06 March 2008

in praise of the cardigan

We have already discussed the consolation of brown. Let us move on to the cosiness of the cardigan, in the news yesterday as reclaimed by men as a fashion item. I cannot blame them. The cardigan can only compare with the tea cosy for its comforting qualities, its sheer practicality and its versatility. It can be prim and proper, literally conveying the buttoned up qualities of the truly severe. It can be silky and suggestive, especially helpful when you want to distract and surprise protagonists (ignore those style guides which suggest that cardigans are only worn by those who are powerless – not true). And of course, it comes in whatever textures, colours, shapes you want. It can exaggerate curves seductively or it can hide a multitude of sins, unbuttoned where necessary. I have cardigans that I wear when I need energy (tangerine) or feel predatory (leopardskin – forgive me Hadley) or sedate (oatmeal, cotton, Gap) or a bit femmy (lime green silk, and ruffled). I have worthy ones (teal blue merino wool), quirky ones (black and white striped, covered in buttons), sober ones (black boiled wool, my house cardigan), long ones (Betty Jackson (long, elegant with inside out seams) and short ones (crimson, flattering). And I have splashed out guiltily on cashmere (I confess - I have indulged in Brora).

So there you have it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was once a fan of the cardigan and had a starsky wraparound one as a boy lovingly knitted by a favourite aunt, and subsequently purloined by a nefarious father. I retaliated later by wearing his but was defeated ultimately as my mother buried him in it.