She had turned up similarly attired for school and was also sent home.
The lad felt she had been ‘body shamed’ and wanted to act in solidarity.
I should point out the bras were worn as tops rather than underwear beneath a blouse.
Now some ECHO readers have been full of praise for the 15-year-old, arguing he has stood up for what he believes in. That may be so but here’s the bottom line: nobody should be wearing a sports bra as a top to school. Or the office. Or to the shops unless they’ve called in on the way home from the gym for an energy drink and a deodorant.
It’s not being a fuddy-duddy or po-faced, it’s just being respectful of your surroundings and of others.
I’m all for individuality but not if it distracts others or makes people feel uncomfortable.
And that goes as much for sports bras in schools as it does for white ankles in meetings.

THE teenage daughter has just come back from her first girls’ holiday, a week in Corfu. She returned the colour of an old sideboard with tales of parties, boat trips and twinkly eyed Greek waiters.
 “And then there was the Sex on the Beach,” she told her dad and me over tea.
 I knew she meant the cocktail but her father? Not so much.
 It’s amazing how much mess egg and chips makes when it’s spat out with force.

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