Monday, June 6, 2011

Slippery Slope Fallacy #7 - Clearance Sweaters

7) End of the aisle sweaters: After the holidays, clearance racks have an abundance of sweaters.  Why buy an expensive one? Pick one up for $4 the next time you're buying groceries at Walmart. 

I can't tell you how many of these have slipped through my life. Sweaters should be easy, right? I bought them in many, many colors and many weights over the years. I bought ones that were thick cable knit, ones with beautiful swooping mock necks, pink fuzzy tunic sweaters, long sweater coats.

The result was always the same.  If they were on top of the stack in my closet, I might have worn them once or twice before passing them on to goodwill.   They had a better chance of ending up left somewhere as I was constantly trying to get out of them before the day was over.  Every spring I would find a couple of crates of sweaters that never even were opened during the winter.  And then I would store them away to try again. 

I felt for several years that I wasn't happy with my collection because I didn't have expensive cashmere ones in the basic neutrals. Then with a better job I invested in a few. And never wore them either.

Many, many women are successful with following the advice of purchasing high quality turtlenecks or crewneck sweaters in those colors that can be mixed with anything......taupe, camel, white, black. I would suggest that if you are strawberry shaped (the inverted V shape) it just will not work. The high neckline leaves you with the giant uniboob look no matter how much you try and make it blend in.    Jackets might help, but you still have the silhouette problem plus one more layer of bulk. 

And if you are a bright and animated kind of woman, those drab neutrals around your face just suck the life out of you! Especially since sweater fabric is muted and soft, absorbing light. And if the sweater is of a thick weave, it might as well be a straight jacket to women who hate heavy clothes. 

Now, when I shop for sweaters (which is mostly at consignment and thrift stores), this is my checklist:

Fabric: I have finally learned that my first item on my sweater checklist is fabric content. The higher it is in natural fibers the more I will wear it. These fibers breathe and change as the temperature changes. So you don't immediately overheat when you step into a building. No matter the weather (which changes hourly in Kansas) you can usually get through the entire day with your sweater still intact if it is of natural fibers.

Cut: The second thing on my sweater checklist now days is cut. No more turtlenecks, crewnecks, cowl necks or really low v-necks. All of these create the uni-boob look for me. The best cut for me is a button up cardigan in a very light weight fabric. I find that I wear them over camisoles, over blouses and t-shirts, and even alone buttoned up as if they were a blouse.

Texture: No cable knit design that swoops in at the neckline, swoops out at the boobs, and then swoops back in at the waist. No thick knit to lay bulkily across my curves. Smooth, small textures work for me. Easy to layer, easy to pull my coat on and off over.

Color: Darker shades are better up against my face. Pastels wash me out. Camels, tans and blacks all make me look old and sullen. Because of these new guidelines, I now have two different green cardigans that are getting alot of wear. I never thought green was a color I could wear. But the "alive" type greens with brightness actually work out great.   Until I got rid of the "basic neutrals" the fashion industry was selling me, I wasn't able to see that this shade of green works as a great basic neutral for me. 

Only three more installments on my series about my own slippery slope journey to frumpiness! 


Terri said...

I find I have been replacing my old sweaters with an array in many colors, but of a finer gauge knit. I like them and they seem appropriate year round.

Sheila said...

I look for many of the same things for you in sweaters (being gifted in the boobular region as well!): they have to be nice material (natural fibres are so much better), be thin enough for layering and have a good neckline. I have FINALLY gotten rid of all my turtlenecks after years of trying to make them work. No more!

Kitty said...

Terri: I find that I am wearing mine all year around now too, since I went with the finer knit.

Sheila: Welcome! I have been watching your posts for a while now. I love your fearlessness with color!