It is a fine sweatshirt for mowing the lawns in.

I wouldn't wear it out to dinner though.

So, when I sat down for dinner and glanced across the table at the 14-year-old male of the household, I was surprised to see him wearing my lawnmower hoodie.

If it was the family dining table, it wouldn't have caused much fuss.


But this was at a restaurant on a sort-of-special occasion. One that when I was a teenage boy, would have probably involved my best pants and nicest shirt.

The hoodie came from the same shop that his 19-year-old sister favours.

Except his sister wouldn't wear a sweatshirt that I mowed lawns in to dinner. And his sister has a knack of putting together a few items and some accessories to create a funky outfit.

The only accessory the 14-year-old totes at dinner is a removable dental plate he wears under duress, which he has a habit of removing and putting next to his plate. (He has pointed out, where else would he put it, by the way.)

We did manage to get a collared shirt on him once but that was because someone had died.

At least he had long pants on, that night at dinner.

Shorts tend to be standard wear for dinner, movies and pretty much every other occasion.

If the prime minister turned up for dinner, he'd wear shorts.

But winter (ie, his mother) got to him before he left the house that night and he put pants on. Somehow the fact he was wearing Dad's lawnmower sweatshirt escaped me.

I asked where he had got it from. Turns out it was drying on a coat hanger near his bedroom.

Which made it his. It's a fair enough argument if you are a Viking. He's not.

It's not entirely unusual to see him wearing my clothing so perhaps I encouraged it.

I cast off a few T-shirts a while back with no expectations but he wandered out one day wearing a T-shirt for a band he has never listened to, not willingly, anyway.

I have to admit I admire the fact he doesn't really seem to care. He is clean, hygienic and relatively polite.

Especially to hospitality staff, after hearing only slightly embellished horror stories from his parents about what wait staff and chefs do to the plates of rude diners.

And who cares if he couldn't care two hoots that his mother and I occasionally look at him and go, "What the hell are you wearing?"

Although sometimes I wonder if he does care more than he lets on, but the joy he gets from knowing that it winds me up supersedes his sartorial care factor.

And it gives us something to talk about at dinner.