Sunday, 13 February 2011

Everything is interesting, including sweater vests

The good thing about working on one account, is being able to really get under the skin of every area of the business. However, I do quite miss the joy of researching completely new industries/companies/products. It's like there's no need for Google any more.

So, as some kind of brilliant (not stolen) cross between what Northern Planner is doing and Wikipedia, I'm going to research random things and hope that they're actually interesting. This really will be entertainment at its best.

To start off, I'll write about something very dear to my heart; the sweater vest.

Let's start by saying, yes, it is technically a tank top. However, I've always prefered the American name for it myself, especially as the name tank top has its origins in women's swimsuits (swimming tank). It just doesn't sit right with what is the most manly item of clothing ever produced.

So, what is it that makes a sweater with the sleaves cut off so spectacularly cool? Well, according to a slightly suspicious looking Wikipedia article, the answer is Afghan rap superstar Akbar Zaki.

I have my own theories.

The first is based on the experience of going to interviews for advertising jobs. Interviewers' styles can range anywhere between the t-shirted hobo look and the well suited, silently judging my shoes look. The magic of the sweater vest is that it can fill a position anywhere between 'semi formal' and 'formal', with a brief stop off at 'sports casual'.

Secondly, the sweater vest has a moderate success rate at hiding poorly ironed shirts.

Thirdly, Chandler Bing wore one.

Now, while my fashion sense has been described as Primarkable. It appears the hip kids of today also enjoy a spot of sweater vesting. For example, Urban Dictionary defines a sweater vest as "An article of clothing often worn by 'ridiculously' good looking teachers that make them somehow even better looking."

A quick sentiment analysis of Twitter also shows that 74% of posts about sweater vests are positive. The other 26% are wrong.

What are people saying about them though? Well, someone called Caroline made this announcement; "My boyfriend has a sweater vest. I love life."

Unfortunately, not all of the posts are about sweater vests single handedly saving relationships. One lovely young gentleman named Anthony states: "nice sweater vest faggot". Now putting aside the fact this post was listed as 'positive', Anthony seems to have misread the situation, like only a person who describes things as 'sick' can.

Does a man wanting to look quite formal, but not too formal make him a faggot? No. It makes him a sexy, wisecracking, Afghan rap star. Research does not lie!