John Waters's 'Writing Sweater' Came From a San Francisco Boutique

Author, director, and man of many talents John Waters has a secret weapon for writing: his Our Legacy cotton cardigan.

In an essay published in The Wall Street Journal this week, Waters wrote, “Every morning when I go into my writing room to think up the lunatic ideas I get paid for, I put on a cardigan sweater from the Swedish brand Our Legacy that specializes in clothes so cool that only you notice them, so upscale they appear down, so everyday that they are beyond the valley of special. In other words, you are fashionable without trying… This is my version of Linus’s security blanket in the ‘Peanuts’ cartoon.”

Waters purchased his writing cardigan on sale at Modern Appealing Clothing, an almost 40-year-old San Francisco boutique known for its selection of international avant-garde brands like Dries van Noten and Comme des Garçons. Our Legacy isn’t currently selling Waters’s sweater, but you can shop similar looks here and here.

It’s not uncommon to have a lucky piece of clothing. Most of us have a dress or a pair of jeans we wear when we need a pick-me-up, and who can forget Legally Blonde Margot’s lucky scrunchie? (It helped her pass Spanish!) Refinery 29 did a deep dive into the phenomenon last year, in which Lauren Bravo wrote, “Clothes equal confidence, and they so often feel tightly bound with our successes and failures. The wrong outfit can make us feel awkward and discombobulated all day, while the right one can be an instant mood boost.” Waters spends nearly 800 words in his essay detailing how his sweater fosters creativity, and how he lovingly cares for it. (“No reason to humiliate this sweater further by sending it to the dry-cleaners where it would be forced to mingle with its chemically treated inferiors. Just handwash this garment in cold water and place it lovingly, soothingly, almost sexually on a towel to dry.’)

On the hunt for your own “writing sweater” or another lucky piece of clothing? Follow Waters’s lead to Modern Appealing Clothing at 387 Grove Street in Hayes Valley and 1003 Minnesota Street in the Dogpatch.

GIF animation by Carolyn Figel