Anne at Modern Mrs. Darcy stirred up a firestorm recently when she called a cardigan “the easiest way to ruin a good outfit.” It was one of her most commented-upon posts of the year. Cardigans! People feel strongly about their cardigans.
I have to agree with her for the most part.
I tried finding a pink cardigan to wear with a black dress for a school auction earlier this year. I was hoping for something like this:
Instead I ended up with this:
I returned them both and went without. Fortunately it was a warm evening.
Another example is one night long ago when Pat and I went out for dinner. I have a hard time with dressy-casual outfits. I wore a sleeveless top and jeans.
Because it was nighttime and slightly chilly, though, I threw on a cardigan.
It killed any potential that outfit had. (I still wore it. Marriage, you know.) In hindsight, maybe it wasn’t so awful, but it wasn’t great.
A blazer would have been better. I love my navy blazer.
On the other hand, some of my favorite outfits over the past few years included cardigans.
It bothers me at this deep deep level that I can’t have a just a few pieces that all go with each other.
But a completely mix-and-match wardrobe only seems to work if your pieces are all the same shape. The same cardigan that goes with skinny jeans most likely will not go with flared jeans and an A-line dress, too.
I’ve thought and thought about this (chronic overthinker here!) and I’ve concluded: it’s all about proportion. Aesthetics and beauty are all about proportion, right? Symmetry is the most universally accepted standard of beauty. The aesthetics of proportion are unavoidable. Who am I to think I can get away with wearing any old cardigan with anything? Nature and nature’s laws, etc.
How that for starting out with cardigans and ending with philosophy? Are you impressed yet?
Never mind, I’m going to shop for more blazers.