Throughout lockdown, Victorians have more or less been telling time and date based on when Premier Dan Andrews appears for his daily press conferences, and what he’s wearing. Clocks and calendars have become practically useless, with the weeks defined by the Premier’s attire. But in recent days the Premier’s trademark North Face jacket – previously, the only clear indication that it was the weekend – has gone missing. And finally, someone has asked the question that needed to be asked.

The Andrews press conferences became such a part of daily life in Melbourne that it was easy to determine the severity of the news the Premier had to deliver based on a handful of key clues.

In a widely shared Tweet, writer David Milner detailed the system of Andrews attire and appearances, with the North Face jacket clearly defining the weekend days.

But in recent weeks that jacket – the Apex Bionic 2 for those keeping score at home – has gone missing.

Press conferences across the weekends have taken a significantly more serious tone, with Andrews using the Sunday slot in recent weeks to address the gradual rollback of Victoria’s lockdown conditions.

And yet, interest in the jacket – and its whereabouts – remains high. So much so that a reporter finally asked him the question in today’s press conference.

Sumeyya Ilanbey, state political reporter for The Age, became the journo bold enough as to enquire about the missing jacket a short time ago.

In a question that stopped the Premier dead in his tracks, Ilanbey asked “I don’t want to comment on the Premier’s clothes but your North Face jacket has been a main stay of our lives and it has been missing for a number of weeks and I have been getting a lot of questions about it. Would you like to enlighten the good people of Victoria?”

Stifling a laugh, Andrews gave the answer we’ve been seeking for weeks now. Though he didn’t confirm the jacket’s whereabouts, he did hint that it could make a return if that’s what the public wants.

“I haven’t given it a lot of thought. If you are putting in a bid or a pitch for me to wear it some time soon I will give that due thought and we will see what comes of that. We will see what comes of that,” he stated.

So there it is. The North Face jacket may be making a comeback. Weekends in Victoria could soon have order restored. All may once again be right with the world.

Image: Getty Images / Asanka Ratnayake