Summer sartorialism, Kiwi style

Being summer and all that in the southern hemisphere I figured I should finish up the year with a small homage to summer clothes, Kiwi bloke style. Disclaimer: I have none of these in my own wardrobe.

1. Walk shorts.

Style: Short trousers for men, same style as a business suit but stopping mid-thigh.
Accompanied by: Long socks, pulled up to knee height, with open-toed leather (‘Roman’) sandals.
Used as: Business attire.
Where seen: Napier, a lot.
Cringe factor: High.

2. Jandals

Style: Rubber soles with a double strap sweeping back from a vertical rubber pillar gripped firmly between the big and second toes on each foot, Japanese sandal style.
Used as: Business attire, home-wear, on beaches, and absolutely everywhere at all times in summer.
Where jandals aren’t used: It’s illegal to drive a vehicle when wearing them.
Origin of name: Corruption of ‘Japanese Sandals’.
Most common action when wearing: Stubbing own toes while trying to winkle the jandal back into place under the foot.
Cringe factor: Zero. These things are cool.

3. Stubbies

Style: Ultra-short shorts for men, typically offered in brown or, alternatively, brown.
When popular: 1973. Other things also popular the same year included the Bay City Rollers, Agent Orange and asbestos.
Availability: Mercifully, none.
Cultural place: Iconic, but only for the horror value.
Cringe factor: Infinity.

And here’s a homage to them, inside an advert for another piece of Kiwiana, voiced by Jermaine Clement from ‘Flight of the Conchords’:

Copyright © Matthew Wright 2018

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4 thoughts on “Summer sartorialism, Kiwi style

  1. Agree with you on stubbies, but walk shorts can look fine. Maybe it’s those knee socks. And jandals used to be called “thongs” when I was a kid, decades ago. They were popular with mothers as summer footwear for kids, being cheap. Now “thongs” are a kind of underwear, and the rubber sandals are called “flip-flops.” They seem to be universally popular here now, and not just in summer.
    Happy New Year!

    1. Yes, there’s nothing unique about New Zealand jandals other than the name we give them! The US vs Canada/NZ difference in the meaning of ‘thong’ as a garment or shoe seems to hold all kinds of hilarious and absurd possibilities. All the best for a great New Year and here’s to a wonderful 2018!

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