#TBT: Sweater Queens

Before frenulum piercings, before neck tattoos, before beardos, a young or young-appearing gay gentleman strove for a relaxed sophistication. Perhaps a nice ID bracelet. A good Cartier tank watch. A class ring. A splash of Guerlain Vetiver. You ordered a dry martini at the bar, unless you had a signature drink like a Rob Roy or a Sazerac. And yes, even though you were in a gay bar, you did not talk about being gay, my dear.

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Decked out in sweaters, ascots, and dickeys, the boys felt more than ready for a night of alcohol and bitter laughter.

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Inbred royals set the trends for gay men everywhere.

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More inbred royals in case you didn't get that.

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"I feel you touching my foot, Ned. Don't toy with me. I'm delicate right now."

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Mr. Livermore, the vice principal, had a modeling contract on the side that few of the students knew about.

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After some mulled wine and some shooters of rye whiskey, the boys started losing the sweaters but fast.

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Manfred felt terribly clever in his faux tank and pleather pants. He had conquered the world of illusion.

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Belted with bullets: terrorist chic.

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I'm not fat. I'm husky.

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Hold the phone! I found a new recruit for the mini-cowl neck sweater club!

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Leslie knew he was taking risks going to the Carriage Trade in his new placket-front perforated sweater — completely unbuttoned!

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Some men like to have the ears undraped for easy access.

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Steven had a hunch he would be a big hit with the boys at the peace rally with his banjo and his leather pants. The sweater vest his mother made topped off the dazzling effect.

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There was a joke we used to tell: A man at the bar drunkenly tells his friend, "My mother made me a homosexual." His companion blithely replies, "Can she knit me one too?"

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Queens from the Planet Cardigan.

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Tim felt positively nifty in his matching sweater and helmet.

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We were positively mesmerized when Arthur stolled into the bar with his dog Max in matching sweaters.

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Yes, there was a demand for a magazine called Men in Belted Sweaters.

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Jay felt his impatience peaking. One more crack from his longtime roomate Glenn about his "net worth" and he was going to flip his lid!

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It was a strange summer of knits.

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No, dear, he doesn't think you're hot, he's appalled at your roots.

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Promise you won't wear that sweater with those white shorts again, will you, Earl?

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Queens from the Planet Shetlandia. Note loafers.

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So as you head into fall and perk up your wardrobe with some toasty little sweaters, remember the long history that knits us together as stylish gay men.
Tags: Comedy, Fashion