S’pore man goes viral with odd love for Aussie shirt
What do you buy when you visit Australia - a koala bear plushie, fridge magnet, boomerang? How about a uniform that Aussie tradesmen wear?
A Singaporean tourist did not just get a tradie shirt, a term used for the blue-collar uniform, he made it go viral by wearing it everywhere he went Down Under. He even continued wearing it after he came back to Singapore.
The high-visibility shirts are an iconic part of Aussie tradie culture. But the $8 shirts, which you can get from Kmart, don't normally rock the fashion world.
The man's fiancee, Ms Renae Cheng, 30, shared a hilarious TikTok about his love for the attire, which got almost 1 million views and over 1,500 comments in just four days.
Speaking to MS News, Ms Cheng, who works at TheSmartLocal, said that she made the post on a whim and had no idea it would go viral.
She saw her fiancé wearing the shirt yet again and wanted to make fun of him as she always does.
“It’s just that this time I wanted to post online about it to share how silly and goofy he is, mainly to my friends who follow me online, and to partake in the TikTok ‘beige flag’ trend.
“My fiance’s beige flag is that… he unironically loves the Australian tradie uniform aesthetic,” she said.
A “beige flag” refers to “attributes that are neither good nor bad, but still give reason for pause” when it comes to dating someone.
She recalls getting “a sad 300+ likes” on Instagram but after she posted the TikTok, it went from 5,000 to 500,000 views in just half a day.
Then she woke up to hundreds of comments after the TikTok post reached Australians, along with a flood of positive reactions.
"Honorary Aussie," said one commenter.
"My bf is a tradie and he would love to gift him a tradie shirt with his name on it!!! He thought this video was the cutest ever," said another.
Many people have sent the man “fan mail” since Ms Cheng's TikTok post went viral, including TradeMutt, a social impact brand.
It also led to plenty of press coverage and the couple even appeared on live Australian news for a virtual interview.
Ms Cheng explained that her fiancé “fell in love” with the neon orange tradie uniform when he visited Australia for the first time last August and saw them at a Kmart outlet.
He even braved the cold to wear it during winter in Australia.
When he wore the shirt on his flight back to Singapore, a tradie staff at the airport saw it and said to him, “Nice fashion!”
“My fiancé giggled shyly but deep down he was elated,” Ms Cheng said.
When the couple returned to Australia in June this year, it was a must to return to Kmart and reunite with his beloved tradie shirts.
“In conclusion, get you a man who will love you the way my fiancé loves tradie uniforms,” was Ms Cheng's sage advice.