When you grow up in New Orleans, you only know two seasons (hot and less hot), wool is a foreign concept, and the last snow you experienced was in the final snoball of summer.
In college, I migrated north to Washington DC, a town that isn’t quite sure if it’s in the North or the South but is undoubtedly colder than the Big Easy. I bought my first real coat, a pair of long underwear, and enough wool socks for a Canadian winter. It took me awhile to learn how to enjoy cold, and even longer, to learn how to look good while cold.
The answer was, of course, knee-high boots, ladylike wool coats, big knit scarves, and cozy sweaters. When I first started dressing for the cold, my newness was apparent: my body was barely discernible under the multitude of clothing layers. But after a couple of years and a move to Manhattan, I got the hang of it. And then I got this sweater.
It arrived at work. I opened the box immediately. My job back then was far from enjoyable, so a package like this could in fact change the outlook of my day. I remember my friend had just arrived, and we were headed out the door together for the evening. I took a quick peek inside the box, was happy with what I saw, and shoved it into my bag for later inspection.
It had been an online J.Crew sale purchase, somewhat impulsive but filled the gap of 100% wool items in my wardrobe. I was still new to NYC, and my wardrobe was starting to drift towards grayscale. But this grandpa sweater makes me feel happy, adorable and warm. I suddenly feel like a Northerner; someone born and bred in the snow, who knows what snow tires are, how to light a fireplace, and does other Northern things. Yes, an octogenarian might be just as likely to wear a sweater like this, but I promise, I look way cuter in it.
Since I’ve moved back to New Orleans, this sweater has hung sadly in the closet within a safe distance of some cedar hangers. But sometimes, when the a/c has been turned carelessly low, I put this sweater on to remind me of where I’ve been. It’s a reminder of colder places, unhappy jobs that I escaped from, and all the ugly sweaters I wore before I found my Northern stride.
Comment below or tweet @ThisIWear and share what piece you can’t wait to wear this Fall/Winter.