Tuesday, January 4, 2011


I've had this vintage cardigan for a long time, but it doesn't come out very often because it requires a particularly cold day in order for it to be comfortable. The reason is that the fabric is astoundingly dense, and I'm pretty certain I know the reason why.

I can tell you the tragic history of this little cardigan as surely as if I was there to witness it myself. Originally purchased in a much larger size, the sweater's heartbroken owner removed it from the dryer (perhaps it was carelessly thrown in there by a well-meaning but unwitting spouse) only to find that it had shrunk considerably and was no longer wearable. Well, it wasn't for her, anyway. It had decreased by at least two sizes and the sleeves were now hopelessly short. There was only one thing to do; donate it to the Goodwill and hope that someone else who fit it didn't care about the 3/4 length sleeves, or else had really short arms. And that that person lived somewhere cold enough to warrant a nearly bullet-proof knit sweater.

You can see for yourself how well the size and the sleeve length worked out for me; 3/4 sleeves are my favorite and although in the sweater's time they probably didn't look right, to my modern eye they're perfect. But the undue warmth is still a bit of a challenge here in mild San Francisco, so I have to bide my time until an exceptionally chilly day comes along. If I'm lucky I might get one more wear out of the sweater before the season is out, but that's okay; I can always take it with me traveling... if I decide to go on an expedition to Patagonia in winter.

Cardigan: vintage
Necklace: Dana LeBlanc Designs
Dress: eShakti
Belt: Red Dress Shoppe
Shoes: John Fluevog


Rebecca said...

The sweater looks great. I love 3/4 length sleeves, but in MN I don't get a lot of opportunity to wear them.

Cel said...

Cute outfit! Sunny and bright! It looks like you should be wearing this out to a picnic on a checkered blanket somewhere :) That little flower pendant is a nice touch.

Peacock's Hat said...

Really like this outfit and the 1940's vibe it has to it. I personally really love 3/4 length sleeves, most of my wardrobe has them since my upper arms are a bit podgy but I've got quite delicate wrists. I love the necklace as well!
And speaking of wool shrinking disasters, my mum once put a teal leopard print cardigan in the tumble dryer. I adored it, and can't bear to throw it away, so it just sits in my sewing box looking sad.

Diana said...

That sweater is gorgeous! I love it when thrifting serendipity happens like that - what ruined it for one person made it perfect for you.

Healthy and Homemade said...

The sweater looks great on you, yay for strangers shrinking their clothes =P

I like how you styled it, this outfit is so sunshiny-happy!

Franca said...

hehe, i know what you mean - 'bullett proof'. hate it when that happens but lucky for you it did for someone else! I love this outfit, the colours are great!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful brights! And I've encountered many an unintentionally-felted sweater at the thrift stores out here ... always a but sad.

Ana said...

Wow, that doesn't look like a shrunken cardi at all. Love the color of your dress!

Sheila said...

I got my first cashmere sweater when I was 10 years old, thanks to my mom throwing her new Christmas gift in the dryer! Unfortunately, she kept doing that, and it got even smaller. Still, for a while, I had cashmere.

Love the sunny bright yellow!