Sweater: Wild Fable, Target
Skirt: Dancing Days by Banned, Modcloth
Shoes: Chase & Chloe, Zulily
Bag: Dancing Days by Banned, Modcloth
White polka dot bangle: Mixit, J. C. Penney's
Orange striped bangle: Target
Yellow bangle: B Fabulous
Cream rose bangle: Mixit, J. C. Penney's
Gold and orange striped bangle: Macy's
Barrettes: The Tote Trove
In the last couple of weeks, it's gotten chilly in South Jersey. Which means time to stash the tee shirts and break out the sweaters. Now, sweaters are cozy and snugly and all -- but they can also be kind of tricky. Not like blouses, which are easy because they're polyester. (Well, my blouses are easy because they're polyester. But let's assume for the sake of this post that yours are polyester too, shall we?). Good old, created-in-a-lab poly ensures that those blouses wash up wrinkle-free and always look stellar. But sweaters . . . It's like, along with the sniffles and defrosting your car, Mother Nature has brought you this extra special treat of a wardrobe scavenger hunt. Because sweaters come in many stripes and fibers, most of them far from groovy. The good and bad ones are all mixed up together, like a bag of Hershey's miniatures rife with Special Darks and Mr. Goodbars (again, those are not my favorites. If you're a Special Dark devotee, then you know the drill.). You've got your cotton, your cashmere, your acrylic, your wool, and your rayon-viscose-poly-nylon-modal-and-sometimes-cotton blends. With so many natural and synthetic contenders clogging up the racks, how's a shopper to choose? By reading The Tote Trove's rundown on naughty and nice knits, of course. Let 'er rip.
Acrylic: I've said it before and I'll say it again: never ever buy acrylic. It pills after the first wash. The exception is if it's acrylic that's also chenille (and not just because it rhymes with Tennille, as in the Captain and Tennille and also my childhood cat). Unlike evil everyday acrylic, chenille doesn't pill, although after lots and lots of wear it does tend to get holes. Another plus is that it's oddly luxurious and kitschy. And guess what? It's trendy again!
Cashmere: This Cadillac of sweaters is synonymous with actual luxury. Yet I take issue with this because -- surprise! -- it pills just like acrylic. Also, it's as itchy as all get out. But then again, what do you expect from something that's made from a goat?
Cotton: I don't often tout the virtues of natural fibers. But there's no denying that when it comes to sweaters, cotton is king. Pill-proof and tough, cotton sweaters keep their shape and color long after other fabrics have packed up and moved to hagsville. Ding-ding-ding; we have a wardrobe winner!
Ramie: Ramie is like cotton's less successful neighbor. It works in the same building, but in a cubicle instead of the corner office. Which is a weird way of saying that it doesn't pill as badly as acrylic but is nowhere near as smooth as cotton. So, if you have a few extra bucks and find one on sale, then buying it is, on the junk food consumption scale, better than choking down a Hot Pocket but not as divine as devouring a Cinnabon. Mixed metaphors out.
Wool: Wool is supposedly a high-rent fiber, but it's even itchier than cashmere, so don't be a sheep -- don't buy it.
Rayon-viscose-poly-nylon-modal-and-sometimes-cotton Blends: The blends are a step up above ramie. They're more durable, wash reasonably well, and even have a shiny sheen. Their cubicle is closer to the corner office and they have an assistant who brings them Cinnabons. They also have fat asses from said Cinnabons, but as they say, you can't have everything.
So, what's the takeaway? Most sweaters are awful. Stick to polyester blouses. That said, I of course have lots of sweaters. Here are a few of my favorites:
Before I sign off, here's a close-up of my Dancing Days by Banned purse featured with this week's outfit. It was a summer clearance find from Modcloth, and I thought it deserved to shine against its own rich red background.
Ah, summer how I miss you and your sweater-free days. You've got bitchin' (ahem) in the bag.