The Tattler

The Chinos for Chavs Foundation: will you join the Tattler’s fight for a better-dressed society?

column columnist fancy dress jerusalem london riots real tennis Stephen Hester Swap the tattler tracksuit bottom

Oh dear, I have been a naughty boy and caused rather a stir. This email arrived in my inbox on Tuesday afternoon:


Please report to my office first thing tomorrow morning. Your supervisor, Professor X, has explained to me your decision to boycott this morning’s supervision on the grounds that your supervision partner’s tracksuit bottoms were “inappropriate and offensive”.

This kind of behaviour is unacceptable and needs to be discussed.


Professor Y”

Some acquaintances have lambasted my dogmatic intolerance, but more fool them. Tracksuit bottoms are toxic to our society. This is not an opinion I hold passively; I consider myself an activist in this noble fight. I spent the aftermath of the London riots doing my part to ‘clean up the streets’. I went in search of any participants of that peasant party, providing them with a list of retails stocking well-priced trousers. Similarly, I am wholeheartedly opposed to this talk of increasing university fees. With reduced wherewithal, how will students be able to purchase proper legwear? It’s absurd. I thought I found a solution this week and subsequently spend most of Monday drafting a letter to convince Stephen Hester to take his £963,000 bonus and donate it to my Chinos For Chavs Foundation. No response just yet.

I refuse to be labeled an intolerant dogmatist. I permit the use of the tracksuit bottom in sport and, ever since my teenage ‘Baroque freestyling’ fad, hold a mild appreciation for the formative role they played in defining the early hip-hop movement. However, this is a university and when that baggy, ash-gray concoction of cotton, logos and elastic waist bands come knocking… We must stand up for what is right.

“When in Rome do as the Romans do”. Not that I dabble in your borderline-autistic social practice known as ‘a swap’… but I can be sure that once in a whilst a guest presents him- or herself bereft of the lowbrow, smutty fancy dress required. And this person will most certainly be thought of as a cretinous buffoon! Invite me for a game of Real Tennis and my tracksuit bottoms may just come out! We must demand better from those who perpetrate the codes of dress that underpin order in our society.

Alas, my disciplinary meeting was not the erotic fantasy I have always dreamt of. There were no sultry voices, no pacing around the rooms and no threatening whispers in my ear. I took the criticism offered and retorted with characteristic courage, convincingly laying out the points I have addressed to you here.

I now find myself temporarily suspended. This velour-infested institution has shut me out for nothing more than pointing out that it has lost its way. Such is the price for the principled in this sportswear-strewn wasteland.

These are the moments in life that test the character of a man. Martyrdom is the plaything of the foolish, but what choice do I have? No doubt I will be labeled a terrorist by the hegemonic powers that be, but I hereby declare my crusade: I will not return to this University until it returns to itself by banning that most inappropriate and offensive vulgar item of dress that is eating away at all that is good and true. Those with me: to Jerusalem!