Friday, October 26, 2007

Improbably Good

A few weeks ago, I was in Dallas, and it was still hot. (Texas being Texas, the temperatures dropped about 30 degrees in 24 hours last weekend, and Austin is having its annual Ten Days of Autumn -- it's supposed to get into the mid-40's tonight.) At any rate, it was still hot then, and I had a few summery dresses with me, but I also realized that I was going to be inside where it's air-conditioned quite a bit, so I needed a cardigan but hadn't brought one with me (which is strange in the extreme for a Cardi Queen like me, so I think the Fashion Universe was leading me). I ducked into Banana Republic and came out with this cute little thing.

(Which I very mysteriously cannot find on the Banana Republic website. Weird.)

Now, the idea of a short-sleeved cardigan would have until very recently struck me as the height of ridiculous. I mean, I'm still not sold on the sleeveless turtleneck, a concept I have tried to embrace but failed. (Seriously -- if it's warm enough to wear a sleeveless top, my neck will just be sweaty. I bought one this summer, wore it twice, and I think it's going to Goodwill. Drives me nuts.) For some reason, though, I took the plunge on this cardi. Actually, I know the reason: it was cute as hell. The dolman sleeves create a nice, drapey look, the waist is fitted, the knit (wool/cotton blend) was just heavy enough. And at that time I was still on my crusade for short-sleeved things to take me from summer into... well, Indian summer, which is what we really have instead of fall.

I bought it thinking it would get me through the weekend, but since I got back, I've thrown it on a surprising amount and you know what? I really love this silly thing. It's kinda perfect, especially for cool weather that's not really cold. Plus, I'm the sort of person who habitually and unconsciously pushes up her sleeves (Style Spy is a BIG fan of the bracelet sleeve), so this saves me the trouble. Yesterday I wore it with a deep red silky knit long-sleeved t-shirt, a black dobby wool straight skirt, some red tights, and my lovely Louis-like Armani pumps that I bought on a whim and cannot get enough of:

(Marie Antoinette, eat your heart out)

I looked darned cute. So I decided to share the love. Here are some great little short-sleeved cardis I've found on the Interwebs. Click the photos for links.

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Pretty open work.

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Good clean basic, and can also function as a top on its own.

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Perfect. This comes in red, as well, and I'm having a struggle with my No Buy.

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Nice & cuddly. This would be great over a knit dress, like a wrap dress, that was maybe a tiny bit too slinky or sexy for work.

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Everybody loves argyle!

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Very Missoni-like, which is a good thing. Stick with a solid-color top underneath, of course, unless you are Advanced-Fashion Qualified and find a pattern in the same colors.

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Love this.

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Misses sizes.

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Available in Petites, misses, and women's sizes.

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Catherine Malandrino, with beautiful ribbon trim to create that woven effect. And I'm having a fuchsia moment, so I love it.

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Nice swingy shape.

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Lovely cashmere from Vince.

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This comes in petites and misses.

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This is fleece, which I'm not crazy about, but the price is unbeatable and I just got excited every time I found something in an actual color besides black or gray.

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Wonderfully useful, with a great waist-creating shape and sleeves wide enough to get a blouse through.

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Love this. Very similar shape to the one I bought, with great cable details.

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Zip front. Cool.

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Another one from Vince. I dunno who this Vince guy is, but he makes nice sweaters.

I also showed a couple of good misses-sized ones on my last post. Go check 'em out.

So there you go. These sweaters are great on their own with a cami or shell, but they're also wonderful with a long sleeve underneath them. It's a great way of layering to show off a wonderful patterned top, or those beautiful long gloves you bought because there are so many this season. (It's also nice to wear a dolman-sleeved sweater at dinner and not drag the sleeve through your risotto. But maybe that's a concern only I have.)

Let me know what you think!

A quick word on my week-long absence: I've been a spotty correspondent lately, I know, and I do apologize but I don't see it changing for a bit. I've been busy working and have had company and I leave for a two-week trip in less than two weeks. So right now I'm scrambling to get my last-minute ducks in a row before leaving for London & Paris, and that includes (pray for me!) trying to winnow down my usual enormous packing into a smaller, more maneuverable suitcase (2 weeks in November! I need sweaters!!), and sewing at least one more pair of slacks to take with me. I have a lot of wonderful things planned for my trip, which I'll be sure to tell you about as soon as I come home, but I'm afraid until then it's going to be hard for me to find a lot of time to write. But keep those cards & letters coming, friends! (And wish me luck with the packing!)

Photos: Style Spy,,,,,,,,

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Anonymous said...

Great cardis!! They're going to be very, very useful for many people this coming season.

Also, I wanted to ask about something, but since I can't find your email I'll just ask here. Hope you don't mind.

What's your stand on knee-high and over-the-knee socks? I'm a 17 year old college freshman that's kind of small (almost all my stuff come from the petite section -_-) so I don't really have any problem with the "mutton-dressed-as-a-lamb problem". Or do I? I have some mini skirts that I want to wear them with, but I'm not sure. The skirts aren't too short so they're not going into slut territory, though. For shoes, I have some sneakers I could wear them with, since heels are a no-no with my hectic schedule (and running around at my uni in general). I've had these pair of black knee-highs forever, but I'm just not sure how to work it. Anything I could wear them with? Thoughts in general? =)

Alexandra said...

I bought an almost identical to yours cardigan this spring and ended up not wearing it as much as I thought I would. For some reason, it always seemed to work but never quite, yes, it also went to charity unfortunately.

But, those shoes are wonderful!!

enc said...

I have two Vince cashmere cardigans, and two Vince leather jackets. I've been really pleased with the styling.

The cardis have cool details like dual zippers, so you can zip them up to the top, and then unzip them from the bottom, allowing some freedom of movement. However, the cardis have two problems.

First, the cashmere pills. Badly. Get your shavers out, girls!

Second, the seams come undone. On my gray one, the seam at the cuff gave way, and the shoulder seam on my green one undid itself, so I had to sit down and sew by hand. I don't like sewing by hand. Plus, I had a resentment about the fact that I paid about $300 for a sweater that couldn't hold it together!

That said, they're brilliant sweaters. I recommend them anyway.

The jackets I have are superb. I love them and wear them all the time, and I'm hard to fit--I have wide, pointy shoulders, no boobs, a long upper body, and orangutan arms. The jackets are a dream for me, the leather is buttery soft, the pockets are wonderful, and the cut is right on.

Right Out Loud said...

As a knitter I'll use this post to choose the patterns for my next projects. Sweet! I love Cardis.

Jen said...

I have been brainwashed. While shopping at Ann Taylor Loft yesterday I picked up a cute black cap-sleeved 4-button cardi on sale. It's adorable, and I love the interesting knit pattern.

Princess Poochie said...

Okay Spy,

Where did you get those black heels!

Fess up! I must have them!