Hello-Hello, and welcome to a Friday, where once again we are seeing gray, gloomy skies. It is after all, February in The Great Midwest.
The abundance of dreary days spurred a spot of online window shopping this week, as we sought out some bright and vibrant hues. Fortunately, the springtime fashions are arriving in stores and online, so we were able to indulge in dreams of sunny skies and warmer temps. While looking at the styles we noted the preponderance of patterned sweaters that are made of printed fabric, as opposed to the pattern being woven into the material.
We have several examples of the technique, starting with Bean’s Lightweight Printed cardigan ($59.95). The material is described as “premium pima cotton for silky softness, nylon for extra durability and a bit of Lycra® elastane for a consistent fit”.
LL Bean Printed Cardigans
Many of us grew up wearing sweaters with the pattern woven into the garment, like these, also from Bean. The handknit Fair Isle ($199) is seen on the left, the iconic Norwegian sweater ($139) is on the right.
More examples of the printed sweaters, a springy style from J. McLaughlin. This is the Durango Sweater ($155), also printed (and in a lovely selection of color palettes!). It is a cotton/modal blend with a touch of spandex.
Talbots’ cardigans are often a blend of 60% cotton/40% rayon. It is a comfortable mix of fibers, I have one and it has worn well. Below left, the Tapestry Paisley Cardigan.
Lilly Pulitzer also offers printed cardigans.
Someone here at the Prepatorium
has several has seen these in person (cough-cough), the newer technique allows patterns that are more intricate and detailed, and colors that are rich and bold. Initially I wasn’t crazy about the method, but gradually have come to like it, deciding there is room in the closet for both styles. Does anyone else have strong feelings about the fabric…good, bad, never noticed?
Another style we have noticed more this spring, the knit blazer. Below we show it as interpreted by Brooks Brothers.
Talbots also offers a knit jacket, this is the Ponté knit Colorblocked Jacket (149).
Talbots Ponte Knit Blazer
And here we see LL Bean’s version, the Comfort Knit Blazer ($49.95).
It brings to mind an old theory of mine: as a rule, if the word ‘comfort’ is in the name of a garment, it’s unlikely to be terribly chic or elegant. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but when viewing the gray version, in particular, the look goes a bit downhill.
Knits can be a beautiful thing, especially when traveling. Talbots has multiple pieces in the Ponté knit fabric shown above, arguably several would work on a business trip. The freedom from wrinkles alone make the textile meritorious of inclusion in many a wardrobe. But the knit blazer….? Below, Old Navy’s version ($34.94).
Observations? The jackets with patterns and/or tipping (the contrasting color edges seen on the Brooks Brothers & Talbots pieces) seem less offensive than the solid colors. Also, gray looks rather ghastly, reminiscent of sweatshirts and yoga pants. Again, nothing bad about those items in one’s closet, they have a place. It’s just similar material turned into a blazer looks very odd to yours truly.
The final trend we noticed when surfing through some of our favorite sites, color blocking.
We see it in Lilly’s Heidi Cardigan ($148).
Lilly Pulitzer ‘Heidi’ Cardigan
As well as J. Crew’s Colorblock Cardigan ($89.50).
And Kate Spade’s Colorblock Tees ($68).
As Lilly notes in describing its Irene Dress (below left), “We’re on a colorblock kick!” The frock on the right is the Colorblock Tiff Dress from Kate Spade ($358), on the far right, Kate Spade’s Colorblock Blanche Dress ($498).
Lilly Pulitzer/Kate Spade/Kate Spade
More examples: the Long Sleeve Sunshirt in Caribbean ($78), Stretch Perfect Shirt in Hydrangea ($88), and Boys’ Pullover in Spearmint ($49.50), all from J. Crew.
I have long been fond of this style (in moderation), it adds zip to garments that usually have clean lines and minimal embellishment.
Our final tidbit today has nothing to do with dressing humans, but rather, feline fashions. Behold, United Bamboo’s 2013 Cat Calendar.
Why are we so crazy about it? It is all about the sartorial selections of those starring in the pages of the Calendar.
How cute is the little Regatta Blazer?
Or the Ruffle Pleat Dress?
It kind of takes ‘Mommy & Me’ to an entirely new level.
With that we say Happy Weekend!