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Gilets! Baseball caps! Crumpled shirts! How Dominic Cummings’ chaotic style is the ultimate f*** you

DomCum’s deliberately dishevelled wardrobe is an exercise in distraction dressing. Chloe Street unpacks the carefully crafted, gilet-clad madness

27 May 2021

Today’s look was quintessential Dominic Cummings chaos-chic.

As the Prime Minister’s ex-political adviser answered questions from MPs about the government’s response to the Covid pandemic, he stuck to a tried and tested wardrobe formula.

Baggy jeans? Check. Awkward athleisure anorak? Check. Inexplicable baseball cap… you bet. In fact, the only thing of note about today’s toxic ex hits the stand ensemble (almost identical to the one he wore to address accusations about his Durham jaunts in the rose garden of Number 10 last summer) was the shirt, which was fully tucked in (unusual) and had almost certainly made acquaintance with an iron sometime in the last fortnight (unheard of). His only concession to the political enormity of the event in hand.

Much like the aggressively dressed-down wardrobes of the Silicon Valley tech elite, DomCum’s deliberately disheveled wardrobe has, since he took up his official position as parliamentary chaos-creator in the mid-2000s, been an exercise in distraction dressing. The endless quilted gilets, the crumpled collar-upturned linen shirts with lanyards tucked in and inexplicable Bulldog clips attached, the way-too-baggy- jeans, layers upon layers of droopy scarves, ancient tracksuits and branded tech t-shirts of the sort one receives with a USB stick at a conference; it’s all carefully contrived.

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A middle-aged tech tycoon returns from a three-day bender aesthetic that’s at once a sartorial middle finger to the traditions of parliament, but also intended to semaphore that Cummings can’t be doing with such frippery as suit fittings, shirt ironing or brogue lacing. Cummings is way too cerebral for clean clothes, too busy disrupting and destructing to actually get dressed.

Still, when it’s your big day to send Boris’ government up in flames, you might at least bother with a blazer.