The Tom & Lorenzo Archives: 2006 -2011
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Yea or Nay: Cracked-Out Sweaters

Although to be honest, we're not sure they can be called sweaters at all. More like ambitious scarves.

These are from Korean designer Wooyoungmi's fall 2009 collection. Lorenzo loves them. Tom's not so sure he'd want to be standing next to him in public should he ever decide to wear one.

Okay, that's not true. We're both in agreement that from a design perspective; a purely aesthetic point of view, these are all certainly eye-catching and interesting. Because really, that's the only way you can look at these. You certainly can't bring functionality into the discussion.

We don't know who would wear something like this but one thing's for sure: they won't be waving their hands in the air like they just don't care.


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Big fat nay... seriously? How can you move your arms in these things? The tan ones make the outfit look like Capt Kirk from Star Trek...

eh.. it's interesting, but really... they look like wack-a-doo quasi straight jackets.

I think they're really interesting and aesthetically appealing; I wouldn't wear one, but it's a cool visual statement.

sad, but i like them a lot. If they were not so damn expensive (just my assumption) i'd wear them. i'd be selective where i wear them though. somewhere where i'd want to be an attention whore.

I think that you'd find yourself trying to answer the same question all day long if you wore one of these...

"where's the rest of your sweater?"

They are certainly interesting. I don't really like any of the square, both shoulders ones. I liked the ones where they are either asymmetrical or basically full-length.

Some of them are very odd, but I could kinda see women wearing a few of these. As menswear, however only a club kid could get away with these.

I really like the last and second-to-last looks. I think it could work as a glorified scarf. The rest? Insane.

Think I'll get one for my father-in-law after his shoulder surgery when he needs to keep his arm immobilized.

They remind me of the little fake turtleneck I had to wear under my cheerleading vest in the 6th grade. Nay from me.

I love my wooyoungmi scarf. Mine is actually more of a huge cardigan with open sides (think of a cardigan with no sleeves, open sides, and a dramatically long length), and you can wear it about a million ways. Don't knock it until you've tried it, boys!

You know, in a very chilly/windy area, I would LOVE one of these under an overcoat. But yes, mostly I have to look at it as an artistic statement - especially the leather strait jacket.

I fully expect to see Brad Pitt in one of these any day now.

The ones that look like button down scarves are okay (first, second to last, last). But the ones that look like half sweaters or jackets just look silly and uncomfortable. And outerwear should be comfy and warm.

My goodness, I can barely keep up with you, TLo. Great post for a dreary, post-holiday workday.
These are kinda awesome ---- in a weird way. I love anything new and unique for guys because menswear is, afterall, a bit limited. I think they're refreshing and seem to be fairly well made and constructed up the ying-yang. My favorite, alright the funniest look is the thrid from the last --- the parachute material in black/charcoal over the suit. I'd love to see that on the streets! I'm thinking they could be called an elaborate, futuristic dickie.

- edina -

I love them. This is some of the most original and still wearable mens wear that I have seen in a very long time.

LOVE LOVE LOVE. Have been wanting an interesting scarf like this forever. Yes some are a little straightjackety, but some are really lovely, asymetrical beauties!

this is like a dickie gone horribly wrong. I think the ones where one shoulder is exposed could be really nice if over the top of another knit item - but over a suit jacket it just looks strange. the onex where it covers both shoulder and goes down to the elbow are just plain silly

I love them, they really add interest and layers without going overboard.


Love the idea for womens wear. I hate the look for men. Too fussy and strange and half of a deep sea wet suit. I guess I like my guys to dress boring (I did marry an accountant after all)

The Return of the Poncho!!

No joke, I saw my 17 month niece the other day and she was wearing the second one, only in purple.

CCGuy000 Big fat nay... seriously? How can you move your arms in these things? The tan ones make the outfit look like Capt Kirk from Star Trek...

You beat me to it. I was going to say they looked like scrapped costume designs for Star Trek.

I love the black hoodie and want it. Now. It's perfect for sitting at the computer in my chilly office.

I like some of the one-shoulders and the hooded two-shouldered one that looks loose enough to be worn as a sleek and abbreviated poncho.

I like the very first one-shouldered look best, the proportions work for me to make it look dashing.

Yes, I know, any menswear that might be described as "dashing" is menswear from which most men I know would flee. Sigh.

The last two one-shouldered ones are so brief they're just cute crosses between a scarf and a dickey.

The two-shouldered ones which look confining, also look stupid. (not to be judgemental)

Overall, it's about which proportions please you - and the wearer's going to look really silly if he isn't reasonably slim in the midriff.

As Al Pacino said in Glengarry Glen Ross,
What's the fuckin' point?

Definite yay. The sweaters add a surreal air to an otherwise staid show. I think it's fab.

edina, I think you nailed it!
kinda awesome ---- in a weird way....
elaborate, futuristic dickie

and Sewing Siren:
most original and still wearable mens wear that I have seen in a very long time

I AGREE, but if I gave any of these to my grown sons or husband, they would have proof that I had gone looney tunes!

TLo, if Lorenzo ever wears one, we demand pictures!!


That's really cool. They look like cut-away diagrams of a layered wardrobe.

Oh, they're hardly functional and probably won't find their way into everyday streetwear, but still, pretty cool for the runway.


I think the smaller one shoulder ones are nice. I'd definitely be tempted to wear them.

Ha! and YAY!
For whatever reason, I like these. We should live in a world where men wear these. The blue one in pic. 19. is my personal fave.

The third one in, which looks like a short navy poncho with a hood is the only one that looks remotely wearable in a real world sense, otherwise, I join in the nay category.

They look like tea cosies. Nay.

At first glance I couldn't quite grasp what I was seeing. The second glance gave me the giggles. Now that I've settled down somewhat, some of these are really cool and edgy. Some of the others look like young officers in some strange army in the former Soviet Union. Love the faux medals and bells for adornments. The one Marcus described sounds really attractive and interesting.

Makes me want to drag out a favorite knit pattern, work half of it, and then cast off. Can't tell you how many projects I've gotten halfway through with and then abandoned. Maybe I belong in fashion.

I LOLed as I scrolled through the pictures, they are like dickies being worn on the outside.

I wanna say NAY, but I can see some of them being brought down to Earth. I think the sixth one down on the right is vest-like enough to have a fighting chance.

All hail the arrival of the poncho-straitjacket?

Ummm Star Trek sweaters?

Meh could go either way, depends on who is wearing and with what outfit.

Aaack. Thom Browne must be green with envy.

The whole straightjacket vibe is sexy. Bondage is beautiful.

I have to admit, the more military looks make me wonder if the army ran out of money when they were outfitting the troops.

But I'm hoping these looks really catch on. Just imagine how many versions of this you'll find on Etsy made from "upcycled" coats and sweaters.

I really could have used one of these a few weeks ago when I came down with a fever and my shoulders ached like hell.


I like the asymmetrical, single-shoulder ones, like the first one with the buttons on the shoulder seam. I'd wear it not as outerwear, but as a scarf with a black sweater.

Clearly I am turning into Irina. eep.

Ick. That's all I can say.

It's official.
Fashion has run out of good ideas.
(The giant hoof shoes were an early warning.)

All of the shoes are awesome. I would love my husband in the gold tipped ones.

oh, MASSIVE love! i'm right into cropped jumpers and such; these would be so good for layering!

These look completely silly. I'll have to show my husband later so he can make a funny face.

I dunno, I kind of like them. They are capelets for men, and capelets were huge in the knitting community a couple years ago. It is so rare to see anything new in menswear. I wish men would take more chances like this. And I think my husband would definitely wear one of the more "scarfy" ones. As it is, he loves to wrap a long scarf around his neck until he's nearly mummified. This will simplify things.

At least one of those made me think of a Snuggie torn to hell (but I do kinda like the collection).

I like looks # 8, 11, and 13. The others are interesting but maybe not to be worn outside the runway.

i loled so hard at "man cozies" :D
when i saw these i thought "we are devo...d...e...v...o"

It's one of those things that look cool and edgy on the runway, but are just unwearable in real life.

I love them. Seriously.

I love the one-shoulders. They could even stick around. The others (cut at the chest) are a bit pointless. Plus, they are too expensive to be over next year so you can never wear them again.

ummmmmmm,no. Looks like Grandma passed away before she finished her knitting.

Yeah, I would totally wear these, and I don't even see functionality being a mega-huge issue. I mean, it's outerwear, so it's really just meant for walking down the street, right?

I wouldn't give the entire line a nay. There are some pieces that actually work. I admire the effort to create outside the box.

YAY! I love capes. These are basically capes that have been cut off and fitted.

I could see a fashion-forward woman wearing these, since they're not the first thing women have ever worn that's strapped their upper arms down, but on a man, I openly laughed out loud. I have a feeling that any guy who wore one of these out of the house would get beaten up and laughed at. And for the ones that don't strap both arms down, the other ones look like ascots swooshed over the shoulder, which is just as impractical.

Interesting in theory, heinous in practice.

LOVE them, but my boyfriend would never wear them : (

I long ago gave up even the pretense of being fashion-forward. But as someone who always has a cold neck and shoulders--- I would wear these in a heart beat.

Thanks for the chuckle, TLo.

Wow, you guys have been busy today!

Eh, the poncho-y one is OK (I can't believe I just said that!) but most of them look like they'd severely restrict arm movements. They do make an interesting runway look, but NAY to wearing them IRL.

Desperate to be different. Trying to show something fresh every four months has made designers ignore what they are supposed to be designing for -- the human body. Arms are supposed to move. Clothes should function.

yikes. non mi piace.

"but my boyfriend would never wear them" .. only if he's looking for a boyfriend of his own.

JUST. NO. Maybe I am woefully out of the loop, but these things are just plain loopy.
They would make nice small appliance covers, though.

I don't think it's exactly a good thing that I burst out laughing as I scrolled down. I love fashion statements and would almost always go out of my way for something interesting whether anyone liked it or not, but some of these look like someone went on a bender and couldn't quite pick their sweater from one of the kiddies. And really, I'd be rolling hysterically at the trend setting club whore trying to lift his uber drink in the bondage half coat.
I do agree that they are a cool visual statement.
As for what Marcus said about the open cardigan; that's completely different than a baby sweater. At least it sounds versatile.

It reminds me of Carmen Webber's "representation" of a shirt from the menswear challenge in Season 4

They look like you ran out of yarn or got bored and moved on to another project.


LOVE them. Really original and the knitted ones wouldn't constrict the arms at all. Though I'm thinking of them more for womenswear.

There's a big craze for making small shawls in the knitting community at the moment (which look great over fitted jackets) and these are just fitted shawls. Would love to try my hand at designing a slightly more feminine version

I think this is a great idea and the ones that drap over one shoulder or a more cape like would look good in real life. Its something I can see catching on in europe, especially France or Italy, maybe even Austria (they are some stylish ppl from my experience) where menswear plays a more prominent role in fashion.

Honestly, how many stores in North America JUST cater to men and sell casual clothing?? Suits, easy to find but casual clothes, not many.

I love them. From an aesthetic point of view the collection is one of the more interesting ones in the last few seasons and I like the way most of these sweaters look. Two or three look rather restrcting like a straight-jacket, but the rest of them in my opinion is wearable and looks - as someone before me already said - dashing.

Certainly not for everyone but I'll admit, I adore men's-wear that could be described that way...

I like the softer knit ones, but not the stiff leather ones. The look of the leather ones is too hard and makes me think of a half straitjacket or half armor.

Fascinating visual statement? Yay.

However, this is exactly the type of restrictive clothing that launched the women's suffrage movement in the 19th century. Forget corsets - once we couldn't move our arms, it was on.

You could write a book about the sweaters who wished that they could become ponchos but were too inadequate to show their faces during the actual poncho fad and thus waited until ponchos were completely out of the question so they wouldn't seem so lame. Unfortunately, they forgot that scarves are still in the picture.

That would be a no. While one or two look cool, the rest look like projects I started but never finished! Hahahahhhaaa!

I think the knitted shoulders-only sweaters are fabulous, for both very stylish men and women. They make me think of shorter, fitted ponchos. I would pair it with a form fitting, long-sleeved cocktail dress and knee high leather boots. I covet!

The leather-like versions of it aren't very impressive to me though; at least you can fairly move your arms in the knitted ones.

I suppose if you live the kind of life that doesn't require ever having to lift your arms, they'd be great. Me? I need to drive a car and hold my cell phone to my ear and stuff.

Didn't Martha Stewart make one of these during her time at Camp Cupcake? :)

The knit pieces do look like very ambitious scarves. I've been toying around with knitting a large cowl/one shouldered cape for someone. Now I know what it could potentially look like.

A few look semi-wearable, I think.

Hahahahahahahahahaha! Snort!

Seriously who wou----

Hahahahahahahahaha! Snort!

raisin mountaineer

They made me giggle. Especially because the models seemed to be taking them so seriously. They're not serious; they're like little coats on doggies. There's gotta be some irony here.

Love. Love love love. I may have to DIY one for myself.

LOVE the hooded one, seriously craving it.

They look like something Howard Wolowitz of The Big Bang Theory would wear when trying to hit on hot fashionista chicks.

I've never been a huge fan of DvT and have nothing against her, but just find her whole thing a bit tiresome at times. Personally, I say, if she wants to keep the look up through to her fifties or sixties, good luck. But, I do agree strongly with what some have already posted, that she could be in dangerous caricature territory.

The spread was okay --- a bit flat, but okay. It seemed to lack passion and spark. My faves were the Jean Paul Gaultier (which I saw constructed on his "The Day Before" documentary on Sundance ---pretty fascinating and painstakingly intricate in its construction). Loved the Valentino and thought that this was the one image that really had something. The others, a bit meh and okay as couture spreads go.

- edina -

Oh, good Lord. I meant to add my comment to the DvT post! Sorrrrrrry.....!!!!

- edina -

I'm sorry, but these just made me burst out laughing.

If I can't wave my hands in the air like I just dont' care, then it's OUT!

Those models all look manly.


Shoulder Warmers? Nay! They look restricting like nobody's business!

Pssstttt ... dickies go underneath your jacket.

Oh, I think these are REALLY great! Yeah...FOR WOMEN! I mean really?! What self respecting man would actually wear that, no disrespect to Lorenzo.

maybe they are to be a distraction from the shiny pants and the metallic shoes.


These boys look like they're begging to be mugged in an alley.

At first I though 8 was one of those awful wolf's head sweaters (I'm not wearing my glasses)!

I like the couple that are almost waist length poncho kind of sweaters. But the rest? Man cozies indeed.

The one with the weather vane hat is my favorite.

You know, I can actually see men(probably gay) wear something like this in the future. I liked the last gray one on the bottom. I appreciate seeing something different for men to wear.

My ignorance is showing because I can't figure out how these are looked at positively and Shelly O is raked over the coals for a belt.

As Spring said, "tea cosies."
The Emperor's New tea cosies.

You know, it might not be the best look but I appreciate the effort to try something different as a man when it comes to clothing.

I laughed, too, when I looked at these -- "Now maybe the guys will know what it feels like to attempt walking in a hobble skirt!"

Then I thought, well, if trendy girls could get away with those dumb little poncho tops for a season, the one-shoulder man-capelet is not bad at all.

Now I'm imagining variations, and feel like sending Gordana a sheep, with instructions.


Number one rule of knitting - NO PONCHOS. Never, ever, ever.

I'm just glad I wasn't the only one who thought, wow, some are pretty cool, and kudos to a designer who is trying to add something to menswear. Women have had to wear all sorts of silly and useless things through the ages in the name of fasion - why not men? So I say, yay.

They are updated versions of crochet capelets old ladies used to make.
These are way cooler though.

Umm...these just look like ponchos to me. Very structured ponchos.


My first reaction upon seeing them was, "What the hell is this?!" But then again, I don't really have an eye for fashion.

OMG, they're chair back covers. Check it out:

eh, nay. They look like shrunken ponchos.

I would totally wear these! These are basically ponchos made to look masculine with the squared shoulders and epaulets. I think these would be gorgeous on a woman, but I don't think I'd like to see my guy in one.

If they were longer, like a military cape, I could definitely see guys wearing these!

Damn you guys are funny!

To all the women out there asking, "What self-respecting MAN would wear these?!?@!@" I posit the question..."What woman under the age of 50 gets moist over jewel tones?" The answer? Ones with no taste.

I like some of these, especially the hoodie and the one-shouldered ones. I'd buy one for my boyfriend and then "borrow" it :D

LOL! Maybe you wear them you you are just a tiny bit cold.

If Klaus Nomi became a fashion designer, this would be his Fall line. ;)

Nay, they look unfinished.

That last look made me laugh out loud.

I'm with Lorenzo on this one. I love these. And while some certainly can't be considered functional, the same can't be said of ALL of them. And anyway, they are beautiful. The models are the weird part, but I like men who don't look like Natalie Portman...

You can still kick ass with your arms pinned down.

And that's all that matters.

I don't like the tights ones that go over both shoulders. They look way too restrictive. I give the other ones a 'yay' though. The asymmetrical ones add a nice visual twist.

Who's the guy with the beanie (that last, awful photo)? Thought I was looking at an old Dennis the Menace episode for a moment.

I think the asymmetrical ones that go over one shoulder have a lot of potential for real men to wear. The third look with the cloak/hoodie, I like a lot, but only certain men can pull it off. And you definitely need a very interesting face to do that glorified scarf any justice.

It provides an interesting visual effect on the runway, one I'm not even sure I like, but otherwise I think it'd just look dumb. :/

I love the jackets the weird half-poncho things are hiding, though!

How do you get in to or out of some of them? How do you raise your arms? They look cool, but some of them don't seem very wearable.

I think they are fantastic. I just love them. They most certainly are not practical but they are aesthetically stunning.

Flip it.

Call them sweater-ey, jacket-ey, or wack-ey scarves. Or whimsically structured shawls.

I can think of them that way, but when I try and categorize them as "sweaters" my brain keeps fighting with me.

yeah! ho! wah!

fabulous. and quite frankly, i dont think these things are all that "out there" at all, they seem quite wearable to me.

I actually live in Seoul and these things are seriously everywhere. I actually think they're incredibly cute and versatile. Kind of like ponchos that've been trimmed down to a manageable and aesthetically pleasing size.

Who would wear these? Koreans would. I'm living in Seoul right now, and looks like these ones are all over the place. I own one myself, in fact! They're toned down a bit for popular consumption (you can move your arms, although admittedly not over your head), and they're super warm.

I just adore the first and last pieces. As a knitter I am always looking for the next cool thing and I would totally wear these.

maybe I missed it, but did some one already mention Jay's Season 1 Final Collection

Aw, don't be sad, pretty boys. Stop pouting. Don't cry. You won't have to wear those silly things anywhere else.

I get what the designer's trying to do, but the look comes off as too heavy more often than not, and not really something one could wear even if one were simply making a fashion statement. Try again, Wooyoungmi-ssi.

Are these sweaters a miniskirt version of a Snuggie?

Those are pretty common in the knitting mags. Well, less couture versions of them are.

I think they call them "collars."

I think they're fun - the last one seems most wearable, but I am a fan! And, like a commenter before me, the BF would never ever wear one. He'd think I'm crazy :-)

I don't know who would wear them and to what, but I LOVE these! They are gorgeous and interesting and fresh. It's fashion--who cares if you can't move your arms? I say yes in the fashion world and question mark in the street world.

I would totally wear the first and last ones. Since they only go over one shoulder, your mobility isn't restricted. Some of the others look cool but also just look like cropped jackets and sweaters which I don't like as much.

But thank God someone is trying to do something different with menswear. Finally!

The first and the third I know I could pull off (and if you were standing next to me, Tom I would go out of my way to say hello).

Interesting ideas, it is always great when something new comes along. They're like structured shawls.

Example #1 of how things may look interesting on the girls (see Jay McCarroll blue knit season one), but look crazy on the boys.

More troublesome is the length, and the materials used. It just cuts the boys in half with a completely random fabric. Some of them aren't so bad, but I wish he wore out a theme that was tired to begin with, because when this is the only thing that can bind your collection together, you've got problems.

Not willing to pass judgment on it now. Let's see if any other designers picks up on it.

Sorry--didn't even see the weird sweaters; so distracted by the goofy hats.

Sharon Stone.


They are completely impractical and mostly ugly.

Also, not sure if 'they won't be throwing their hands in the air like they don't care' was supposed to be a KORN reference but Word UP is definitely going to be going through my head all night now...

You know, I'm as conservative as they come, but I really liked these looks. Especially the tan outfit with suede (?) shrug, and the black leather one. Didn't really care for last 3 though.

NAY. end of discussion.

These are a YAY in women's wear but a NAY for men's wear.

*bad accent* Zee Scarves zey are ATTACKING!

I'm sorry. All the pictures made me go into horror movie mode. Because, seriously, they look like they fell under an evil doctor's enlarge ray and started eating their owners.

I'm just not that interested in 1/2 a sweater.

woof...wouldn't be caught dead wearing any of those. this goes beyond ridiculous into the realm of tacky.

All hail the Bondage Poncho!

Okay - when I was a kid going to sunday school, there was a day when they were trying to emphasize something about not going with what's popular but sticking with what you know is right. The example was "If the new fashionable thing was a sweater that had no armholes, leaving the wearer unable comfortably to use their arms, but everyone was eager to have and wear it, would you?" This Collection is what they were talking about 20 years ago. Holy crap.


I know you said not to think of them from a functionality perspective, but it's what's dragging me down. They look interesting, but completely unwearable by anyone who's going to be doing anything with their arms (so, really, just anyone). I agree with whoever mentioned "quasi straight jackets."

I hate these with a passion that is nigh incomprehensible. They're like all the silly trendy bs that is shrugs, but magnifying into the stratosphere.

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