Matchy-matchy and my peachy life in Vogue

From The Irish News November 12 2019

It’s nice knowing you are ahead of the trend. Some 30 years ago I went to a friend’s wedding wearing a peach shirt – yes there was a time when peach was all the rage. My wife of just a couple of years was also in peach.

I don’t know what we were thinking when we got dressed that morning.

The penny should have dropped when we looked at one another in the hallway. But we headed out to the taxi looking like twins dressed by a colour-blind mother.

If only the cab driver had summoned up the courage to say something as he looked through the rear view mirror. But no. An eye to the road, we traversed Belfast, me oblivious to the fate that awaited me.

The Mass went okay. The bride looked radiant in an understated white number, the groom was resplendent in his suit – by that stage I think I’d only ever seen him in jeans and a T-shirt.

We were all well behaved for the photos afterwards outside the Good Shepherd Covent on the Ormeau Road and then it was on to the reception.

I cannot for the life of me remember where it was, but we were looking forward to the craic and the cake – we had baked it as a wedding present.

The whole thing went horribly wrong when, a little the worse for drink, some still-single friends could contain it no longer.

My peach attire was proof, if proof were needed, that I was well under the thumb: Ken to her Barbie, bereft of any backbone, and unable to dress myself in an individual way. We had become the human embodiment of a Peach pudding.

To singletons couples are suspect – and the more apparent his ‘couple status’, the more ripe for a slagging off the male of the species is by his bachelor brothers.

Such was the humiliation I faced at the reception, that I have never again been able to eat a peach never mind wear the colour. As I sit typing here now, I am a quivering wreck – where’s your therapist when you need him?

The happy couple – and happy they still are – said nothing, thankfully. At least we did not wear white – another wedding blunder.

Now I read that what we did then, in bleak and weary troubled Belfast, is now the height of fashion and good taste.

This from Vogue: “Today, Game of Thrones actress Maisie Williams and her boyfriend Reuben Selby were front-row guests at the Thom Browne Spring 2020 show in Paris, alongside other big-name celebrities such as Cardi B.”

(I must admit to have never seen Game of Thrones, and I thought Cardi B was the top half of a Marks and Sparks twin-set.)

Vogue continues: “Being VIP guests at Paris Fashion Week means bringing your A-game, and the couple did just that.

Wearing coordinated plaid suits, the duo took their matchy-matchy ensembles to the next level by also serving up a major his-and-hers makeup look.”

Matchy-matchy – the English language is wonderful at coming up with phrases that perfectly capture the horror of the look.

At least we avoided the ‘his-and-hers make-up’. Eyeliner for men may be de rigueur now, but even the punks would have frowned on it then. In 1980s Belfast, foundation for men was used only to disguise a black eye when no viable excuse could be found to explain it away.

Anyway, back to matchy-matchy and what I am now calling the ‘Good Shepherd Look’.

Irish News readers into their K-pop (Korean Pop apparently) will already be familiar with the news that HyunA and E’Dawn wear matching eye-shadow. And I am reliably informed that, after dying their hair blonde and blond, Dua Lipa and her 20-year-old boyfriend Anwar Hadid went for matching manicures.

After almost 35 years of marriage, the last thing we need are matching manicures and, given I am now follically-challenged, blond highlights would be a waste of peroxide.

The risks of us going out now looking like identical twins is less than zero. But I must say, I am feeling pretty peachy that 30 years ago, outside a convent on the Ormeau Road in Belfast, I might have had a career as a ‘matchy-matchy’ model in the pages of Vogue.