Focus people! It’s the Edinburgh Fringe, the largest arts festival in the world.
Expect to see stand-up comics in sweaty basements; sketch groups in freezing porta-cabins; drag shows in sweltering lofts; and hard-hitting political agitprop in a cramped converted bus. Who can resist, right?
‘But…’ you ask, ‘how’s a modern gent supposed to stay effortlessly chic in venues that so regularly look – and smell – like something out of a Saw movie?’ Here are a few hints:
The iron is your friend
Even if you hate ironing, while in Edinburgh start every morning and end every evening with a bit of soothing steamplay. Just swish an iron over a button down, a t-shirt, even your rain coat. It makes a huge impact. Your clothes might still smell like cigarettes, sweat and beer but they’ll be crisp and sharp – to start with at least.
Let it all hang out
When you come in from a day of shows and pubs don’t mash your clothes in a ball and throw them on the floor — hang them up and them air out. T-shirts, underwear and socks included. Then when you leave in the morning – leave yesterday’s clothes still hanging by an open window. You’ll come home to a freezing bedroom but your clothes will smell like the fresh Scottish countryside. (Unless you live above a kebab shop.) Another way to make filthy clothes wearable.
Resist the siren call of your ‘Ibiza wardrobe’
You may be on holiday but it’s not the Med. Shorts in Scotland are very rarely a good idea. If it’s warm when you leave the house in an hour it’ll be hailing. Flip flops or pool sliders on Nicholson Street don’t make you look glamorous, they make you look homeless. Instead, layer a hoodie or jumper over your t-shirt so you can strip down for a moment in the sun. Just make sure to have an umbrella handy for the inevitable freak hurricane.
Keep it simple – a dark suit, slim jeans and jumper, a crisp white button down — but add one statement item. A vintage scarf, a heavy metal tour bomber jacket, patent leather brogues, a chunky gold chain. Basics on their own are boring and you’re at an arts festival after all. Too crazy an outfit and you look like a drag queen – and there are enough of them around already. Sleek and simple with one great flourish says you’re stable and cool but open to adventure. (If, however, you’re not open to adventure can I recommend Latitude?)
Stay away from tartan
Unless you’re an American tourist…
Aug 10-28: David Mills: Shame!, Underbelly George Square, EH8 9LH / more info
Edinburgh Festivals: Full Coverage