Blue, White& Pink: Men’s Uniform
Public transport is a great place to people watch.
Walking down London’s famous shopping street, Oxford Street, you can see the frustration of the London natives. They shuffle side-to-side trying to pass leisurely tourists, that seem to dance around on the pavement.
Similarly, it’s great taking the bus at 03:30/ 04:00 and seeing a cross-section of the capital as they meet one another: you have the younger, drunker, bolder crowd coming back from a merry evening. They interrupt the often ‘invisible’ and sleepy workers — cleaners, guardsmen and transport staff — making their way to early shifts. Both are trying to catch some sleep before their stop.
The underground is a good slice of London’s city and professional classes. If you look closely you’ll notice a trend: Blue, White, and Pink. The three ‘acceptable’ shirt colours for men.
Of the men on the tube, nearly 95% of men seem to do one of these colours. They may be strippy, dotty or plain, but they do show conformity, and the proper attire we need to wear to be considered professional.
This is just one of the many subtle ways in which we confirm to the needs of the group. I’m still unsure if there is anything inherently bad about this type of sameness. Yes, it’s unimaginative, but it’s a quick identity which we may adopt too.
At times it can be difficult to see this conformity when we are ourselves are a part of it. It’s comfortable to be like everyone else.
But we should strive to occasionally see beyond this and not be afraid to be like that ‘5% man’. The one that maintains his individuality. The one that wears an orange or purple shirt under his grey suit.