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Elena Bergeron is the executive editor of SB Nation, a massive network of sports blogs — more than 300! — that are individually dedicated to different teams in the NFL, NBA, MLB, and more, with one main hub that unites it all. That’s a huge job, and one that leaves little time to fuss over what to wear.
Bergeron found what she describes as the perfect sweater when she was still in college, and was smart to buy a bunch in different colors (currently, her collection is at a half-dozen). The best part is that most of them only cost $15 or $20 — they’re vintage Christian Dior Monsieur, a Dior men’s label that was licensed in the ‘70s and predates Dior Homme. They’re the epitome of a dad sweater, and the ones that are still up for grabs can be found on eBay. Here, she talks about what makes them so great.
Tell me how you started collecting men’s sportswear from the ‘70s.
Okay, so it’s specifically Christian Dior Monsieur — very different from Christian Dior Homme. I don’t even know how or why it is; it has something to do with Christian Dior’s licensing back then. But it started when I was in college. I had a roommate whose dad was like the snooty older dad. He passed away when we were in college, so my roommate had some of his stuff. I have two of his sweaters. One of them was actually this black one that I’m wearing now, and when I saw it I was like, “Wait, that’s swaggy — I’m here for that.”
So I just sort of co-opted it. She had a black one and a gray one, and her dad was a little dude, so they’re a size medium. They’re perfect. As I started wearing them more and more, I realized they’re actually the perfect sweater.
It fits you great, and it looks really cozy.
Exactly, they’re super cozy and lightweight, so you can layer them pretty easily. I started looking for more and more of them, because I fake tried to iron the gray one and it’s partially messed up. I killed it. The only place I could figure out where to get more of these was from looking on eBay — a lot of people actually sell these on eBay and they sell them between $15 and $35. It’s super dumb cheap. Nobody wants to hold onto them because they’re like granddad sweaters and I’m like, I will take them all.
Specifically, if I can find them in medium, it doesn’t matter what color it is, give it to me, I’ll take it. I’ve had this one and the one I purchased shortly thereafter, which is navy blue, for at least 13 years now. They’re great.
Part of the reason I love them is because, for me, especially when I was traveling a lot more and covering college basketball, it was great to be able to hop off a flight and go get in a car. Flying into Kansas City and driving an hour to Lawrence, Kansas, I had to have something that would work for that — that’s comfortable and would accommodate a change in seasons, that’s, like, non-offensive, isn’t super low-cut or tight for gyms and locker rooms where you’re talking to people.
But also, you’re, like, in these weird college towns speaking to millionaire coaches, and I’m not not going to wear sneakers. So having these sweaters is a good way to be like, “Look, I look like a normal personable human even though I’ve only slept for two hours.”
At this point, probably the last one I bought is a camel-colored one. Even in the bigger sizes, they fit because they’re a little bit banded at the bottom, which is perfect to go over leggings.
What’s the material?
Partially acrylic and nylon. They’re not cashmere or whatever, I don’t know. I don’t have to dry clean them or anything and people always think they’re fancier than what they are. Like, sure, they’re $20.
Is the camel one your fave?
Yeah, for now that’s definitely high up in the rotation. I’m a seasonal person, so every now and then I’ll take a mood inspiration. I tweeted one a couple months back because I had to find a picture of Sammy Davis Jr., and I was like — Sammy Davis Jr.’s wardrobe was fucking killer. So there was this picture of him in a turtleneck sweater and the perfect jeans.
And you were like, that’s a good look.
Yeah! And I’m like, he’s 5 foot tall, and I’m 5 foot tall. Perfect.