I Bought A $685 Gucci Sweater


I bought my first thing with a Gucci tag last December, on a Sunday afternoon. I walked into a glass box on Fifth Avenue & 56th Street and paid $685 for a piece of waffled Merino wool. A sweater, the color of black top.

I’d never felt the feeling of Gucci. Growing up, my parents covered me in the cheapest clothes they could find: Old Navy and Kohl’s. I had khaki shorts and painter’s jeans, the kind with a menagerie of pockets and a loop to hold a hammer. Baseball caps with Velcro closures. Polyester running shorts. Hoodies in anemic colors: rusty red, olive green, goldenrod. The brittle hug of cotton that teenagers in Bangladesh had picked a few years earlier.

So this was something new. I remember walking into the store — it was like walking into a wallet. The smell was sweet and hard, like leather covering plastic. The hangers were so large they looked like synthetic deltoid muscles, holding up wisps of white and mauve and sea green silk.

And there’s the name: it has “goo.” And the dental energy, the teeth-jerking movement in those two Cs.

Then I saw the sweater. I saw me in the sweater. I saw the sweater in me. I wrote a novella about me walking by my ex-boyfriend on the street in the sweater. That all happened very quickly.

The room where you take your clothes off was big and soft, with glassy white walls and a thick door. I took my shirt off and stood there, breathing. Then the sweater was on me, like the best professor, hugging me and taking me out to coffee to tell me I am young and full of promise.

So this is why we spend. For no other reason than to stare at ourselves under soft white lights wearing honeycombed things in white rooms as the smooth music of privilege blooms out of our armpits and fingertips and collar bones.

There is no thinking when you’re wearing Gucci. There is being: you are as fine as Merino lamb hair. You are a lamb, trotting around your apartment naked except for this one sweater. You are a Merino lamb on a lamb farm in Australia where you will soon be coerced into lovemaking with other Merinos, but that’s totally OK because you can do basically anything in this sweater.

Gucci’s logo is two interlocking Gs, one upside down. Again with the two letters next to one another. The letters’ proximity evokes the feeling of wearing expensive clothes: the feeling of a thousand people cotton swabbing your crevices, waiting in one long line to have sex with you, like sheep waiting to be sheared.