John Halewood-Dodd column: Summer wardrobe problems for less domesticated solicitors

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This heatwave is long overdue, and I for one will not be moaning about how oppressive the hot weather is, but please spare a thought for those of us who are in a profession where we are expected to wear a suit, shirt and tie at all times.

Not the greatest hardship I accept but it does get unbearably hot and stuffy in the cell area and courtrooms.

Every now and again the magistrates, on seeing how red faced and struggling to breathe the solicitors are, agree to a break from protocol and afford us the opportunity to remove our jackets.

This comes as a welcome relief but I do recall one occasion when this offer led to a great deal of consternation for yours truly.

Before I was lucky enough to meet my hard pressed wife Lisa (pun intended) I really was a true bachelor whose domestic skills were limited to say the least.

I am sure that I am not the only male who simply cannot iron. Well, that’s not entirely true I can iron, but to do a half decent job on one shirt would take me more than an hour. In order to reduce this time consuming chore I would do what I’m sure countless men have done and would simply iron the front. This left the sleeves and back resembling the hind quarters of an aged rhinoceros.

Imagine my horror when the chair of the magistrates suggested that we remove our jackets. At first I pretended not to hear, but when everyone else removed theirs, and the offer was repeated to me directly, I was left with no alternative but to take my jacket off for fear of offending the bench. There I was, in all my glory, stood looking like Compo’s poor relation.

Solicitors, being the professionals they are, surely wouldn’t exploit my embarrassing situation! Yeah, right! For the next two or three years I was not so lovingly referred to as “Crumplestiltskin”.

Lesson learned and now I am pleased to announce that I can make a ‘stay-press’ shirt look presentable in less than 45 minutes. Enjoy the summer.