Cardigans Wardrobe Essential
Who can ever forget the famous final scene of Bridget Jones when, unbeknownst to her, Mark Darcy has gone off into the snow to buy her a new diary? Flummoxed by the fact that he has seen her rude comments about him, she grabs a pair of trainers and runs off in hot pursuit, wearing only her undies and a big, floppy cardigan. When she eventually catches up with him, and they go into their romantic clinch, Bridget’s cardigan is completely characteristic of her – carefree, loveable and cuddly.
Somehow that scene would just not have been the same if she had grabbed a coat or a dressing gown instead. It is a great example of how a cardigan can come to our aid, at both the best and the worst of times. Living in the British Isles, we don’t have the luxury of reliable weather. Who knows when, as happens in this movie, a sudden snow storm will blow in? It can be as cold in April or June as it is in November or January. Likewise, we can get unexpected heat waves and Indian summers. The only way to be prepared for all contingencies is to rely on layers, and the extra layer of comfort provided by a cardigan is second to none.
Where cardigans score highly in the style stakes over their close relations, jumpers and sweaters, is that they are so easy to take on and off. It is terribly embarrassing to be stuck somewhere, in an over warm environment, and unable to peel off a woolly pullover that is causing you to turn pinker than a peony. The other great problem with all garments that rely on being put on over the head is that they can seriously mess up carefully crafted hair styles. This is all well and good if you are in a position to fix your hair, but that’s not always possible – such as when you are in an important meeting room. Male colleagues do not have these issues. They just sling off their jacket.
The other wonderful truth about cardigans is that they come in so many varieties that they really can serve us every day of the year. With designers getting more and more creative in their revisioning of this wardrobe essential, there is now a cardigan for each and every occasion, casual, formal and all shades in between. Like all useful staples, the cardigan can serve a dual purpose. That neat navy cardigan you have been wearing loose all day as a practical and sensible top, can be buttoned up and belted, enlivened with a scarf, and easily carry you on into the evening.
Looking around for some lovely pieces this autumn and winter, it is no surprise to find that Bonmarche is leading the field, after being voted Best for Knitwear in the Yours magazine reader poll this year. Calling Bonmarche a “clear winner” they noted the reasonable prices and good quality of the brand. The jacket style cardigan they picked out was a beauty. Modelled along the lines of the world famous Chanel look, this piped and tailored looking cardigan is easily elegant enough to wear to a function, and it comes in a wide range of sizes making it an option for most customers, whatever their shape. With Christmas on the horizon, there are some sparkly stunners to add to your wish list.
The Sequin Shrug is a bobby dazzler, as is the suitably named Elegant Shrug. For leaf-raking, Bonfire Night and long dog walks, the Chunky Cable Knit with its generous longer length, looks super cosy and the Fly Collar Cable cardigan is everything you could want in a winter warmer. It’s a lovely, traditional knit and has a big soft collar to wrap up around your ears if the west wind starts to blow.
So, whether you are off to the cinema to see the new Bridget Jones film or taking a bracing walk on the beach, just remember one crucial thing. Do not leave the house without your trusty cardie.