As one grows older and presumable wiser, one should come to the realization that everything in the world that evokes a strong reaction — whether positive or negative — is a reflection of something within oneself. One can only be sure that an object or person is not symbolic of something that arouses unconscious feelings unless one’s reaction to it is complete indifference.
So having a deep well of hate for a particular item of clothing is certainly peculiar, and Rosa Lyster at New York Magazine has explored her sartorial animosity with a lengthy diatribe on the shawl cardigan, which she finds repulsive.
I’ll leave you to speculate on what it symbolizes to her, but a key is likely to be found in this passage:
Expanding on the terrible fact that this cardigan is for some reason still sold in stores, effectively enabling anyone who wants to look like a querulous little teddy bear who is proud of the friendship he has cultivated with Prince Andrew, British GQ contributing editor Alfred Tong told me, “It came back around during the mid-to-late ’00s, a.k.a. late-period J. Crew, when McQueen, Americana, and the whole idea of dressing iconically became a thing again. It was a very conservative, backward period of men’s fashion. So I guess that’s what [people who wear it] are trying to channel: a hackneyed idea of authentically iconic dressing.”
Check out the “awful cardigan” piece here and practice your amateur psychology. One day you’ll need it — for yourself. — CC