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 forgottenat least until hipsters and college students bring it back again.
Nautica Long Sleeve ¼ Zip
Nautica Long Sleeve ¼ Zip ($98; nautica.com
: Packable Combos
Versatile duds for unpredictable spring days.
Quiksilver/Victorinox Swiss Army sweaters
From left: Quiksilver Spring Limited Collection Ostrander Cotton Twill Parka ($200; quiksilver.com) and Victorinox Swiss Army Navy Long Sleeve V-Neck Sweater ($165; swissarmy.com); Dockers Mac Coat ($148; dockers.com) and Quiksilver Spring Limited Collection Clairvoyant Hooded Fleece ($120)