Clothing is as much about associations as anything else. When we look at a piece of clothing, we see not only the garment itself, but also our mind’s eye conjures a stream of related images and memories. Naturally, these associations are personal, and unique to each person: where one person may see a duffle coat and immediately begin to think of French ivy cool cats, another might simply be reminded of a school uniform from their childhood. Consider Fran Lebowitz, who was advised by a friend not to get a particular navy and green stripe jacket, because it was too reminiscent of English schoolboys. Lebowitz, in typically acerbic fashion, simply reminded her friend that she is not English, and went ahead and got the jacket. One’s entire attitude to a particular piece of clothing is determined by previous encounters: films one might have seen it worn in, friends (or enemies) who made a habit of wearing that certain style.
One item which is often burdened by its associations is the cricket jumper. For many, it smacks of elitism, and stuffy old institutions, and this is entirely understandable. These ideas become woven into the fabric, and are very difficult to disentangle from the physical garment. However, pieces such as this are always ripe for reinterpretation. Think about how the OG-107 army jacket was adopted by anti-war protestors in the 1960s. With this radical recontextualization, the jacket became a symbol of peace rather than war, defiance rather than conformity.