ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact
As the Southern hemisphere enjoys the first real frost of 2018, millions of portly, rotund, full-figured and bubbly Australians are looking forward to the cooler months ahead.
Not because they prefer footy to cricket, but because they can put their crippling body image problems to sleep until November at the very latest.
While the inclement weather begins to roll in over the coming months, premature jumper wearing will become more common as the husky begin to look for that confidence boost.
The winter couldn’t come fast enough for two of the county’s most dedicated jumper wearers.
Lithgow residents Darren Boing and Kaycee Lager, both 23, say they’ve shopped online for jumpers, hoodies, coats, rain coats, trench coats and beanies since the hotter months started.
“My threshold is usually 25 degrees,” says Darren.
“I can usually get away with that without people asking me why I’m wearing a jumper,”
“I’ve tried everything to look slim during the hotter months – once I tried shaving in a jaw line but my Dad kept putting shit on me.” he said.
Kaycee has been Darren’s live-in girlfriend for over three months, where they share rent in his parents two-bedroom home.
She’s a freelance copywriter, doing voiceovers and writing ads for local businesses in the Lithgow and Upper Blue Mountains area.
In 2011, Kaycee won the prestigious Lithgow Chamber of Commerce Merit Award for her breakthrough ad for Tony Leahy Nissan in neighbouring Bathurst.
However, she admits hasn’t always lived the high life.
“I wear jumpers to feel confident,” she confides.
“That’s half the reason I made the move to Lithgow – because it’s the coldest, windiest shit hole I could find,”
“Lithgow is full of marginally overweight people wearing hoodies year-round. It’s paradise.”
The former coal-mining centre is also home to Australia’s highest rates of shirt pinchers, who by definition, are more susceptible to wearing jumpers in warm weather.
Shirt pinchers have emerged ‘out of nowhere’ says UNSW researcher Dr Gary Kidd, who chalks up the recent explosion of pincher numbers to the hotter-than-usual autumn.
“A shirt pincher is a person who constantly pulls and pinches their clothing to make it fit better,” says Dr Kidd.
“While it may seem innocuous, it’s painfully obvious,”
“Usually, warmer weather jumper wearers metamorphose into shirt pinchers on really hot days – when the heat overpowers vanity.”
As for the rest of the country, tradition dictates that it’s acceptable to wear jumpers and coats from the Queen’s Birthday long weekend until NRL Grand Final day.