The Fran Jacket at Wyse London 70% wool 30% cashmere £280 (currently OOS) – THE perfect example of what I am after!
Many years ago my Mum was hunting for a left hand opening, almond coloured, fridge freezer. It’s gone down in history as one of those eye rolling things that only she could want. But her determination paid off and, against the odds, she found one.
I fear that I too am heading down a similar path. I know that what I’m after exists because I already own one. However it is starting to get a little tired and worn around the edges now, so it could do with replacing. But I have hunted high and low for one, at places such as Hush, Boden, Cos, Arket, Zara, Arket, M&S, Baukjen, H&M, Jigsaw, & Other Stories, Whistles, Topshop, John Lewis, Asos – you name it, I’ve been there!
ASOS cable knit cardi (£28)
What I’m after is a cardigan without buttons – which could explain my difficulty in finding one, because by definition a cardigan tends to have buttons. It should really be called a cardiket, or a jackigan. Officially it is called “an edge to edge” cardigan but search for that and you’ll come up with all manner of frumpigans instead.
Yak Alpaca blend cardi from Arket (£125) which is a lovely charcoal colour but it may be a little hairy!
Anyhow, these are great pieces to own – not the frumpy version – but a trendier version. And here’s why:
When you’re a chilly whatsit like me, come the end of September it’s game up for the silky shirts and blouses, slogan tees and anything that’s lightweight. The options are either a) not to wear them or b) to hide them under a chunky jumper – which kinds of defeats the object. True, a collar and a cuff from a pretty blouse can make a brief appearance, or a pussy bow can peep out from under the neckline of a sweater but other than that, pretty blouses are pretty much done for, which is a shame because I love a pretty blouse.
This Natalia cardigan from Boden (£95) is along the right lines…if only it was a little shorter. But for some, it will be the perfect length!
However the addition of a knitted jacket/cardi type thing (without buttons) to your wardrobe, can solve these issues head on. I know that you may look at these and go “Really Beth, have you completely lost the plot?” But honestly, trust me! They are a real wardrobe hero and once you have one, you’ll wonder how you managed without one. Not only that but I’ve been asked time and again by women who experience flushes and who need to dress in layers, whether there are any decent cardis out there for them. The answer, on the whole, is no – apart from these.
Most cardis are pretty frumpy and dated plus, if they have buttons, they can “fight” with the buttons on a blouse. They often just don’t hang how I would want them to either – but that’s because they’re a cardigan and not a jacket.
I like them to hang straight down at the back, rather than fitting close to the body. Oh and they need to finish at the hip bone – just like the one that Fran designed for Wyse, above. The right edge to edge cardi isn’t at all frumpy though one can make outfits all sorts of cool – or warm – or back to cool again if you take it off due to a hot flush. Generally they’re better in a neutral colour, just so that they let the blouse take centre stage in the outfit.
If I had to choose a cardi that had buttons, it would be this one from Zara (£25.99) and then I’d probably just take the buttons off. The shape is right in the way that it hangs, so yep, this could be a winner.
And finally if I was absolutely forced to wear a cardi that wasn’t edge to edge and had to fit the body, it would be this one – because I LOVE the sleeves!
Do let me know if you’re tempted by an edge to edge cardigan!