Why do our beloved cardigans have such a bad reputation? Living in an unreliable climate, we depend on them so much, but all too often they are seen as “sensible” items and they don’t have the cachet they deserve. Perhaps it is the legacy of too many iconic characters who have worn slouchy, baggy old cardies on our screens, such as Nora Batty and Pauline Fowler.
How many times have you been shivering at an outdoor event and been so grateful for that nice, soft woolly layer to warm you up? In a country where it can cloud over and change from sunshine in rain in nano-seconds, we need some form of protection. Jumpers are much more impractical, as you can’t pull them on and off so easily and yet they have been high in the fashion stakes in recent years. First there was the re-emergence of the comical “Christmas jumper” with its jolly design. Then it was the success of the Danish TV show “The Killing” with detective Sarah Lund’s Faroese pullie almost as much as a star of the show as she was.
Having to pull a jumper off over your head can be awkward, not to mention mess up your hair. Having a neat row of buttons to add or subtract a layer is so much easier. The new type of “slouch” or “waterfall” design does away with even that necessity. Shrugging on a warm knit when someone turns the air conditioning up in the office, or shrugging it off again when you’ve been for a long walk on a cold day makes ladies cardigans the ultimate in inbuilt climate control!
For fashion reasons, we should all be proud of our cardigans. They have so many clever tricks up their sleeves. They can cover up upper arms (something a lot of us are self-conscious about) while still showing off a great bust. They can feminize an outfit of trousers and shirt. They can be thrown on over almost anything without affecting the impact of the clothes underneath. A pretty swishy party dress won’t be ruined by a neat, soft, complementary cardigan. Cinched to the waist, it will enhance the hourglass. A lovely, super soft cashmere or lambswool will add a luxurious look and feel to the way you look and feel. Let’s face it, our cardies are our best friends and we would be lost without them.