Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Wear your manshmina with pride

We're all struggling to keep warm at the moment - this feels like the longest winter since public transport options came with a woolly coat and 16ft tusks.

So how are we supposed to get on with the task in hand when it's frostier than a development review with Gordon Brown?

Let's be honest, it's not easy typing in a duffel coat. Another option is to wrap up in so many layers that you look like Courtney Cox in her flashback fat-suit. Or you could dig out that knitwear that should only ever be seen on a Fisherman's Friend ad.

Thankfully, we no longer have to shiver in silence. According to a number of leading fashion experts, this is the age of the indoor scarf. As long as your neck is warm, you could plan that big meeting or finish that proposal in a meat locker. And slice yourself some delicious carpaccio while you're in there.

It's hardly surprising that the frost-bitten fashionistas in Canada were quick to identify the trend, advising that scarves "are also for indoor wear, lending effortless style to an outfit". However, they're quick to caution against over-accessorising your knitted accoutrements, warning "a scarf placed on one shoulder and held with a brooch would be my idea of dated."

Fortunately, the pairing of winterwear with cameos and brooches is likely to be limited, since the soaring popularity of the indoor scarf is largely thanks to chilly-chinned men. All over the country, guys are happily turning up to work in their favourite t-shirts, with only a stripy piece of knitwear to shield them from the elements.

Ten years ago, it was all about the pashmina. Nervous zoo managers had to beef up the security around the alpaca enclosures, fearful that some under-dressed wage slave might scale the fence with a knife and a portable knitting loom. Suddenly every office looked like a pantone reference book full of part-mummified corpses.

Well now it's our turn to embrace our fashion destiny. Throw off your jacket. Burn that fleece. The 'manshmina' has arrived. And best of all, you'll still feel the benefit when you go outside.

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