Sweatshirts have been an essential part of my wardrobe since third grade. I consider them relics that look into the facets of my personality. They’re mine. My DNA so embedded in their fabric, my loose strands of hair so woven among the threads, even my sweat so soaked into the pockets, that you could consider them fossils.
To show you, I could list most fashionable to least fashionable.The most being the black hoodie with buttons and zippers that I wore freshman year to show my cool, nonconforming style.The oversized, dingy, yellow-green sweatshirt that I latched onto in 6th grade with the ferocity of a drowning man, the least. However ordering them fashionably gives them a certain consumer subjectivity that I don't associate with them.
I could go through them chronologically, I suppose. Long and blue with holes in the sleeves and elbows and pockets, from my worrying fingers. This was the sweatshirt that doubled as armor during middle school. Sophomore year’s cross country hoodie, with my school printed across the front, and the seahorse mascot on the back. This was only worn while I stretched and paced, waiting for my turn to run the food out of my stomach.
I could list them as reminders of my ancestral roots. A jacket from Peru with accents and squiggly lines over the “n.” The English flag and redwood trees from California, emblazoned across brightly colored sweatshirts bought on a whim.
What about the sweatshirts that correlate to my hobbies and the things I love? My skiing jacket, lightweight, with all sorts of science facts about it’s ability to ventilate heat written on the package. The nerdy hoodie with a picture of a nyan cat Tardis on it that I got for my brother as a joke, but ended up wearing more often than him.
However I think I’m just going to tell you about my favorite one. This one isn’t the oldest, or the most gaudy. It doesn’t have my name and my school stenciled out. This is the hoodie that I slept in on howling, Vermont nights. While the sky spat down snowflakes and battered the shutters, I tucked my knees up to my chest and pulled my hood over my ears. Its grey and molds comfortably around me in a way that is relaxing and safe. Its sleeves are salty, especially in the crooks of the arms where I’ve hidden my face. The hood is covered in hair and the pockets have paper and pens that have taken permanent residence. It’s the jacket I wear when I shed my running and skiing clothes. The coat I wrap myself after the shower when my hair is damp and my body is clean. The sweatshirt I curl up with by fires and TVs. In simplest terms, me.