I’ve come to realize, over the past year or so, that all “premium” (read: expensive) cable channels adhere to this cyclical schedule wherein each month they pick a handful of new releases and proceed to air them to absolute death. While normally only one of this films is watching, (if that) fortunately for me, February’s crop includes one of my favorite movies of the past year or so – The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.
So with this past week being one of the most hectic of the year I’ve found myself coming home at all hours of the night and tuning into David Fincher’s 2011 adaptation of the first installation of Stieg Larsson’s Millenium series, which has led me to two conclusions – one this is a terrible movie to fall asleep to and two Daniel Craig’s character has the most enviable shawl collar cardigan collection I’ve ever seen.
George Peppard and the Cardigan Layer
New York Fashion Week is nigh upon us here in the city, which means that it’s been about a year now since I first came face to face with the bizarre world of “capital F Fashion.” In that year, my style hasn’t changed much, (which I’m happy about for a multitude of reasons, not the least of which is monetary), so with a few exceptions here and there, I plan to keep it pretty boring and just wear the same pieces this time around as I did twelve months ago. Although, there are two things that I wore heavily this past winter, but will remain in my closet this time around, and that’s my pair of down vests. It was around this time last year, as menswear was reaching it’s peak of Italian infatuation, that the down vest was thrust from the L.L. Bean back catalog, slimmed down and reinterpreted as winter’s layering pièce de résistance for much of the younger generation (myself included.)
It’s been about eight months since I first saw the above photo of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig wearing Yankees sweaters on Kiyoshi’s blog, but I don’t think there’s been a week that’s gone by that I haven’t come back to it. The photo has become one of my favorite fall points of reference, but it’s also been quite a curiosity, leaving me to wonder where exactly those sweaters come. At first I suspected they were just something that the players might have ordered for themselves to wear on off days. But then a couple weeks back while watching a football game, the idea came to me that maybe the sweaters were some sort of warm up gear for the players, akin to the windbreakers and nylon jackets that we see today. With this in mind, I began searching and that one photo of Ruth and Gehrig quickly lead to others. Images of players sitting on the bench wearing cream colored cardigans covered in logos, team photos with all the players wearing identical navy sweaters, teams taking the field in matching shawl collar sweaters.
We purchase two kinds of clothes, those that rest in our closet and those that rest in our minds. We buy those essentials-shirts, shoes, socks, trousers that sit idle throughout our rooms waiting for us to toss them on absentmindedly as we piece together a Monday morning outfit. And then there are those rare few pieces that drive us simultaneously towards inspiration and obsession. They make us never want to wear anything else, to find a way to fit them into every single outfit we wear with in a week, these are the items that illustrate the true value of clothes. They make us happier when we wear them, they strike confidence in us, and when they’re on our backs we truly believe we’re the best we can be. I was fortunate enough to acquire one of these elusive pieces this past week, as I stumbled upon a late eighties Polo Ralph Lauren double breasted cardigan.