Browned off

As I climbed the stairs at my railway station this morning, a young guy ahead of me caught my eye. He was wearing chocolate brown formal trousers.

I am sure plenty of fashionistas sport and champion brown and it is one of my wife’s favourite colours for clothes. With her skin tone and hair colour she looks good in it. But I have an aversion bordering on allergic for brown clothes which is entirely irrational.

Let me explain the root.

We didn’t have much money when I was a kid. When I moved from junior school – where the uniform was grey shorts – to grammar school, I had to keep wearing the shorts until we could afford my first pair of long trousers. I was the only kid in the year still in shorts. I got the piss ripped out of me mercifully and would go home and nag my mum. Wanting to make it up to me, she decided not just to get me long trousers, oh no, but to get me what she thought I would see as cool trousers. Flares (it was the early 70s). They turned out to be brown flares.

The piss ripping only grew. With the cruelty of children, they became known in my class as my “biz flares”, biz being northern kid slang in those¬† days at least for poo. I then had to re-nag for a whole term for a pair of boring, conformist grey school trousers.

Clearly such things influence us for a lifetime. To this day the only brown clothes I own is a Duck & Cover fleecy jacket for country walks and a body warmer a mate gave me which I wear for mucking out the chickens.  And I still shudder when I see guys in brown trousers. No pun intended.