How the cardie be­came an ‘It’ knit

There’s noth­ing but toned-up about this sea­son’s must-have. Frumpy it ain’t!

Scottish Daily Mail - - Femail Cover - by Jess Wood

Ah, Cardi­gaNS. Surely up there with slip­pers in the glam­our stakes. as the favoured knit of crooner Perry Como and chilly oldies ev­ery­where, it’s come to sym­bol­ise the ul­ti­mate com­fort wear.

But the tide started to turn in au­gust, thanks to ac­tress Katie holmes and a cer­tain taupe cash­mere cardie slip­ping saucily off her bronzed shoul­der to re­veal a match­ing knit­ted bra. and now, it’s this sea­son’s ‘it’ knit, with count­less ap­pear

an­ces on autumn/win­ter cat­walks, from Christo­pher Kane’s crys­tal-trimmed V-neck to Miu Miu’s cam­ou­flage de­sign.

The en­dur­ing Nineties in­flu­ence on fash­ion has a lot to do with the cardi­gan’s resur­gence. The ‘grandad’ cardie be­came a sub­ver­sive style state­ment for rock­ers such as Kurt Cobain, whose green mo­hair knit (com­plete with cig­a­rette burns and stains) sold for a record £260,000 last month.

The last time I had a dal­liance with a cardi­gan was in the mid-Nineties, when grunge was all the rage. I would raid the Marks & Spencer menswear depart­ment for over­sized cardi­gans to wear with my trea­sured bot­tle-green Levi 501s.

Per­haps the cardi­gan’s un­sexy im­age stems from its prac­ti­cal ori­gins. Said to have been in­vented as a knit­ted wool waist­coat by the 7th Earl of Cardi­gan, who led the Charge of the Light Bri­gade, to im­prove move­ment on the bat­tle­field, it was Coco Chanel who even­tu­ally put a stylish spin on it and turned it into the height of chic for women.

This sea­son, the golden rule is to con­trast a cardie’s uni­form feel with fem­i­nine el­e­ments. If you go for a V-neck, flash a sliver of decol­letage and team it with a slinky pen­cil skirt or silk pussy­bow dress. A boyfriend cardie looks fab­u­lous with cropped cig­a­rette pants and loafers, but keep it slouchy.

I’ll be liv­ing in Pringle’s chunky, belted cardie coat, paired with jeans, hik­ing boots — and the in­ner grunge at­ti­tude that’s been sim­mer­ing un­tapped all th­ese years.

All jew­ellery by:, Mon­ica Vi­nader and sa­lome­jew­

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