#1029 Quote of the day – Andrew Williams on the poor dressing habits of New Zealand men

“…Kiwi men are utterly unrepentant in their desire to dress badly. Indeed, they almost revel in it. Any kind of interest in clothing is viewed as effeminate. It was as though the last forty years in male clothing and grooming hadn’t happened. Something as common place in Europe as a pink shirt is viewed with the very greatest suspicion… So what do I mean by badly dressed? For the most part I’m talking about a complete a (sic) lack of flair, care, quality and above all effort. The antipodean stereotype of stubbies (short short), singlet and work boots was all too common. But even going out to dinner it was not uncommon to see men in flip-flops. At best you’d see an excess of the purely mundane – poorly tailored jeans and uninspiring tops and trainers or work boots… For the most part all I saw were men throwing on cheap, scruffy clothes without effort or care.”

A London based fashion blogger tells it like it is after returning home from a trip down under.

[Men’s Flair]


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  1. Gen says

    Oh this whinge again. Boring, lazy, repetitive. I see plenty of well dressed guys in Auckland and Wellington. Yeah I do see more jandals than I did in London. We live in a coastal country.

    I’d rather see jandals and shorts than the grey tracksuit paints and polyester England football shirts (usually accessorised with gold chains or strongbow cider cans) that used to make my eyes bleed on any high street in London.

  2. Anonymous says

    It’s possible to cultivate an interest in fashion yourself, dress in a fashionable way, yet not prescribe that others do so…Seems a bit self-absorbed to me…

  3. says


    although i like to dress well, enjoy fashion and wouldn’t personally like to be seen in what a LOT of guys wear, i also think it’s a GOOD national trait to not take ourselves (including our appearance) too seriously. i don’t care if a london snob (or any other fashion commentator) looks down on kiwis for wearing jandals to dinner.

    i loved the fact that over the holidays i didn’t wear a closed shoe once – they’re simply not practical in a country with this much coastline. it’s also good to have those ‘i don’t give a crap what i wear today as long as it’s comfortable’ days. summer is humid and sticky, so why not be comfortable!


  4. says

    All fair points, and there’s no doubt that there is an element of snobbery in this guy’s post – he also said that he didn’t see any attractive women while in the country. But I still feel like men in this country could benefit from taking a bit more pride in their appearance.

  5. oldgirl says

    what do the want from n.z men, the bald head, beer belly, poly football tops with jeans low aroung their bums, and a going out outfit to go to the “clubs” is a shirt to tight over the belly and the same jeans. I do not think so. The basic englishman has no style just watch them on some of “boozed up aboard” shows in fact any English show. Kiwi men do have their own style some good and some bad,but the English are a lot worse.

  6. says

    US style leaves little to be desired too, there is unfashionable dressing everywhere. While I’m not a fan of male dress in NZ, I am glad they are more reticent and reserved about it – as opposed to the OTT, in-your-face bad taste you see elsewhere.

  7. Gen says

    This guy is a prat. I bet he wears the chinos + tucked in shirt + deck shoes uniform of the aspiring toff.

    I cam across dicks liek this in London and they were never happier than dumping on what they continued to call “the colonies”.

    P.S. We’re meant to heed fashion advice from the guy who thinks these looks great?



  8. says

    Meh…I do get the point about a pink shirt though. My pommy husband wore one to work ONCE and was told ‘Gay day is next week Dave’ 😉 When I first got to the UK in 1995 I definitely found people in central London (we can’t generalise to the rest of the UK – man I’ve seen some baaaad outfits in Northampton for example, and yes the ubiquitous football shirt makes me want to vomit)dressed with a lot of care and expense. However I was pleasantly surprised upon returning home in 2006 how hot the local (central Auckland) chicks dressed. Not so much the men, but then God gave us gorgeous Polynesians and Maoris to make up for the overuse of slightly shiny black suits and white shirts. In either case I think both sexes are making more of an effort, and are more informed now than ever before. Disclaimer: I LOVE a good jandal.

  9. Anonymous says

    Most of the people he met here were probably skanky British backpackers!!!! It’s the same in Sydney, the poms have got to be the worst hypocrites when it comes to fashion. So funny to read ,as they themselves get bagged in Europe as total neanderthal slobs….’Coronation Street goes to Ibiza’. You get the picture. In addition, if you choose to travel here over the spring/ summer months then that’s the joy of our relaxed kiwi lifestyle. Most kiwis are smart enough not to judge people on first appearances or cars driven; they like to find out a little bit more first before deciding if someone is a bogan or not. This guy is being a total queeny prat and should keep his shallow observations to himself or his boyfriend. I know plenty of males who take great pride in their clothes and have the credit card bills to prove it!!! Isaac, perhaps you could send a message back to Andrew Miller to stop perpetuating the ‘hobbit’ stereotype of NZers. It’s so dated.

  10. oldgirl says

    what about english mens TEETH and the habit of only having a bath once a week, watch any homeshow on England there is never a shower to be seen. I lived in London a few years ago, well mybe a little longer ,anyway I know in the house we had a bedsit bath day was Sunday for all the English who lived there. They would not have known what to do with a shower. I would rather have a clean Kiwi over a smelly Enlish man. Aleast we have the weather to wear a jandal

  11. Anonymous says

    I have to say I think NZ is way too laid back for my liking, but They will always be like that so instead of trying to change them,I think it would be easier to just move to france or Italy where its a way of life? I love how they take real pride in themselves. And I must say even the so called ‘fashion people of this country’ (your an exception Issac cause I like your sense of stye) is somwhat too trendy for my liking. They kill trends in like 5 minutes of wearing it. And they are no where near as polished as the Europeans. But yes this is my rant for this afternoon:)Love the blog Issac!!

  12. Anonymous says

    i agree, kiwi men (not all) are atrocious dressers. and yeah, yeah, there are bad dressers EVERYWHERE but i’m talking about NZ, and the majority tend to fuse beach, rugby, hallenstines wear like there’s no tomorrow. and the whole effeminate debacle, he is so right. it sucks that to many here tailored or ‘anything-other-than-my-boardies’ = gay.

  13. says

    hmmm, yeah its a generalization on his part and yeah there are crappy looking poms too, but I do think he has a point. There is a place for jandals , and perhaps it wouldnt hurt to put some effort in when you are heading out for dinner. I dont think its necessarily about being a fashion follower, its about putting in some effort, dressing for the occasion and having some pride in your appearance. Give it a try you might just feel good about it, and people ( despite it being morally wrong ra ra) do respond positively if you try.

  14. Anonymous says

    This is thoroughly insulting! How ironic- a British man complains about the people in a country which is dominantly british! How silly of him. You cannot stereotype a whole nation- god its sick sick sick!!!!!!!!

  15. Anonymous says

    “The antipodean stereotype of stubbies (short short), singlet and work boots was all too common”
    I don’t suppose, just maybe, he saw some men actually going off to work? I know it’s hard to believe that some men have jobs that do require them to get a little mucky. So little time for a
    man-icure when you been on the end of a shovel all day…

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