But I have been known to dip into men's knitwear from time to time, since I can usually make a man's extra small or small sweater and/or cardigan work on my frame.
Up until recently, though, I kept my yummy menswear a secret, only to be brought out in the wee hours of the morning or night so as to keep a chill at bay. (My favorite is a men's cardigan from 2009 that I wear faithfully...it has been washed so much that it is as soft as a baby's bottom.)
When I spied the Wallace and Barnes Shetland Wool Sutherland Sweater and the Lambswool Inverness Fair Isle Sweater in the fall rollout at J. Crew, I figured it was worth a shot to try some XY clothing that could be worn (gasp!) outside, especially if I could grab them on sale. After waiting many many weeks and days, I finally got both for very good discounts (thank you, J. Crew, and your endless parades of discounts in November and December).
Here is the verdict...
Day: Monday, January 7, 2013.
Where: Grocery Shopping @ Harris Teeter (it's all I ever do).
Ease of Wear: (3 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.) The Sutherland sweater wasn't the issue. In fact, after I got back from my fun day of activities, I kept that sweater on and took off the pants. The problem with the outfit was the pants, and the fact that I wore spanx underneath them to keep the shirt tucked in properly (since the waistband is low on these cords, the shirt won't stay tucked in without lots of help). I felt bound and tied. It was not a great feeling.
The sweater is wondeful. Great shape, fits exactly right in the extra-small, even in the shoulders, plus it has long enough arms for me, Miss Monkey Arms. The color is luscious and very sherberty, but without being too sweet. The wool is a bit coarse, but kept me very toasty (it was cool here yesterday). I think with time the wool will soften. I think the elbow patches are a cute touch and made from a very supple suede.
I think the price they were charging originally was pretty good, but because I (secretly*--shh) grabbed it with a 30% off promo, I was able to get it an even better price.
(See it on a handsome dude here, btw. He wears the aqua version very well. I am officially a dirty old woman.)
*(Wallace and Barnes items are supposed to be excluded, but my computer said yes. Yay!)
Cool Factor: (3 of 5 stars--5 being the coolest.) This outfit is exactly what a SAHM wears, so not especially cool unless SAHMs are all of a sudden cool. The only cool thing about my outfit is my bag, honestly. I did have a guy compliment my coat (men love this yellow Sybil coat--never fails, btw, every time I wear it out, it is complimented by some big, gruff dude).
Anecdote from the day: Big gruff man complimented my coat. I only spent around $50 at the grocery store (minor miracle, btw--food is SO expensive).
Day: Thursday, January 3, 2013.
Where: Bowling and preschool run.
Ease of Wear: (4 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.) The outfit is the very definition of casual and warm and comfortable. The pants are made from a very thick ponte in a lovely dark purple shade.
The sweater is not as big of a winner as the Sutherland, but I do really like it. I am very glad I got this one on super sale (sale plus 30% off), since I don't think it is worth full price. (It pills a bit--but nowhere near what womens cashmere does.) I love the fair isle pattern on this, very timeless and less destined for "ugly sweater" party like my ironic favorite, the farmyard fair isle. This Inverness fair isle is a more fitted shape than the sutherland, especially in the hips. It fits fine, but the sutherland is so easy and glides right over my hips where the Inverness kind of grabs on and holds me.
Cool Factor: (1.5 of 5 stars--5 being the coolest.) In no way is it cool. Sorry. The boots may help a tiny bit, and possibly the sunglasses, but the scarf plus the fair isle plus *almost* leggings equals NOT cool. Plus I was going bowling, people. Bowling.
Anecdote from the day: I did just awful at bowling. One game was decent, a few points up from my average. One game was pretty good, about twenty up from average. But--oof--one game was down by nearly 30. Plus everyone else on my team did really bad, so we lost big time. We got our bowling pins handed to us (and how) by the other team.
Okay, that's it! Have any of you dabbled in menswear? Or do you stay far far away?
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