Wednesday 13 December 2017

Tuxes or trackies? Time to ignore formal Flatley and slip into your best sweats

Jennifer Lopez. Photo: PA
Jennifer Lopez. Photo: PA

HE might have read "that James Joyce book" four hundred times but never, ever, it can now be revealed, has Michael Flatley done so while wearing a tracksuit.

Do you feel humbled? Unrefined? A bit uncouth and provincial?

Yes, I do mean you - the one reading the latest J.K. Rowling thriller while snuggled on the couch in your old pink velour Juicy Couture, or maybe a new Abercrombie and Fitch number.

Our Lord Michael of Castlehyde just doesn't get you, you know.

"I don't understand people who say they can't wait to get home and throw on their sweats," Flatley told Hello!.

In the same interview, he declares his love of formal dress.

Oh dear. One can picture poor Michael shaking that blonde leonine head of his and wailing plaintively 'as bearla' to his wife Niamh: "Arra shure, I just can't be understandin' why they do be doing that. Begorragh, 'tis uncivilised Niamh, so it 'tis.

"Do they not know how much it hurts my Oirish soul, so it does, to see them like that, in that get-up?"

Tut. Tut. How ungrateful can you get, people? There our conquering Lord of the Manor and the Flames and the Celtic Dance is, spending gazillions down in the Republic of Cork trying to bring culture to the ignorant, unwashed Irish peasantry and what do yis go and do?

Yis wear tracksuits is what. In your own homes. For comfort, so you say.

No wonder none of ye have managed to get beyond reading the dirty bits in Ulysses, never mind try your hand at Finnegans Wake.

Michael however, wouldn't be seen dead in a tracksuit, you see. Clothes do maketh the man - or at least the scholar. Or the dancer for that matter.

Now personally I would have thought a nice see-through satin negligee more appropriate attire for a nocturnal ramble through Joyce's Nighttown after dinner than a full dress up number, but that's just me.


I'm more of a tee and leggings girl myself but please don't tell Michael, he'd never have me down to Castlehyde again (not that he ever has but I optimistically await the invite, somewhat like a destitute débutante living in hope of the redeeming call to the palace).

However, and I may be wrong about this, but I strongly suspect that dressing up for dinner wasn't much done in the Chicago neighbourhood where little Michael Flatley learned how to hoof, Irish style.

His dad was very successful in the construction business there, not a place where a cravat or tie was necessary to seal a deal.

Today however, Michael says that himself and his wife Niamh "have dinner in the formal dining room every Friday night when we are in Castlehyde...I will wear a suit and tie or a tuxedo... I get out some gin and take my time preparing the perfect Martini." Swoon.

But hang on a minute, if a tracksuit was good enough for the likes of Jennifer Lopez and Eva Longoria back in the day, why should we feel shame if we want to slip into our old Juicy Couture at the end of a hard week?

I suspect it may be because WAGS like Colleen and Cheryl, wearing such 'lounge-wear' as 'high-fashion' accessorised with Ugg boots and blonde extensions ruined it for everyone.

I mean, when was the last time you heard Coleen Rooney debate the finer points of Dubliners in an interview?

As every hip Dublin teen will tell you today's cool trackies are the astronomically priced brands Abercrombie and Fitch or Hollister.

Both my kids are mega-fans and neither, sadly, are Joycean scholars.

But I live in hope that they will heed the words of our cultivated Lord Flatley and dump the track-suits in favour of tuxes or tails. At the very least it will a hell of a lot cheaper.

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