I grew up in an East Coast beach town, where my friends and I spent our lazy high school summers cruising the boardwalk and chasing surfer boys, often wearing little more than bikinis and a healthy slather of tanning oil. I bailed on that laid-back lifestyle when I moved to New Orleans for college — and then later here to New York — but there are few things that fill me with the saccharine sense of nostalgia quite like an old-school, spring break-style piece of clothing, preferably one in a blinding shade of neon that looks like it was pulled from an oceanfront souvenir shop.
When Alexander Wang debuted his spring 2017 collection on the runway last September, this men's sweatshirt immediately stole my heart. Its bleach-stained print is actually a blown up graphic of a surfer catching a wave, and a series of retro postcards — complete with some perfectly '80s swimsuit babes — sewn on as patches just screams, "I wish you were here." I could see myself reaching for this throughout the gloomy, grey winter when I need a pick-me-up, or a reminder of the sunnier days ahead.
While I don't have a vacation planned anytime soon, just looking at this shirt momentarily transports me from the hellscape of reality we're living in — which is maybe why it reads "mind detergent" in varsity letters on the bottom. I cannot in good conscience suggest that we all trip out on LSD for the next four years, but perhaps stocking up on cheerful pieces like this will help spread good vibes.
Postcard print men's pullover, $550, available at Alexander Wang.
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