11 December 2008
Why can't you buy a good, honest jumper any more?
Amid the last trail of Christmas shopping, I also was seeking a new jumper for myself. Preferably blue, definitely thick and warm (this is still the jumper I'm referring to, by the way) and polo neck if possible but certainly leaving little neck flesh exposed.
The trend for men's long-sleeved overgarments today, however, seems to consist of none of my requirements. Well, I could get blue. But they weren't warm, they weren't to the neck and, in most cases, they weren't even jumpers. Cardigans? You are kidding, right? I looked abysmal in a grey school cardigan in 1980 and I'd still look abysmal in one now.
They have these vile button-up things in all the high street chains and the designer shops too. They are mostly awful and many of them look unflattering even on the headless mannequins (presumably the mannequin was so embarrassed he asked the window dresser to slice his head off before displaying him). I was mildly tempted by something which had Ronnie Corbett's yellow chair-monologue logo on it as it only possessed two (large) buttons at the top and was thickly crafted, but it cost £125. As if.
All of them are still cardigans, no matter how you try to rebrand them. Then if I did find something I would call a jumper, it was invariably too thin, too summery, the sort you'd take with you on a June stroll with the dogs in case the sun went in, but wouldn't look out of place tied round your neck if the sun stayed out.
Have these designers and retailers not seen the weather forecast? In Hull it's been -4c overnight, for example. In such a climate, grandmas everywhere are informing their offspring-but-one to make sure they wrap up warm. Well, I can't wrap up warm in something which provides all the insulation of a serviette.
There are also versions of these thin pullovers which have the sternum area of a T-shirt sewn into the top, to make it look like you're wearing a whole T shirt underneath. Someone cocked up here, really. Why design something that prevents the customer from buying a whole extra article of clothing from the same store?
It is possible to have a jumper which is a) stylish; b) warm; c) inexpensive; and d) traditional. I've seen them. In the past, I've owned them. However, it appears the global warming lunatics might be right about our planet's temperature as there doesn't seem to be a market for clothing which keeps out the cold.