It’s a sweeping generalisation
The male estate agent fits into three basic categories. Luckily they make themselves easily identifiable to the outside world by means of a strictly adhered to uniform code:
- The White Sock.
- The Expensive Suit.
- The Beige Chino.
The White Sock estate agent is young, brash, slick and has a penchant for pointy shoes and expensive hair products. What they lack in experience they make up for in enthusiasm and sweet selling skills. They’ve sometimes been to as many as 2 training courses at a hotel in Milton Keynes and their Audi hatchback corners faster than any other car on the road. They look up to the Expensive Suit, but down on the Beige Chino.
Like some sort of rubbish Pokemon the Expensive Suit is an evolution, rising out of the White Sock. After 5 or 10 years of knocking on doors and delivering leaflets they’ve progressed within the trade and become quite successful. They’re now in charge of an office, sometimes as an employee and sometimes running their own company. They now have an Audi saloon with big alloy wheels and Bluetooth. The Expensive Suit occupies arguably a pleasing middle ground in the hierarchy. They still have some of the enthusiasm of the White Sock, but without the brashness, and have much of the experience of the Beige Chino, but without the golf. They look back at the White Sock with a certain amount of fondness and have mixed feelings about the Beige Chino, in some ways thinking it might be nice to eventually get there, in others worried that doing so would surely signal the end of their youth.
The Beige Chino can be an evolution of the Expensive Suit, but can also come from a completely different place to the other two.
If it’s an evolution, it’s one that the agent slowly slips into some time after their 45th birthday, around the day they pick up a golf club. As the waist expands the sharp suit makes way for the more comfortable pleat-fronted trouser. The work rate drops and the time off rises. And why not? By this time the estate agent has earned this chance to enjoy life a little more. Their experience is long, their wisdom great and their clients can learn more from them in a 3 day week than the other two could provide in 6. The Audi saloon wells into an estate or even one of those whopping 4x4s that don’t quite fit in the Waitrose car park spaces.
The second form of Beige Chino has not risen through the ranks, but has landed in the comfortable trouser by breeding or by marriage. This is a slightly different class of estate agent. The lunches are as long, but the Audi is out and the Land Rover is in. For the most accomplished the beige trouser can be dropped in favour of a deep red. Or even salmon. But a chino it remains. This agent often has actual professional qualifications and an air of confidence that the evolved chino wearer can’t quite match. Respect is commanded.
Both Beige Chinos are thoroughly comfortable in who they are, they need not look down on, up to, or sideways at the White Sock or Expensive Suit as they’re above all that. They’re plotting a gentle course over still seas to the warm waters of retirement and they’re very much enjoying themselves.
Of course I’m not like any of those estate agents, I transcend the three categories above, combining the best elements of all three and avoiding the worst. I only wear white socks when the sport demands, I don’t go in for expensive suits and as far as I can recall have never owned a single pair of chinos. I am a unique and beautiful snowflake. I don’t even have an Audi, although the way the indicators on the new ones whizz from side to side a bit like the light on the front of KITT is quite cool.
And definitely not self-deluded.