Monday, August 31, 2009

Vintage JC Penny Blue and White Scholarly Sweater

Fall in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is chilly and densely populated by people wearing sweaters. Believing that inside of each sweater there is a story, I am searching for the most cute, pretentious, eccentric and ugly sweaters in town so that I can discover a little bit about who is inside. No one is safe. Not G20 protesters, or professors, or weird little dogs. But to be fair (to myself) my sweater is up first.

My boyfriend took me to the Avalon Exchange for my birthday last year and said I could pick out some things from him as a gift. He talked me into this blue and white sweater with a scholarly posture. I can create surveys, write grants and plan for focus groups with practically the cast of a glance when I wear it. It cost between 8 and 12 US dollars when we picked it up in March 2009. I know I'm not giving away any secret when I say that Avalon is tight like that.

But currently it’s all full of sand. Why? On a wet June night I loaned it to a friend at Bonnaroo. She battled her way to the front of an epic Nine Inch Nails show while I pushed through a crowd of 20-something, California bros to see one of my (now ex-) favorite bands, MGMT. Maybe it was because I was sweaterless, but it was probably because I read more into Time to Pretend than MGMT put there that I was disillusioned. It was a devastatingly low-energy performance that sounded very little like the album and not at all exciting. While I was getting tossed about at MGMT, my friend Maggie was getting too warm for my sweater over at Nine Inch Nails. She took it off and set it on the ground. There it was promptly stomped into the wet sand by hundreds of steel toes. I’ve washed it three times, twice by itself, but I still think it looks slightly brown. Loaning it to her wasn’t the biggest mistake I made at Bonnaroo, but it has had a longer effect than that bunk acid I blew money on or that little indiscretion in the tent. The Sweater is still sandy, my boyfriend forgave me months ago.

I wore the sweater today for my first day of classes and someone told me it reminded her of blue berry muffins. Thanks, I agree.


  1. Okay, 1.) love avalon, half my wardrobe is from there because I'm cheap and like to have other people find cool clothes for me.
    2.) disappointed that MGMT sucked. I saw them at b-roo in 2008, but didn't actually start listening to them until after the festival. Tragic.
    3.) love the last lines of this, it's sweet and endearing, setting up a nice contrast with "bunk acid". Haha.
    And one of my best friends owns about two dresser drawers full of sweaters/cardigans because she likes to watch poor people freeze to death so if you're ever hankering for material let me know.

  2. I love the blog so far. I often question how people are able to look so well and put together. I don't think I've ever felt put together or well dressed. I also love the way you show how sweaters do unite a wide variety of people. I do think you picked a hard subject but I'm sure as you continue you will get the stories that you are looking for.

  3. i really like this introduction. You're tackling a seemingly mundane subject and opening it up into some really good personal anecdotes. Its entertaining all the way through and im excited to read more.