So I started to write this Blog about cardigans, and showed it to Jane Anderson (Arbiter of Taste (self-appointed)). She read it, and said it was total old woman, boring rubbish and made her want to puke. "It's too wordy and sounds like you've actually become a cardigan". I tried not to take it personally (truth be told it was a fair point, as I'd been boring myself with 'the joys of layering' and 'the beauty of wrapping up as leaves fell from trees', and doing my own buttons up, etc,). I also remembered Jane's one time TV experience and why cardigans might be a sore point. Whilst being victimised on What Not to Wear, Trinny and Susannah had shrieked at her never to wear cardigans again. "They are beige and boring and make you look like a librarian!" or words to that effect. So, of course, I thought, she's got a thing about cardigans now...(like she needed another 'thing'. Said with love of course).
However, re-reading what I'd written and trying to stay awake, I realised that I really had turned into a cardigan. I was writing comforting sentences, and wrapping myself up in layers of warm tediousness. I needed to wake up and get with the programme.
So I've deleted the humming drivel about lapels disguising pokey nipples, and belts being better than buttons. I've eliminated the words 'pop' (as in into a shop), and 'nice' (as in how something looks), and 'faves' (as in what I liked best), as these made her vom. (Well, she gagged). And I'm just showing you some cardis that will be good for bra-free styling in this chilly weather. Fair enough? Ok, let's do it.
Looked great on the hanger, but might need a bra as thinnish material (nipple issue), unless you wear something underneath. Also, this kind of V is distinctly unflattering for the flatter chest. Best worn hanging open, hands in pockets, as per the model :-)
Next up, a great sleeveless, fringed cardi from New Look that we actually feature in Shop The Tops at the moment. I asked our model Emma to try it on (with a great big seventies style vintage woolly hat for good measure)...
In All Saints I found a couple of more unusual cardigans. Check out the amazing Quinta Wrap, £198, in both brown (aka slate grey) and cream (aka porcelain), and below that the Drina Cadigan in mist marl, £128 (which zips at the shoulder and hangs assymetrically when done up, and also comes in black and burgundy). Both add volume at the front and have great design detail. I seriously wanted that wrap. It would even fit under a coat because it's just the front that bulks out. A word in Santa's ear maybe.
Then I asked Emma to strike a pose, in a warm, woolly from Top Shop, just to show how cosy a person can be without a bra on a chilly day :-)
So she needs a belt maybe, but you get the picture? Chunkier wool, stripes going across, enough material to create lapels = a brafree winner :-)
It would be wrong to finish without a waterfall cardigan. So named for the extra cascades of material at the front - an ideal companion to the flatter chest.
And here's a bargain one, currently in the sale for £25 at Van Mildert.
Wishing you all much warmth and comfort in your brafree Autumn styling, and do send us your Loose Selfies for our Pinterest board if you find a cardi you like :-)
Karen Dobres, Chief Freedom Fighter
PS: Thought you'd like to know, I originally called this post "Cardigans: An Autumnal Invitation". She vetoed that.