Sweater Style

The People's Elbow

Feb 12, 2010
Outside Magazine
Nautica Long Sleeve ¼ Zip

Nautica Long Sleeve ¼ Zip ($98; nautica.com

OK, now it's a recession: The general populace has become unabashed about wearing sweaters and jackets worn through the elbows. Around here, we call it Outside Elbow. And while some people try to blame it on more-abrasive-than-average desks or the fact that we're all "writers," everyone knows it's the economy that's bored through our wool, poly, and cotton. At other companies, they no doubt call it something like AIG Elbow or GM Elbow. (Though there's probably no Goldman Elbow.) "People are getting into mending who've never been interested in it before," says Lorraine Schuchart, a spokeswoman for Jo-Ann Fabric, who says the company has noticed a "dramatic increase" in the sales of iron-on patches. Wearing a patched sweater used to mean you smoked pot, but now it means you're the sensible, pragmatic type that girls' mothers love. So at least for this year, America, wear patches with pride. Endure the harsh winter of cold elbows with confidence that the Age of the Disposable Wardrobe will rise again. Because it will. And the Season of the Ulna will be forgotten—at least until hipsters and college students bring it back again.

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