You are walking through your local morally-dubious-for-both-ethical-and-environmental-reasons-fast-fashion shop, perhaps called something like ‘Perpetually of Legal Age to Drink Alcohol in the US’ or ‘Hamartia and Mistreated-workers’ (get it?). Maybe you spilled a drink on yourself before an interview and desperately need a new top, or maybe your friend is hosting a birthday party with an inane theme and now here you are desperately trying to assemble an “Adam Lambert outfit”. Regardless, your inner monologue of shame and silent supplications to Greta Thunburg for forgiveness become deafening until you come across the article of clothing which makes everything else irrelevant: the shoulder-less or ‘cold-shoulder’ jumper.
You run your hands over the knitted style, admiring the precision with which two symmetrical shoulder holes are missing from what would otherwise be a decent jumper. Did an angry employee try to replicate Regina George’s top from Mean Girls and simply misplace the holes? Does everyone else have uncomfortably hot shoulders and this jumper was created to fill some demographic need you never knew existed? Are these jumpers designed for maximum efficiency when it is both really cold outside (hence the jumper) and you have to get a flu shot from the doctor (hence the exposed upper arm)? Unfortunately, the reason for these jumpers’ tortured forms cannot be logically explained. Just like the narwhal, platypus, or pretty much any animal native to the Land Down Under, the shoulder-less jumper exists as testament to the fact that the world is a confusing and frightening place (here’s to looking at you, emus).
If you cast your mind back to 2016, these shoulder-less tops had a ‘moment’ during which they reigned as the go-to fashion choice if one was both unsure about what is fashionable but dedicated to trying. Just like something else which was chosen with questionable public concession in 2016, 2020 is the year to get rid of everything ineffective and problematic (this desperate American begs you). As St Andrews is the coldest place on earth™, any article of clothing which exposes any extra inch of skin to the cold and merciless elements throw one’s sensibility into doubt and probably means you’re a bit of a masochist.
Fashion is difficult, and as someone who used to think a bright pink corduroy newsboys hat was the epitome of fashion, believe me I get it. Take my hand and I will lead you away from the darkness of frost-bitten shoulders into the light of fully functional extremities.
- Such a huge puffer jacket that no one can see what you’re wearing anyways. Doubles as a blanket and a dressing gown which can be worn in public.
- You could be wearing a burlap sack, and the only thing people could look at would be your blindingly neon shoes. Note: do not wear neon shoes if people staring at your feet all day will make you uncomfortable *my eyes are up here*.
- Comfort will reign with a beige sweatshirt paired with beige joggers. In this alternate reality which we call home, somehow all beige sweat-outfits have become sanctioned by the Almighty authorities which are Kim K and He Who Shall Not Be Named. Are they good looking? Not particularly. Will I write an article lambasting them in a few years? Probably. However, this is perhaps the Yeezy look I can most support as it does not make me want to Oedipus Rex my eyes or cost a disgusting amount of money.
- A simple graphic t-shirt which can be easily paired with any jeans or trousers for casual daywear which is fashionably palatable.
- To the joy of Blair Waldorf and your inner five-year-old, headbands are finally back in style. Now when the front of your hair is a little bit greasy, but the back is pretty much fine, slide in a headband and voila no one can tell how disgusting your hygiene really is.
- You know, a normal jumper with both shoulders securely attached.
This winter give an unequivocal “no” to ‘cold shoulder’ jumpers. If you want to make a regrettable decision, just do what everyone does in crisis and get bangs. There are many things in this world which are destined to be cold: ski slopes, your ex’s heart, and grader’s marks. Your shoulders do not have to be.