Loro Piana Cashmere Cardigan
Fashion is not universal. There are trends that some people can always wear and trends that some people can never wear. Sweaters draped over the shoulders are strictly the domain of the rich, the non-rich are happy to keep it that way. As the NY Times printed, “a cardigan sweater draped over the shoulders can look fashionable and be ready to don should the temperature drop.” Citing air-conditioned restaurants, theaters and sea breezes as practical reasons for having a sweater handy, the reality is these are not-so-clever excuses used by the rich to justify strategically placed apparel where it doesn’t belong. Like many wealthy customs, their great grandparents did it, their grandparents did it, their parents did it and now they will do it too. It is a tradition passed down the same way as choosing schools, choosing tailors and choosing white shoe law firms to article at before the trust fund matures.
Conspiracy theorists will claim that, like Valentine’s Day, this is a ploy by designers to sell more merchandise but draping a sweater over one’s shoulders is less complicated than that. Ockham’s razor is a principle that states the simplest explanation is the best explanation. In this light, it is easy to understand that the wealthy are nothing more than victims of mob mentality or groupthink. Place hundreds of people in a closed environment that snubs newcomers and they are bound to do the same as one another. This is the philosophy of private clubs, so it should come as no surprise that everyone acts and dresses the same. It would be social suicide to voice dissenting opinions in such circumstances and as a result members go with the flow; they drink scotch, wear loafers without socks and drape sweaters over the shoulder.
You’re thinking, what about Italians? The truth is, through some genetic anomaly they look great with a sweater over their shoulders despite the near worthlessness of the lira during the 1990’s. Clearly wealth isn’t a factor so the credit goes to swarthy good looks, three-day stubble growth and vintage Vespa scooters. They also wear Capri pants but you’ll be hard pressed to find a man anywhere else in the world who wears Capri pants and remembers the last time they enjoyed a romantic interlude with a woman. Suffice it to say, unless your name is Margaux or Porter be practical, stick to prêt-a-porter and avoid sweaters as accessories!