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THE PHILOSOPHER’S NEW CLOTHES: What does a philosopher wear? Designer Bella Freud has answered that puzzling question by collaborating with The School of Life in London to fashion a plain black merino sweater for men and women, called The Philosopher’s Jumper. The school, which says it is “devoted to developing emotional intelligence through the help of culture,” said it tapped Freud to design “the ideal garment for the thinking man or woman.” Morgwn Rimel, the school’s director, commented: “The black jumper has taken pride of place in the wardrobes of intellectual heroes as diverse as Herbert Marcuse, Iris Murdoch, Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre,” he said. “We see [the jumper] as an invitation for us to share in the philosophical life.”

While Freud is best known for sweaters stitched with quirky phrases, for this project she’s left the garments enigmatically blank, while the words “know yourself” are stitched on a small label at the side of the sweater. “[The jumper] is a sheath that keeps you feeling under the radar while attracting the attention of interesting people,” Freud mused. The sweater is available to buy in men’s and women’s sizes from The School of Life’s Web site at, and retails for 150 pounds, or about $240.

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