Tuesday, 18 September 2012

'Pull over!' Cardigan actually, but thanks for noticing

I'm angry about a million things today, despite the good efforts of colleagues and new students to spread cheer and light about the place. How about the plan to abolish passport checks at UK airports for rich people? That's pretty symbolic of this government. Or Mitt Romney announcing that his 'job is not to care' about poor Americans who don't pay taxes (i.e. the unemployed, the old, the low-paid veterans and care-givers), despite refusing to release his own tax records, believed to reveal a concerted effort to hide his billions in mom-and-apple-pie American states like, er, the Cayman Islands and Switzerland?

But I'll leave all that for another day. The subject of this entry is… cardigans. My boss is a very funny and kind man. But he has a blind spot when it comes to cardigans. To him they are - for some unspecified reason - signifiers of all that's wrong with modern society. Or something. Today - and not for the first time - he introduced me to this year's student intake as 'the one with the dodgy cardigans. At least today's looks like it was bought in a shop'. Which is a bit odd coming from an (if you'll excuse the pun) dyed-in-the-wool socialist like him. Isn't hand-made a good thing? Especially when they're as beautifully made and personally tailored as mine.

As it happens, today's cardigan was bought off-the-peg. It's a lovely deep claret colour which goes well with my cherry-red DMs as part of my Smiths/Blur in the Modern Life is Rubbish era look. There are many reasons why cardigans are excellent. 

Firstly, there's this:

Morrissey was in the Smiths. Morrissey wore cardigans. Ergo, cardigans are cool. (We'll draw a discreet veil over Morrissey's statements on race and immigration because a judge agreed that they aren't at all racist. Not a bit). 

Secondly, there's this chap:

I fervently hope that Kurt Cobain didn't get gore on his cardigan during that whole unfortunate head/shotgun interface event. There's even a song about it. It's by The Pains of Being Pure at Heart and it's called 'Kurt Cobain's Cardigan':

And then of course there's the groundswell of sartorial wisdom that says cardigans are cool. Hadley Freeman of the Guardian said so only today:
Male cardigans have been so popular in Fashion Land for so long that they are nigh on a basic at this point, so much so that they have been picked up by another similar kingdom, the Metrosexual World, and been donned by those masses accordingly.
Cardigans are about providing warmth without bulk (forbidden in Fashion Land); they give an element of quirk and Geek Chic. You are just indoctrinated with an anachronistic idea that cardigans don't suit men under the age of 70. Undoctrinate yourself, please. 

while the Independent also invokes Mr Cobain amidst a paean of praise to the cardigan. 

There's another reason why cardigans are cool. If like me you're a gentleman of a certain age (37), your physique is potentially becoming a little more plastic than it might be. My usual choice of attire is a v-neck jumper, but as my pectorals come to resemble the dreaded moobs and my once-taut stomach evokes images of an obese seal, a tight jumper becomes less flattering. A cardigan, however, releases us from the self-consciousness.

Finally, cardigans are cool because they enable further coolness. Being a fat indie bloke of 37, most of my T-shirts reference books, films and other cultural artefacts which are both too cool and too old for you. If I wore a jumper, I couldn't be recognised as cool by other cool blokes (of either sex) of the Indie Masonry. A cardigan affords the clued-in viewer a guide to the cultural perspective of the t-shirt flaunter. No cardigan, no appreciative grins at my 1994 Gorky's Zygotic Mynci shirt, my Green Lantern shirts, the Flash shirt, the Welsh-language one or the Braille one Ben gave me which looks like a New Order cover but actually reads 'Fuck The Tories'. 

Anyway, my boss is no style icon himself. Despite turning up to work on a series of stunning motorbikes, he had a lengthy mullet and drinks Carling… by choice


N. said...

This just made laugh out loud. I just can picture Dearest D. saying 'that this one at least looks like it's bought' Hahaha! Keep on rocking the cardigans, though, they're great.

(By the way, Dearest D. and Carling? That's somewhat destroying the image of coolness)


The Plashing Vole said...

Thanks N, whoever you are! I love D, he's a great man. But nobody gets away with mocking my cardigans twice.

Nasher said...

I happen to quite like your cardigans. I also found myself purchasing the odd cardy or two during my time at Uni. The dark place is a little cool in winter and the humble cardigan is a must have. Keep wearing them with pride Vole x