August 17, 2008  ·  style

Tipped Cardigans

Here at Unrefinery we aren't all that interested in trends, but we are interested in the cards we're dealt by clothing designers. This fall one card that keeps turning up is the reinvented cardigan sweater. A little frumpy in its original incarnation, the cardigan has become a bit more stylish with contrasting colours, lightweight materials, and slimmer fits. We evaluated three "tipped" sweaters with accent-coloured plackets, and here's the lab report.

1. Hugo Boss ($245 at Macy's)
Hugo Boss sweaters are consistently high quality, and we like the pseudo-collegiate touch of the stripe on the cuff. But we think Merino wool is the wrong material for a garment that should span seasons, and it just isn't necessary to pay this much.

2. Banana Republic ($79)
Interesting navy and light grey colour scheme, and a decent price. But we've had trouble with BR's welt pockets in the past, and their silk blends haven't always held up too well. This sweater has both. Seems like a risk.

3. J. Crew ($80)
This was the clear winner, and we're just as surprised as you. The soft cotton-cashmere blend is just the right weight for fall or spring wear, the grey and black colour scheme is wearable with just about anything, and as a bonus, you can toss it in the washing machine. Sold.

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