Cardigans and the Modern Man
The Return of the Cardigan
Saying the word cardigan is enough to make someone involuntarily think of Mr. Rogers and those creepy puppets. Then again, this next generation hardly knows who he is/ was. He was not thought to be the leader in fashion in his time, nor is the cardigan leading the way in sales today.
Or are they?
They're everywhere from H&M to Macy's, and every independent hipster supplier in-between. The trend seems to embrace the geriatric appearance of understated masculinity that has become evident elsewhere in popular fashion circles. Another step in the effeminacy of men that is taking place right now. A look at the sales trends sheds some light on the prospect of the cardigan to go the way of the skinny jeans.
Cardigans for both sexes are sweeping in to fashion shows and clothing stores across the country.
Monkey see, Monkey do
The women's long cardigans have been fashionable for years, but only recently have clothing makers shown renewed interest and adapted domesticated 'modern' versions for the rougher sex. Unless the individual is doing a Tommy Hilfiger photo shoot on a polo field, or happens to be Patrick Dempsey, the cardigan is just a dusty relic that isn't quite a sweater and lacking the balls to be a vest.
Just because your girlfriend is doing it doesn't mean you should do it.
In fact, there was once a time when men avoided many things that were considered feminine, and a small holdout of traditionalists continue to fight the good fight by refusing to jump aboard the trend train.
What's next, men's purses?
Oh wait! That's already happened too. The steep and slippery slope of encouraged emasculation is beginning to show why it is dangerous. Men have begun to fully embrace and envy the lifestyle and natural endowments of the opposite sex. Transvestite and transgender societies are growing while technology for genital reassignment has never been more leading-edge.
Once upon a time the biggest concern a parent had was catching their boy playing with dolls or mom's lipstick. A sharp reprimand was enough to reinforce the idea of what was acceptable, gender-specific behavior, and the child was straitened out. In the last 100 years the phrase 'acceptable gender-specific behavior' has been stigmatized with inequality and repression. However, as a fact of natural selection, or survival of a species, every society on the face of the earth has recognized a man's place as being at the head of the family unit, and therefore the dominant sex. Thousands of years of civilization has decreed specific roles and acceptable types of behavior for each sex, like it or not. Men are bigger, we make better soldiers; women are smarter and more personable, they are better diplomats; other things require a little of each in which both sexes perform equally well. End of story.
It is to go against the grain of nature to ignore gender-specific behavior on the grounds of nurturing and discovering the essence of the child.
The next logical question is - Was he born that way or did we foster it through liberal parenting?
It starts with parading around in mom's heels rather than dad's work boots, but 25 years later he's at J Crew buying cardigans to match his skinny jeans and man-purse, wracked with self-doubt and insecurities that he's developed after years of confusing subliminal messages about self-exploration and embracing alternative lifestyles.
Look at the Bigger Picture
While many will say, calm down, it's just a sweater. It is more than a sweater. More than a fashion statement. Trends are a good way to assess a national feeling or collective opinion about things. The trend of dressing down manhood is growing popularity and the proof is in the pudding, which has been masterfully whipped up by a man-girl in a cardigan watching DVR'd Rachel Ray episodes he missed.
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- Affliction and Ed Hardy: The dissipating trend
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