Apropos of Angie's post today...I am 100% on team cardigan. I own a ton of them and wear one nearly every day (I rarely wear pullovers). I don't own ANY jackets/blazers. I have never put on a blazer and NOT felt like I was playing dress-up. But I started thinking about what serves the purpose of a jacket in my wardrobe: a jacket-y cardigan!
Coincidentally, I had planned to wear one of my jacket-y cardigans today. (Photos 1 and 2)
The black cardigan is new to my wardrobe, an upgrade of a similar (cable knit, shawl collar) cardigan I have had for a while. Same outfit with the old cardigan is in Photo 3. I think the new version is more flattering, and it is also higher quality.
For me the qualities that make a cardigan jacket-y are (1) a collar - I am partial to shawl collars but I have also seen notched-collar versions; (2) a sewn hem rather than a welted hem; (3) some gentle waist shaping; (4) pockets, either patch (more casual) or welt (dressier) - this is an optional characteristic, the cardi I am wearing today does not have pockets.
I now own 3 versions of this cardigan, in gray, camel, and black (Photo 4). When I see these all together like this it seems very clear how they can function as a neutral blazer would. I am very happy with this little trio and the strategy behind it. I feel comfortable, sharp, and competent in these cardigans. I have never encountered a situation wearing them where I felt a true blazer would have been more appropriate instead. Sorted.
One thing I would like to add to my wardrobe in the future is a tweed jacket-y cardigan -- herringbone and/or Donegal tweed, something like that. I love tweed and it is one of the few things that I do feel I miss out on by not wearing blazers!
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