Some of us struggle with dressing properly, others carry it off, writes Matt Heath.

Whatever happens in the John Campbell saga, one thing's for sure. The man will turn up suited up and looking good.

I have a lot of respect for people who wear suits well. Like many of my generation I have failed to learn how to dress myself properly. People like me wear shorts and Jandals for six months a year, and jeans halfway down the arse for the rest. We feel stupid in shoes that aren't sneakers, we're too scared to tuck in and only shave quarterly.

It's not that we don't want to wear nice suits. It's just not practical. The problem starts downstairs. Fitted suit pants are challenging for many Kiwi males.

If you've lived your life in jeans, the thin material of a proper pant leaves you feeling exposed. You're practically naked. The exact outline of your C sits down one thigh while your Bs are forced to clump down the other. Suit pants must be worn high and this causes the crotch seam to hungrily invade the backside. You end up walking around weddings and funerals presenting like a happy cat.


The problems don't end downstairs. When you're used to loose-fitting tees, the done-up top button of a nice shirt brutally throttles your Adam's apple. Whole evenings wasted simultaneously fingering your buttock seam and neck hole. It's a humiliator.

A lot of it comes down to early career choices. Some go straight into suit-wearing professions out of school. These people have a real advantage over us casual types. They've grown comfortable with fancy cloth invading their regions. They've learned to deal with the split down the middle. Many of them enjoy it.

John Campbell must absolutely love it. I've been following his career for over a decade and I've never seen him sans-suit.

I'm envious but not resentful. JC is a good man. He's definitely a better human than me and he's probably a better human than you. Genuine and clever but also appealing on a purely superficial level. John Campbell has been blessed with the kind of face you don't feel like punishing.

He's become suaver and suaver with age. Early in his career his head featured a sizeable set of David Bain's. It gave him a nice simian vibe but lacked authority.

Over the years he's grown into his ears nicely. Now I wouldn't change them for anything, and check out the man's skin. So silky, so smooth for a 50-year-old.

He's done well genetically but John Campbell suit-wearing is next-level. In my opinion he's the second best suit wearer in the country. The navy blue number he's been operating lately is particularly good. It fits him to the millimetre and brings out the colour in his eyes. Even when he's wearing his darkest "I'm about to be axed" sad face.

A great suit goes a long way. Take the Northland byelection. Winston Peters (New Zealand's number one suit wearer) turned up day-after-day looking dapper and electable. Mark Osbourne on the other hand chose to dress from a clothes bin. His ill-fitting casual attire made him look like Mr Blobby from Noel's House Party. He never stood a chance.


Not that I can talk. Like too many Kiwi males I make sloppy Osbourne look flash. It's a mental block. We can't break the circle of wearing weekend clothes on weekdays.

Sadly many New Zealanders will never be comfortable suit wearers. Our groins have grown accustomed to the space afforded by baggy shorts and jeans. Much like our native fauna, our crotches have been allowed to develop free from natural predators. As a result we struggle to defend ourselves against foreign invaders.

These days John Campbell probably feels a bit the same way. But whatever happens we know the man will turn up suited up, smiling and looking bloody good. You've got to love him for that.