You’re a good old brown sweater.

March 9, 2012 § 12 Comments

I’ve worn you every day this winter, or kept you handy on the back of my chair.

You’re a friend, in the way only the familiar inanimate can be.

Frayed cuffs. Pin-holed at the seams.

But in truth, you’ve been headed toward disrepute since the day I met you.

You were a gift from my friend Sami, who has a connection for slightly damaged cashmere sweaters (I’ve never been, but I imagine the store as a no-kill shelter for unwanted knitwear).

Sami mends the bargains she sends me, but some holes get by.  And I’ve added a few. I don’t mind the holes. They give a good old sweater like you character.

You are unobtrusive and not one bit show-offy, the color of Wheatena, which is good. Brown is my color. I know because, in one of her fits of making me over, my fashionable daughter said that the key was discovering “my color.” After numerous me/color comparisons she announced, “Your color is…brown.”

At first I was disappointed. But she was right. Brown is my color.

You, friendly old sweater, are completely broken in, and adapted to the shape of me. Your pockets harbor squished paper towels (the sturdy version of Kleenex) and often my hands. When I want to disappear the hands go first.

Put up your hood and my disappearance is nearly complete. Add sunglasses and I resemble the famous FBI drawing of the Unabomber–the disguise worked for Ted for years.

In addition to rendering me invisible you are soft. You do not itch. Your sleeves are extra-long, so who needs gloves?

When my daughter mocks you and offers a shopping trip to find your heir apparent I will hold onto you fiercely.

A new sweater, still smelling of store, would have nothing on you. Like a favorite stuffed animal you show the wear and tear of being well loved–an honorable form of aging, like the smile wrinkles that mark a happy person’s face.

You da man brown sweater. You and me are going places.

Note: Donovan put the same idea into song: I Love My Shirt. Shirt, jeans and shoes are celebrated. I’m sure sweaters would have been in the next verse if Mr. Leech hadn’t already used his alotted three minutes.

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§ 12 Responses to You’re a good old brown sweater.

  • craig reeder says:

    loved the comment about the no-kill shelter …. LOL!


  • Who can explain an attachment to one’s “wubby”? My husband had one – an old cardigan with roll collar, too-short sleeves, and more “pills” than my LARGE bottle of Tylenol, bought at Costco. One day I decided to “de-pill” the thing and it fell apart. How was I to know the pills were the only thing holding it together?

    I think he forgave me some time ago … but we never mention it.



  • I love that…but we never mention it.

    He must really love you to fogive such a heinous crime.


  • KM Huber says:

    It’s obvious: you and the sweater were made for each other, a warm and lasting love that will redefine the garment industry–the photo shoot makes that clear–who knows, Project Runway???? (I’ve heard of this fashion show but I’ve never watched it.)

    Seriously, a beautifully written post, Adrian, word by word.



    • I’ve never watched “Project Runway” either, but I know of another show which involves well-intentioned friends turning someone in for being a fashion train wreck. The show’s team of fashion experts makes the fashion-offender over from the ground up (that would be shoes to hat).

      Friends, I beg you not to turn me in. I’m a comfortable train wreck.


      • KM Huber says:

        Oh, dear! How thoughtless of me. I thought the show was about creative people who offered their fashions up for review but certainly didn’t attempt to change anyone’s fashions. I apologize, Adrian! I was just going from the few commercials I have seen those few times my television plays. No worries.

        Every time I comment on fashion it’s a disaster. Think I get that now.



  • No, no you are absolutely right about Project Runway. I have no fear of that show. It is the one whose name escapes me that is problematic. The-you-are-a-sartorial-mistake show.

    But the point about you commenting on fashion being a disaster is well taken because it is a trait I share. I just keep saying, what’s with hanging the pants below the butt? Why is self-de-pantsing considered fashionable?

    See, I’ll never be stylin.’ Me and the brown sweater are as good as it gets.


  • My favorites included a dusty pancho, a brightly colored t-shirt and an artfiully patched pair of pants. Some were more ridiculous than others but all of them made me feel solid.
    Now I wear a pair of faded jeans that are frayed at the cuff , a pair of brown boots, and a pull over sweat shirt. My wife inspects me before I venture out into the world so my wardrobe is mostly for indoors. Sometimes though, I escape, ensemble complete and I walk the aisles of Vons striking my homeless guy pose.


  • ammaponders says:

    I have a bright cranberry hoodie that must have a lot of polyester in it because it has lasted about 10 years and looks just fine.
    I feel like me in it!


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