In Praise Of The Boyfriend Jumper

Dolly Alderton on why a woman in a man's jumper is one of life's simplest pleasures

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Let me paint you a picture - it’s a Sunday. Midday. A woman has spent the morning in bed, wrapped up in the man who kept her awake all night. The light through the curtains and the urge for a cup of coffee finally nudges her to sit up.

She stretches out her arms then reaches down to the floor to find the first thing she took off when she got in last night. The second sexiest thing to have wrapped around her. Your favourite jumper.

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Thick and chunky, it smells of warm skin, a cold, brisk walk and a distant scent of aftershave. She slips it over her head and down her body until it skims the top of her thighs. The arms hang loose over her hands, the soft wool bunching in her palms as the tips of her fingers poke out from underneath.

Wearing it makes her feel small. Like curling up in a ball while a storm rips through the sky or being a tiny, naked dot swimming in a vast, sprawling ocean. Like stretching out on the grass, her body humming with alcohol, staring up at a bottomless, inky night. All of a sudden, being blanketed by something bigger than her feels really, really sexy.

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A woman in a man’s jumper is a mutual branding – the grown-up, post-coital Letterman jacket. It says: I am yours and you are mine. I’ve inhabited this jumper and in turn, a little piece of you. We don’t need to step around each other so cautiously any more; that exhausting parade is over and here we stand in the best square mile.

The boyfriend jumper covers the gorgeous space between a new relationship and an over-familiar one; somewhere in the middle of the totally unknown and the bit when you’ll inevitably argue about wet towels on the floor (one of you will claim it attracts spiders).

A naked woman spells out sex. But a naked woman in men’s knitwear spells out intimacy. It implies good sex – the really relaxed kind, where nothing is out of bounds and you only want to do with someone you know.

The sort that winds on from Friday to Monday in a weekend without a dress-code; in between tardy breakfasts, empty afternoons, long showers, bottles of wine, the kettle boiling, old albums, bare feet on the kitchen floor, early nights with no sleep and a sheet that keeps creeping off the bed no matter how many times you tuck it back.

A woman feels coquettish in her man’s favourite jumper because, unlike most garments, it looks best when worn with absolutely nothing but bare legs and bed-hair. A bit obscene, really. And a bit impractical – she’s definitely not going anywhere in a get-up like that.

But, who cares? It’s Sunday. Why would she want to go outside anyway? What is there out there? Everything she wants to do today, she can do right here, in this flat, just with you.

Photography: Andrew Woffinden

This article first appeared in Esquire Weekly, our new iPad-only edition. Containing 100 per cent new and original content, it’s published every Thursday on the Apple Newsstand. Get your copy today by downloading the Esquire UK app to your iPad and either buying an individual copy for 99p or taking out a three-month, six-month or year’s subscription (all of which include digital copies of the monthly magazine)

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