January 18, 2011

It's In the Blends

This is a post about a recent sweater bounty and the related sweater lessons I've learned in the past 3 years of dealing with actual winter. It really did take 3 winters for this shit to sink into my brain mush, too. That's how entrenched my ideas about clothes were in my early 20s.

But let's just look at the goods, then talk after.

1. The chunky knit 
After making that text bigger I meditated on the phrase "chunky knit" long enough for it to become an absurd series of sounds. Then, I googled "chunky knit," as I came to disbelieve that people could use this phrase as a description for clothing. All I can think about right now are these Campbell's chunky soup commercials that make eating soup seem fucking manly. Also, the second search result for "chunky knit" (after shopstyle.com) was a personal twitter, @chunkyknit. He likes Devendra Banhart, apparently.
But the real lesson of this chunky knit sweater is in its ingredients. Haggar Casuals was not fucking around when it comes to maximizing comfort in every way with this blend. Unlike so many wool fisherman's style sweaters at the top of every trend whore's Christmas wish list, this delicate and soft ugly vintage sweater is silky smooth but still very thick and warm. The silk seems to help it drape rather than take on the classic round shape of so many heavy wool vintage sweaters. And surprisingly, there is no wool at all. Just cotton and silk. Also, it's taupe, which sealed the deal.

 2. The Cher Horowitz
I wouldn't have called it that, but the first day I wore this out two different people connected it to Clueless in less than an hour. I guess an entire generation will forever associate cropped sweaters and collared shirts with our girl Cher. I can't lie, it's sort of what I was going for.
This time silk and wool come together. It may seem silly or a little OCD to get this into the tags on my clothing, but I've realized that I have favorites when it comes to fabric blends. I don't like to buy vintage nylon, acrylic, or polyester no matter how quirky the animal print sweater may be, because I'll never wear something that makes me sweat to death and feel itchy. I'm delicate like that. Before this 3-sweater purchase my only non-cardigan full-frontal-coverage sweater involved a sash/bow, was from H&M, and was made entirely of black acrylic. One day, I walked 4 blocks in the snow and was covered in heat rash by the time I got home because of that sweater. I sold it to Buffalo Exchange.

3. The classic black crew neck
It's only within the last year of life that I have truly embraced and begun to regularly wear the crew neck. Actually, let's make that within the last month. Growing up, I avoided them completely because of a weird fear of choking. I'm neurotic about things touching the front of my neck (throat), but these sweaters are soft and stretchy enough not to make me gag.  To be honest, my interest in this shape was sparked in part through dead fleurette's numerous posts about such lovely basics on her blog.
It must also sound crazy that I wasn't wearing crew necks in Minnesota before, but it was truly just this year that I realized I should keep my chest warm and set out to find some of these ugly things. Before, I just wore a lot of cardigan and scarf combos and looked more J. Crew than I'm comfortable with. Winter style... what a bummer.  Anyhow, this photo doesn't show the blend, but this one's 85% cotton and 15% cashmere, which also works out amazingly. Full cashmere is way too fluffy grandparent. Cotton helps keep it really thin and breathable and the cashmere adds just a tiny bit of extra softness.

I bought all three of these secondhand at Buffalo Exchange in Minneapolis. 1 and 3 were over on the men's side of the aisle. Each was around $20 or less. I think I did pretty well that day.


those tricks said...

I'm all for the addition of silk to any fabric. Soooo soft. Soooo supple. Soooo warm.
That's funny @ the Clueless reference. I don't recall that look associated with that movie. Will have to check out the film again!

Ginta said...

I'm picky about materials too. And lately I've noticed I have even my favorite blends too, like I love when my coats are wool and cashmere mix, they're much warmer than pure wool ones.

Miss Woo said...

Beautiful finds, the Cher jumper is definitely my favorite :-) I am kind of super fussy about jumper as well, I simply cannot stand anything acrylic or itchy (though I am strangely fond of merino, despite the fact it makes me sneeze).