My ex-boyfriend introduced me to the term ‘peacocking’ – the act of dressing to attract attention – when I questioned him over his penchant for jazzy snapbacks and kaleidoscopic kicks. He claimed it was a way of ensnaring the lady-folk and ensuring he stood out. In fairness, he did ensnare lady-folk (no ensnaring occurred while we were together; a lot of joint peacocking occurred, mind you) and he most definitely stood out in his green and black striped Ralph polo. He taught me a lot of things over three years (that 1. I, too, loved jazzy snapbacks and kaleidoscopic kicks, 2. there is no such thing as too big a gilet and 3. he was the only man in the world who could pull off brown Nike tracky bottoms [upon reflection, I could have formed that opinion on the basis that I loved him dearly]) but, sartorially speaking, this was his most enlightening of teachings.
In the same way that male peacocks spread their mesmerising plume in a bid to enthrall da laydeez, we, too, gather our regalia and set out to beguile the onlookers of our day-to-day lives; to them, we are background noise. Except for when you’re peacocking. When you’re peacocking, you’re really fucking vivacious background noise. You are the cause of double takes, the subject of Snapchat stories, the recipient of a ‘holy fuck, she looks like Miley Cyrus!‘ or a ‘holy. fuck. she looks like Miley Cyrus’ (one’s bangerz, one’s bad; you figure it out). The sane among us know that being likened to Miley Cyrus is a victory; some folk simply won’t ever appreciate nipple pasties and a Pam Anderson crotch-cut. But – good news – you don’t have to go getting all foam-fingered up in order to dabble in the delightful arts of peacocking. If you’re not a fully-fledged PC’er just yet and/or have no interest in spreading your plumage to its full mind-blowing potential, don’t fret. You can still shake your tailleur-feather and avoid street-side hullabaloo in the form of ‘HEY, BIG BIRD! SESAME STREET IS THAT WAY!’ from guys who clearly can’t tell ostrich from marabou (I pity the fool who can’t tell his ostrich from his marabou). All you have to do is inject a singular piece of snazz into your get-up. Wearing a plain white tee? Swap it for a bejewelled, high-neck crop top. Reaching for your leather jacket (although it must be noted that leather jackets are eternally chic, thus eternally appropes)? Grab that fluffy coat you’ve consistently set aside, for fear of being mistakenfor a walking Ted doll. I regularly eschew my jeans in favour of some kind of fabulous bottom half (as photographed below); exuberant enough to feel like a queen, tackling the mundanities of day-to-day lyf, without feeling like a total eyesore.
Now, I know this isn’t rocket science, and I know you all dress like a bunch of kick-ass cosmo-naughts on the regs; so take this as a gentle reminder to spice up your life and extend your plumage to its full ebullient glory once in a while. You are *not* forgetful background noise. You are double-take material. ALWAYS.