Do you have any HEWIs that are so longstanding they might as well be a pie in the sky? Something that you've had to figure how to function without, even given up looking, but still wish for?

One of those - actually two of them! - fell into my lap in a big way, in the person of the the Hell Bunny ( ) "Paloma" cardigan. I am over the moon!
(It's an alternative/rockabilly/retro/biker line from the UK, hence the name.)

The wardrobe essentials: Waist-length long-sleeve cardigan in non-black colors. Ditto pullover.

Why it works: Long sleeves! My forearms are sensitive to cold. And the short body length. Not truly cropped, because that rides high. But no longer than the waist, because my hip flare is dramatic and fitted pullovers ride up or emphasize the hip in a big way.

Why it's an essential: Long-sleeve cardigans are my preferred toppers in virtually every situation with a dress or skirt. I wear them year 'round at work and church, thanks to enthusiastic A/C. But until now I only have a few, and the color selection is very limited. So I get tired of them and the combinations I can make.
As for pullovers - the only way I'm willing to wear them with skirts is by tucking. With my build, an untucked pullover that bands across my hips is nowhere near JFE. The only alternative is a short pullover. Retro lines do make them, but they're always with short sleeves.

Why it's awesome: Whew, where to start!
(a) The knit (rayon with some nylon and 5% elastane) is both sturdy and very stretchy, with excellent recovery. I have never been able to button cardigans up the front without horrible button gapping and fabric distortion. But these handle it beautifully, without even a safety pin required.
(b) The construction. In addition to the material, these seem very well made. The front placket is backed with dyed-to-match petersham ribbon for extra stability and strength. The buttons fit quite snugly in the buttonholes.
(c) The colors. All of them! Black, red, navy (actually deep rich blue, and more versatile than true navy), and green. For spring and summer, pale pink, green, and blue. No white! But I dropped the company a line and they said they'd consider adding it next year!
(d) The price. These are from the UK, about $36 apiece right now (£25). Shipping to the US adds a bundle, but it's still more than worth it just for the sleeves and length.
(e) Bonus pullover action! This is a benefit I never expected. I haven't found a waist-length pullover in at least 10 years, and even that was 3-4" longer than ideal. It's opened up so many possibilities in my wardrobe, I can hardly process.
(f) Reliable supply. The "Paloma" cardigan is a standard part of HB's line, and should not be going anywhere.

Full credit goes to Amber of the Forever Amber and Shoeperwoman blogs. (She did the Audrey Hepburn Capsule Wardrobe that Inge linked to recently). She reviewed them for Shoeperwoman several years ago, but more important is how many ways she wears them (not a comprehensive list).

I ordered two, the red and navy. Since they arrived 2 weeks ago, I've used one for 75% of the days. Everywhere I turn around I see a new possibility. And now that I'm in the spring and summer stuff, I'm seeing all sorts of possibilities with the pastels, too. I'm about to order the pink and blue, and would probably order the green if it weren't out of stock! I might order the black instead; I have a black one already, but this is far superior and it will see use. The sole drawback is that they are *GASP* handwash. But seriously? That's nothing compared to all the awesome. These are not t-shirts that need daily washing. They're going to last a looong time.

Wears with photos handy! (There's more on the camera right now.)
#1-3: Someone suggested pairing navy with with coral dress. (Coral, not orange, despite the lighting.) Here it is!
#4-5: St Patrick's Day! Worn as pullover.
#6-7: Church! Appallingly dirty mirror! New location! Loved the outfit!
#8-9: Very early Monday morning, feeling cold and wanting comfort clothes. It's fun how the neckline details of the dress kind of pops.

Over to you! Any other fabbers found a HEWI beyond all hope?

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