An ode to sweaters  

Every year, there comes a day when we drag our eyes open to find that a chill has suddenly settled over the world. Our windows are fogged enough to trace little drawings. Stepping outside feels like a glass of icy restaurant water washing over your face. The crisp yellows and oranges of autumn trees cut jagged shapes out of the stark blue sky.  

The cold both wakes us up and puts us to sleep, as it rattles our bones and prickles our skin, reminding us to sleep and save whatever warmth we can. Unfortunately, we aren’t bears and can’t sleep for a whole season. We are also low on fur, for mammals. What armor can we use to protect ourselves from the jagged shards of cold fall sends darting under our skin? 

The softest armor of all: sweaters.  

We welcome the cold time of the year with the very essence of cozy spun into the perfect shape for bringing a warm refuge with us wherever we go. Whenever you feel like you need a hug, your sweater is right there for you, warming you up and keeping you safe.   

Sweaters can be worn anywhere. A neat turtleneck is perfect for a professional school day or a meeting. A thick, oversized sweater is really the only choice to curl into when you hunker down and watch a movie on a chilly fall night. A creamy cable knit will have you projecting yourself into a haunted lighthouse by a stormy sea, the ideal location for mankind.   

Like any kind of clothing, there are sweaters for everyone. One sweater, two sweaters, red sweaters, blue sweaters. I’m partial to the latter. There are sweaters that make you look like you inherited a yacht, and sweaters that make you look like you shopped at the Justice store in 2014. Truly a versatile item.  

If you get a small sweater, you can layer it with other clothing for different styles. If you get a sweater that’s too big, you can go around thwapping people with the sleeves. You can even make your own sweaters, if you know how to knit. If not, then you can thrift amazing sweaters for cheap. One of my friends got me a sweater from the Arc that was 100% alpaca, and no banks were broken.  

I’ve heard people argue before that sweaters get hot, and that I shouldn’t wear them in 80-degree weather. They don’t get it. Having my poor, anxious body surrounded by the embrace of warmth and comfort is worth the heatstroke.  

What, in all the world, is the labor of sheep and llamas for? Why must they toil, day and night, growing all of this thick, shaggy wool that is meant to be shared and spun into the most beautiful of textiles? Why grow wool if not to turn it into a garment? Production for use.  

Do not waste the work of the good creatures we shear. Instead, clothe yourself in the love of the textures they share. Dust off your fall sweaters and protect yourself from cold and sadness.  

A fall sweater collection. Photo by Kira Thorne.