Thursday, March 13, 2014

Asymmetrical Collar Sweater

A couple months ago, my mother and I were walking through the rooms at Ralph Lauren  considering different pieces. The wonderful associate my mother works with had already given us glasses of champagne, and was walking us through rack after rack in room after room, handing us each items to try on as we went. He pulled a navy jacket for me and commented that he would find, and have me try, the next size down. He pulled out a pastel skirt he knew my mother had, and held up a sweater he knew was perfect with it. He showed us flat tasseled boots he knew my mother would wear day in and day out (she does), and double checked her size.

And then he pulled out this hunter green sweater for me. This sweater, with an asymmetrical neckline, a buckle at the waist, and leather sleeves, is the exact opposite of anything I'd ever pull for myself. I almost made him put it back, but my mother insisted, saying "you're young enough that you can wear something more edgy." (In reality, it's not actually edgy, but for me, I thought it totally was.)

Wanting to be a good sport, I listened to them and put it on... And immediately fell in love. I looked in the mirror and said "it's so not me, and yet I love it!"So much so, that I didn't even want to take it off for the remainder of our tour through the rooms.

The tailor came to measure and shorten the sleeves, and once it came home with me, I've been tempted to wear it very day since.

After wearing it, I realize that there is actually nothing on earth this sweater would not go with. My absolute most New England Preppy, green and navy plaid, pleated wool skirt gets an edgy punch with this sweater. My Earthy brown silk wrap dress gets a layer of polish. And if I owned leather pants, they too would look amazing with this sweater.

I've realized it's the cut of the drape-y collar that works so well with everything: There's something artsy about it that keeps it from looking trendy, and adds something to absolutely anything it is layered over. Unfortunately, it appears that this particular sweater is no longer available (although, it is certainly possible that a sales associate could find one somewhere), but fortunately, it is a cardigan cut that has been recognized as useful, and is now relatively easy to find. Here's a similar version that would be perfect for spring.

I think the reason this sweater shape works so well is that while it's not classic, it is more artsy than trendy. Being just outside of the trendy box makes it a shape that should be useful for years to come.
So, as someone who was hesitant as first, I must recommend giving this shape sweater a try. It just may turn out to be one of the best workhorses in your closet.

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