LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER and improve existence
When you're young, you're dumb.
The heroes of Ender's Game aside, we should all acknowledge the world's grade-school youth cannot be trusted with even the smallest responsibilities. Asking a child to clean up a room is like asking a wolf to be your interior decorator; eventually some detritus may change locations, but is it really worth terrorizing the cat, or were you better off just doing it yourself?
The untrustworthiness of the young is why, around the globe, at the top of any mom's common refrain list is a variation on the theme, "Make sure you put on your sweater," or "Don't go outside without your coat." Outside it could be two degrees with an ice storm brewing, but all a child's lizard brain can comprehend is: new snow = sledding. Then, in the blink of an eye, a tongue is stuck to a flag pole or the little rascal is wearing a shiny, heat recovery blanket as their newest accessory.
So here, from the long tradition of mothers hemming name tags to the inside of their children's shirts, comes the Sweater Knit Shirt from Hed Mayner; since the knit outerwear is irremovable - literally sewn in to the collar of the bottom layer - it should be an instant parental favorite from Chile to Colorado.
Full disclosure: this shirt/sweater combo sat in an open tab for almost two weeks before this writeup because it clearly borders on the theatrical versus the practical, but in the spirit of Halloween we only felt it fair to write about something outside conventional norms. With the sweater knotted under the opposite armpit, as it is in the first product shot, it's impossible to tell that the two pieces are actually one, and even worn loosely on the shoulder, as in the other shots, it's still ambiguous as to what exactly is going on. Pieces like this, or the Raf Simons Fantasy Sweater we also wrote about, are meant to inspire the wearer to reconsider boundaries the way an experimental restaurant upends conventional notions of what food can be.
The item description over on LN-CC contains the following passage, which lays out in specific detail the references and ideas the piece is meant to evoke:
Hed Mayner’s origins inspire the idea of spirituality, tradition, vulnerability, power and nobility, tailoring that takes inspiration from Jewish orthodox and military outerwear, using recycled denim, vintage knits and recycled military tent fabrics
More than anything, the ethos espoused on these pages is, "Wear what you want, but be deliberate in your choices." If your life revolves around a quiet job and nights in then, by all means, curate a Gap-centric wardrobe, but recognize the drivers behind the sartorial choices you make. Objects like this Sweater Shirt are the purple-painted corner house you pass on drives through the neighborhood; while it may not be your particular cup of tea, through curiosity and question it adds to the lives of those who see it and makes the world a more interesting place in which to exist.
Brand: Hed Mayner
Why: Sometimes there isn't a compelling argument to be made for or against a particular piece of clothing, either the person considering it is moved in some way by its existence, or he or she is not. In the case of a leather jacket or a button down you could argue over the contemporary nature of its tailoring or a seasonally-relevant color pattern, but in the case of something like this Hed Mayner item the line is drawn more sharply. You either identify as the type of person to wear something this far outside the norm - to which we say it comes in several other colors if this particular tone does not strike your taste - or you are someone for which this would never enter your closet. If you find yourself on the latter side of the divide hopefully you can at least appreciate the artistry behind the piece; if not, you still can't help but grudgingly admit at least the wearer's mother is satisfied he'll never forget his sweater.