Far more expensive than the shoes she wants…

Far more expensive than the shoes she wants…

being: the art of negotiating The Complex World of Covert Clobber

For the sartorially weak-willed among us (and let’s be honest, most of you reading this will be), there is nothing more challenging than trying to get your newly purchased packages past the hawk-like eyes of the other half. Or bringing half-priced selvedge denim and SunSurf in from Japan without waking up Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs.

But don't panic when you hear those dreaded words, “Is that new?” Having spent many years perfecting surruptitiousness into an art-form, below are the top five failsafe excuses…

1 'The Split'
To be used if she insists on seeing the bank statement. Settle up with two simple yet effective half payments within the shop. So a £200 shirt gets paid £110 cash and £89.99 on the card. A knowing nod and a wink from the vendor, and you’re home free.

2 'The Swap'
You deny even having purchased said garms, having instead simply swapped with a mate. Slightly risky as it requires a mate of similar build, who is either single or is with someone who you other half doesn’t know, and will never know.


3 The Stash
You’ve snuck your purchase into your house, and hidden it well. But you'll need to keep it stashed for a couple of months. That way, when you eventually do wear it out and she asks “Is that new?”, you can genuinely answer "no" and you "bought it months ago."  Requires considerable self-restraint but at least you’re not telling porkies. Strictly speaking, anyway.

4 The Sneak
Seen something expensive? Buy it, then go somewhere and buy a relatively cheap alternative.  Then show her the receipt for the latter when questioned.  Once you’ve passed the test, take said cheap item back for a full refund. Failsafe.

5 The Swerve
Fewer import sellers are now prepared to mark your package up as a gift or sample. And even if they do, once your card is marked by Customs, you are pretty well fucked for import tax every time. Simply create new identities, and use your nan’s or parents address to receive the goods. Chances are their home address for schmutter is like baby urine to a Russian shot-putter – clean and untraceable.

Issue FourSteve Beale