A Very Old Cardigan, Part I

 
At the start of the summer, I vowed that I would not buy any new clothes and would instead test my ingenuity in making my old things seem interesting.
 
I think I am doing OK with the “old things interesting” piece of the vow, but somehow have also acquired a shocking number of things for a person who vowed to buy nothing. I am a little baffled.

 
 
A few of these purchases shouldn’t really count, though, because they are Replacements or Enablers. The sandals pictured here are Replacements.
 
But this post isn’t about Replacements, even though that’s a worthy topic. It’s about a very old cardigan that I purchased at Eileen Fisher in 2002 or 2003: a white, cotton, loosely-knit, open cardigan.
Replacements add a little zip to These Old Things

The cardigan is a useful piece on paper — white, cotton, cardigan — yet it hasn’t been getting that much use in recent years, probably because the open silhouette is too shapeless over my summer dresses and tops. But I recently had an idea: Why not belt it?
 
 
 
Whyever not?
 
And if I am going to be a rational maximizer, why not wear it belted over a dress that isn’t get much wear on its own? A dress with NSFW spaghetti straps?
I had a good idea and I made it better

Et voila!
 
Is this horror?
Non, non; it’s delight

 
 
 
 
I considered a number of belts for the task, but one stood out as best-suited.
Weight Securing System indeed

A panorama of my debris
 
 
I particularly like this photo because you can see more of this exuberant mural and the trail of possessions that I had flung down as The Photographer and I framed shots in this quiet spot just off Connecticut Avenue.

 
These sandals are replacing a pair that died shortly before I started the blog — black sandals with white soles.
 
I think you need these, too. They are on sale at Nordstrom right now.
The grey and white color-blocked sole is a stroke of genius

 
 
Against this vivid backdrop, I wonder if I am too drab. Does this outfit need a little more color?
And if so, what color?

 
 
Of course, of course — everyone’s favorite zow! pop! sandals.
 
For those who do not remember, you can look back here, here, and here.
Zap!

My favorites; wish I had bought them in every color offered
 
 
I bought these sandals two years ago during an end-of-season sale and while they were not cheap (even on sale) they are so compelling that I wish I had bought at least one other color. They came in primary brights, black, and two metallic shades. Think of all I might have achieved with those in my closet.

Come closer and marvel.
 
You may also remember that I picked a garish, sparkly gold color for a pedicure a few winters ago as a joke and it’s become my favorite color. Perhaps the last laugh’s on me, but I think gold is actually an elegant, surprising neutral, and interesting choice.
A close-up, for those who’ve forgotten comic book sandals and are too busy to follow the links back to earlier posts

Cardigan: Eileen Fisher; Dress: Banana Republic; Belt: Off-White; Black sandals: Wonders D-7810; Red sandals: Aquatalia Wanette; Bag: Kate Spade; Watch: Michele Urban
Such a lady! The Photographer is always taking snaps like this and they make me laugh so hard

9 thoughts on “A Very Old Cardigan, Part I

  1. So it seems Virgil Abloh + Eileen Fisher = lady-like ? Who’d a thunk it ?

    Also I’ve just read the last post – a real tribute to a clearly very special cat from her lady. So sorry for your loss.

  2. The outfit is a winner and those bright shoes make it as they would so many things. I am crazy about the color blocked ones as well. You have great shoes. Also love your hair full and artfully undisciplined. A pretty look. Clearly, the photographer has his own views…!

  3. I have an old red cardigan sweater similar in style to yours, open, no buttons and recently tried it with a black belt, looks pretty good. I see your dress has pockets which are hard to find,in my opinion in dresses. Nice!
    Re the undignified photos, good thing the two of you appreciate each other! Waiting for Part II.

  4. Your cardigan looks crocheted – a nice layer for summer dresses! I’m digging the black sandals as they are patent (huge win) and incorporate all my regularly featured colors (grey… white…). They are perfect.

  5. The first look is so witty – perfect lady clothes, and then the belt! Bam! Daring fashion insider!

    The second look dilutes the impact of the belt with the sandals, I think.

  6. I love how you’ve given the old Eileen Fisher piece a new life with the belt. I’m also happy to see the OFF-WHITE belt again as I made an exciting fashion discovery in China last month that I’ve been waiting to share. I’d been there for a few weeks and marvelling at the use of English words and phrases on the clothing of men, women, and children of all ages. Some of it made sense, other times, not so much, but it all made for great people/fashion watching. One day I was at an off-the-beaten track tourist attraction, when a woman walked by in a top that caught my eye. She sat down and I stealthily glanced over to read her shirt. Then I realized what was familiar about it — it had a strip of the OFF-WHITE webbing sewn down each arm. “I must tell the Directrice!” I thought to myself. To my surprise, I then saw the webbing again on a pair of running shoes in a shop window I’d been passing daily for a few weeks. Then I saw it again on a child’s shirt, and again on an adult’s shirt! I swear I saw it daily for the final week of my trip. Given the scale of everything in China, I think that several thousand kilometers of the webbing must have been produced by now and added to shirts, shoes and bags of all kinds. Whether the trend makes its way to North America or whether we’ll be limited to your fabulous belt stylings remains to be seen.

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