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What To Wear On A Spring Evening - The Cardigan Is Back

Aug 17, 2007
I have a theory about women. It might not be the most popular or enlightened of theories so I'll say it quietly, but say it I will, because I see evidence to back up my theory everywhere I look.

My theory is that deep down inside of most women lies the heart of a square.

Before I'm pilloried for my comments, I ought to explain. I don't mean square in the way that Gwyneth Paltrow appears to be square, instead I mean that in fashion terms, women are masters (or should that be mistresses) at concealing the innate practicality of their purchases. Those expensive jewel-toned note books so popular at the moment? I reckon that they're really just a cover for the feminine obsession of to-do lists. The "I am not a plastic bag" that prompted women to queue three blocks to buy one? How you seen how much stuff you can get in there? Equally, a good proportion of even the most on-trend fashionista's wardrobe will have alongside the frivolous Vera Wang dresses, an area dedicated to the cardigan.

The Cardigan in it's various incarnations has been with us for quite sometime. Generally, the garment is credited to the 7th Earl of Cardigan, he of the famed charge of the light brigade and whilst the word Cardy might conjor up images of old men and slippers, the fact remains, they are the ultimate practical no-nonsense clothing item.

That's probably where the old-fashioned image comes from. The fashion world is almost the antithesis of practicality. Fashion is usually represented by bold statements, loud confident gestures ala Macqueen or Westwood, not by the apparent compromise of the cardigan.

But look around, there is something of a revolution beginning to happen. Amongst the young and trendy, cardigans are everywhere! There are several reasons for this, not least because they are perfect for women going out to dinner on a spring/summer evening unsure what to wear with a pretty dress. A coat seems a little over the top but bare shoulders risk a lecture from mum! So out comes the cardy.

There are some rules you should follow this season though. Chunky knits are a strict no-no, as are those patterned cardies last seen on the late Princess Diana. Also, and I hope you're taking notes, 90's cardigans aren't going to cut it either. Pretty as they might be, with their beads and their round necks, they are designed to be worn unbuttoned, covering the arms and shoulders but not the dress front.

This season's cardy is different, it's a fashion statement in it's own right, look for a deep V neck, large buttons and patch pockets. Versatility is the key, they should look as good over a silk blouse as they do over a statement t-shirt twinned with jeans.

A great example is the Gap cardigan, at around $40 it's a damn sight cheaper than a coat and shows off your Queen of Suburbia "Shoes Life" tee much better!
About the Author
Mark Errington is Marketing Director at English fashion design house Queen Of Suburbia, the brain child of t-shirt designer Danielle Tomkinson. Queen of Suburbia T-shirts. Further examples of his commentary on fashion, celebrity and trends can be found on their fashion blog.
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