Ask The Bean: Stretching Out the Sweater Trend

September 20, 2008 • Magazine

Ask The Bean: Stretching Out the Sweater Trend

Ask The Bean: Stretching Out the Sweater Trend

Sun, 2008-09-21 12:00

Dear Bean:

Do you remember the rage over the long black cardigans several years back? I fell in love with the look and bought two, but then I noticed the garment disappeared from the fashion scenes almost entirely. I know that we hear of trends coming back in vogue, and I don’t want to let go of them. Do you see the long cardigan coming back, or should I add them to the Goodwill box?

Sweater Gal

Dear Sweater Gal,

Oh how could one forget the moment that took fashion by storm! It was every woman’s dream — one piece that could turn a white t-shirt and jeans into a statement of class and sophistication (not to mention it provided that ever-lovely illusion of “slim”). Then once Julia Roberts donned this exact outfit in the film America’s Sweethearts, every closet seemed to be automatically filled with at least two of these magical cardigans. However with such high and fast popularity, the probability of the trend becoming the equivalent of a radio hit that has reached the status of “overplayed” becomes very likely. And unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened.

With that being said, I think the break was well worth the vacation. Because after a couple of hibernation seasons, the long cardigan is back! So don’t add to that Goodwill box yet, and start scouring the shops for some enhancements to the look. You will start to see more of those long knits back on the streets as they did their fair share of strutting on the runway this past February during New York Fall Fashion Week. But instead of the ageless black, they’ve pumped it up a notch to feature embellishments, patterns, cloth and styles to make these long sweaters not trends, but staples.

If you take cues from the fall lines from the likes of Diane von Furstenberg and 3.1 Phillip Lim, you will also notice that the “belt trend” is a perfect way to enhance the look of the long sweater.

Certain designers have also taken some different spins on the long cardigan. Instead of the standard waist strap, some designers are now offering the long button-down, a tie-front near the neck, or completely sans closure. They also have gone sleeveless.

The elongated sweater vest may be more fitting for the trend category than the elongated cardigan, but it’s a great trend from which to build an outfit. Wear one with cigarette pants, a white button down, a fitted blazer and heels for the office; or pair with a flouncy skirt fitted with a skinny belt for a weekend ensemble.

Fall is about layers. I’m quite happy to report that not only does this fall uphold that tradition, but it utilizes those past trends that don’t lead to more clothes in the closet or — worse — more clothes in the Goodwill box.

1. America’s Sweethearts Movie Poster Featuring Julia Roberts in the Long Cardigan
2. Diane von Furstenberg Hoxter Tweed Knit Cardigan
3. 3.1 Phillip Lim New York Fall Fashion Week 2008 Photo: Wireimage
4. Donna Karan Long Cashmere Cardigan
5. Rick Owens Tie Front Cardigan
6. Mk2K Button Vest
7. 3.1 Phillip Lim New York Fall Fashion Week 2008 Photo: Wireimage
8. Alice + Olivia Long Ruffled Sweater
9. J. Crew Hand knit Shawl Collar Cable Vest

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Image Layout: Jessica Piraro

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