I arrived at university in 1998 with a selection of knitted patterned jumpers.
In my minds’ eye I looked outdoorsy and rugged.
I should probably mention that I had also dyed my hair straw-blonde which perhaps did not help build that image. At 18 you make some odd choices.
The jumpers had been pass-me-downs and though their functionality as a device to create warmth remained second-to-none it transpired that they did not form part of the fashion of 1998. They were relegated to work wear back home for log chopping and bonfires at which they excelled.
It is therefore with some bemusement that I found myself in Chile examining a selection of fine patterned woolly jumpers that in 1998 could possibly have led to social exclusion.
In the end I overcame temptation on the basis that I own quite a few jumpers already and do not have space in our travel bags for duplication, but I did emerge as the owner of a poncho. The moment I slipped it over my head I knew the sale was sealed. A masterpiece in design and function.
I doubt that jumpers or ponchos create an outdoorsy or rugged look, and 20 years on from I’ve learned of course that it does not actually matter.
I do know that I am looking forwards to cold evenings with a fire in the garden and a cigar and cognac in hand, friends around me, and my poncho over my head. And that does matter.
If you don’t already have one, get one and come round.