Oi Polloi

Top Ten Things of 2016

Published: Fri Dec 23 2016

It’s nearly the end of the year… a time to sit back and take stock… a time for reflection… a time for contemplation.

It’s also a time for quickly hashed together lists about clothes and stuff — so here we go — our run down of things we thought were pretty good this year.

10 - The Return of the Natalie

Just making it into the list at number ten, we’ve got those brown shoes we did with YMC and Padmore and Barnes. The Clarks Natalie has been a firm Oi Polloi favourite for donkey’s yonks, so to bring them back with the original manufacturer was a joyous experience.

9 - Printed Stuff

Magazines and books are nothing new, but this year we managed to get ourselves into gear a bit and get a few more in. Readable highlights include The Modernist Magazine, Steve Hockett’s cycling magazine thing and the endless reign of Proper. Those Patagonia books are decent too. 

8 - Those Rains Coach Jackets

Stuff happens so fast these days that it’s hard to remember what happened last week, never mind eight months ago. But one thing we haven’t forgotten from back then is that rubbery coach jacket thing we did with Rains.

Will 2017 see rubber seep yet further into mankind’s psyche? Will the water-proof floodgates finally open to a world of rubber socks, trousers and ‘boxer briefs’? Only time will tell. 

7 - Futuristic Trainers

At seven we’ve got what we’d call ‘futuristic trainers’. Futuristic trainers come in all shapes and sizes, but one things unites them… they all look like hover-cars from that old Playstation game, Wipeout.  

6 - Old Trainers

On the other side of the coin, 2016 has also been a stellar year for old trainers, and, as an extension of that, people queuing up for old trainers.

This is all well and good, but just as scientists worry we’re rapidly exhausting the earth’s oil reserves, is today’s appetite for old German handball trainers leading us to an age where there’ll be no more trainers left to reissue? A sobering thought as we go into the new year. 

5 - Luxury 

At five? Luxury. What do we mean by that? Well, luscious materials from exotic locations… golden hues… sheepskin jackets… one half ‘Mafioso wiseguy at the tennis club’, one half ‘King of Siam sat on the sofa struggling to find anything to watch on Netflix’. Ambassador you're spoiling us!

4 – Battenwear Smocks

Whilst trend forecasters and clothes-wear analysts get paid small fortunes to figure out what people want to cover their bodies with, you don’t have to be Nostradamus to know that the only thing people really care about is mint jackets. And these Battenwear smocks were definitely mint jackets.

In fact, 2017 has been a banner year for the smock category in general. Long may this continue.

3 - Those Levi's Jeans

Alright, pastel jeans in the middle of winter might not make much sense to some, but it’s always summer somewhere, isn’t it?

And anyway, with more and more people living in a glass bubble and rarely braving the outside world, worrying about getting mud and schmutz on your clothes will soon become a distant memory.  

2 - Fleeces

Just missing out on the top spot, we’ve got fleeces. Long seen as the uniform of people who work at owl sanctuaries, 2016 was the year that the fleece finally cast off its slightly mumsy shackles thanks to Patagonia, Battenwear and countless other modern day Argonauts.

Is the fleece the leather jacket of the polyester generation? We’re not sure. They are dead warm though. 

1 - White Mephistos

Which brings us to those white Mephistos. Throw some abattoir wellingtons, a pair of Air Max trainers and some chunky hiking boots into some sort of high powered industrial blender and the result is still nowhere near as good as these strange wonders.

These might not be to everyone’s taste, but that’s why they're numero uno. The best stuff in life can't be to everyone’s taste.