Writer Rachael Krishna loves clothes that cuddle…
I’m terrible with making clothing last or even reusing it. I have a wardrobe full of dresses I bought for bank breaking figures, foolishly believing that I would find another appropriate occasion to slip it back on, while realising that I will probably be lusting after a new pretty gown by the time the next event comes around. I then entered higher education and realised that a month’s budget couldn’t be spent on a pair of jeans on a whim; unfortunately it took me a while to discover this, making trips to Tesco in my first year more nerve wracking than watching blue tongued eighteen year olds try to balance in four inch heels. Because who needs nutrition when you have tinned 40p tinned macaroni and Topshop’s latest tribal print offering?
Since coming to University I’ve had to be a bit more sentimental about clothing, wearing things that are comfortable and cheap rather than showy and expensive. This has lead me to often ‘borrowing’ old jumpers and cardies from my mum (and sometimes dad) as a method of keeping warm without breaking the bank. These items have been borrowed and quickly returned except for one jumper of my mum’s.
My mum is a tiny, soft and cuddly sort of woman. With the hair on her head barely brushing past the five foot mark we often make an amusing image when together, her small and wobbly, me tall and decked out in three inch heels. Of course there was a time when I was smaller than her, when she’d muddle about our tiny kitchen in this warm knitted jumper, occasionally picking me up and wrapping me in its cosy, familiar warmth. That jumper was always there, picking me up from school, watching weekend cartoons with me, it was an extension and embodiment of my mum. Inevitably through my dramatic and tantrum ridden teenage years the jumper disappeared. However, weeks before leaving home I found it in a bag destined for the charity shops. Overcome by nostalgia I grabbed it and made room in my already overcrowded suitcase for the relic of my childhood.
It was a desperate attempt to hold onto the comfort and safety of home when squashed into a bed sit in King’s Cross. Through sleepless nights and endless packs of Kleenex I’d wrap myself in the soft, knitted memory of home and power on, finding comfort in the jumper I’d seen in so many of my baby pictures. Since then it has firmly stayed in my wardrobe, serving not only as a gentle reminder of home, but a wardrobe staple; that baggy, unwashed knit that you can throw on at a moment’s notice and quickly embody a ‘Sunday morning’ effortless look.
It’s the item of clothing that has travelled the world with me and will continue to do so. It’s a reminder that clothing can be more than a frock at a party. Interwoven in the wool of that jumper is home, and as the rather cheesy saying goes, ‘home is where the heart is,’ or in my case, my mum’s jumper is.
Follow Racheal on Twitter @RachaelKrishna