The fashion influence of the now suspended Rick Santorum presidential campaign has had an unforeseen twist, many people in the LGBT communities have kept a close eye on the anti-gay and homophobic rhetoric of his campaign. The Santorum campaign made it a point to attack anything he felt was immoral including straight porn and women who use birth control but it wasn’t any of these things that caught the eye of the fashion editors of OUT Magazine it was the sweater vest. Apparently the sweater vest has the uncanny ability to make straight men look gay and gay men look straight. You may ask why would anyone feel the need or have the desire to wear a sweater vest but the answer may surprise you, nothing makes a gay man look more straight than wearing a sweater vest and a pair of Wrangler jeans or Dockers. With the unemployment rate so high many gay men are wearing sweater vest to job interviews as form of social camouflage while not denying who they are or trying to conform to their employer’s social norms.
Since Rick Santorum has ended his campaign he has been approached by JCPenney and LL Bean to endorse their new line of sweater vests but he has not released a statement in regards to their offers. Sweater vest sales have increased in larger metropolitan areas on both the east and west coasts. Many designers are looking to revamp the sweater vest look. Yves Saint Laurent, Armani, D&G, Diesel, and DSquared are all seeking to make a line of designer sweater vest to fill popular demand. Perhaps the true legacy of the Santorum campaign won’t be all the crazy rhetoric or conspiracy theories but that the all American garment that has become his emblem may become a counter-culture icon.