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[ARTICLE BY AYYUB.H]
So, here’s the scoop. As a practical joke and office dare, a few co-workers and I resolved ourselves to wear overly branded company gear for the next day. Literally, the gear was old apparel pulled from the work storage closet. Out of our company box the only item that fit me was a light blue short sleeve oxford shirt. Unfortunately, the temperature outside was legitimately fall and not quite short sleeve appropriate. I actually work in a professional office setting and must at least adhere to semi-professional attire. To make matters worse I had a meeting to attend the next day. But alas I am no coward for a well thought out challenge.
The rules of the challenge were:
1) Wear corny shirt
2) Add Khaki chinos
3) Must wear a bowtie
So on D-day my prescribed outfit was a short sleeve blue company logo oxford with khaki chinos and a navy blue and white bowtie. Thinking about my meeting and the stress of seeming ridiculous in front of upper management, I immediately turned to the savior of lost outfits, the Shawl Cardigan. I wound up selecting a simple blue SC that I purchased from Kenneth Cole. Although most Shawl Cardigans come with buttons, this one was a zip up. The zippered component made it perfect as a jacket replacement for semi-cool weather. Moreover, it was purchased on sale so I believe I only paid $30 for it.
The Shawl Cardigan has become pretty popular as of late. They come in a wide variety of styles, thicknesses, and textures. Plus, it’s not hard to look cool in a Shawl Cardigan. If you follow movie fashion, you may notice Daniel Craig seems to love them in his films. In my opinion, the Shawl Cardigan singlehandedly saved the cardigan universe from forever being associated with Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood.
Some quick examples of Shawl Cardigan in the photos below:
I happen to own several Shawl Cardigans and they are one of my favorite pieces to wear once the weather begins to drop, especially when lounging around on a Sunday afternoon or when taking a quick drive to the store. It’s somewhat difficult not to be stylish when properly wearing a Shawl Cardigan. Also, for the cost conscious they can be found at prices that won’t break the bank.
The specific shawl cardigan I selected for the challenge wasn’t as thick as usual and had a smaller gauge, which I think goes well for the office look. Another factor to consider when selecting a Shawl Cardigan is what I call the “neck drop”. For the office look, I prefer to keep the neck drop higher in order to accentuate the shirt collar and tie. Also, certain office cultures require a “tighter” feel. Although I am a fan of being fashion forward, jobs are important and I don’t recommend getting a pink slip just to be Dapper. The more “chunky” Shawl Cardigans with lower neck drop can be worn on the weekend or in the evenings. I find that the heavy fabric can replace a coat if the temperature isn’t too cold. My personal style guide is to use the thinner Shawl Cardigans as a blazer replacement and the thicker Shawl Cardigans as a Jacket/Coat. Even though there can be numerous exceptions to this, I find it to be a useful guide for the uninitiated. So if you don’t own one yet, the next time you are shopping try a few on and see if they speak to you like they did to me.
Until next time. STAY STYLED