When is a jumper not a jumper? When it’s a schmoo: a jumper without a head-hole. This week sees the launch of such a garment by Michael Kors, designed to be wrapped around the neck like a scarf or knotted around the waist like a belt – in short, worn any which way except as a jumper.
It aims to prevent the unsightly bumps caused by wearing an actual jumper in lieu of a belt, but is also an interesting concept when viewed within the context of Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations, which posits the idea that the meaning of a word is bound up in how it is used rather than something presupposed.
The coining of schmoo formalises something we have long known, too: that late August is the month for tying your jumper around your waist, a styling tick that can entirely alter your look, and your temperature, and is not nearly celebrated enough. But why stop there? Here are three ways to wear your jumper-not-as-a-jumper.
Like Dick Whittington
Just as Dick Whittington came to London with all his possessions in a bundle, Alexa Chung came to Christopher Kane with a sleeve draped over one shoulder. This louche robing trick is very alpha because it requires the wearer to remain immobile throughout, so the jumper doesn’t fall off. Scatty, relaxed, it also breaks up a dull colour scheme (here, blue) and saves money on the cloakroom.
To sleep in
Giant, treble-oversized jumpers were a theme on autumn/winter 2017 catwalksThe only way to wear this trendwithout feeling overwhelmed is to succumb fully to its power. View it like you would a duvet, a blanket or a sleeping bag. Let it take over. For inspiration, Jil Sander’s is low-key and lopsided, Topshop Unique’s is off-shoulder and a bit alternative while Balenciaga’s loose polo neck will keep you snug as a bug in a massive teal polo-necked airtight rug. The winner is Joseph, whose white fleecy woollen number is uber-sized and takes the wearer back to source (a sheep).
As a glove
This ersatz arm-warmer from Ports 1961 is fun, and easy to do. Cut the arm off an old jumper, ideally something bright so it clashes (very Pucci) and pop it over your sleeve. Useless, unless you enjoy driving in winter in the UK with the window down and don’t want to get a cold arm, in which case, it’s essential.