One of the chief benefits of shooting is the clothes. But while this sport has the power to expand the wardrobe, it simultaneously militates against wearing it, and this is the paradox I grapple with. It is of course infra-dig to wear shooting clothes that look new; preferably they should give the air of having had at least two prior generations pass through them.
Now as it happens I do have a particularly knackered pair of plus fours and a beaten-up Purdey shooting mac, but of course I also have plenty of brand spanking new shooting clobber that I want to put into action, but which I will have age around town first, although somehow I can’t quite see myself nipping to the garage for a pint of milk in the whole Goldfinger-goes-golfing look.
To this dilemma I must also add another barrier, namely that I am a relative neophyte when it comes to shooting. Having taken to it later in life and not having terrifically good eyesight, I am not a good shot and therefore do not want seem too established in my attire. A pair of pre-Christian plus fours would presage a degree of facility with a shotgun that completely eludes me. However, the other day an old shooting hand imparted a very valuable tip. He thinks it much smarter to shoot in tweed trousers rather than plus fours.
It is a brilliant solution that I wish I could claim as my own: it strikes a note of individuality, implies a passing familiarity with the country without being specifically to do with shooting, and what is more I shouldn’t get too many funny looks when I am at the local forecourt mini-mart.