Secret Blankets: Staying Warm

Warm sweaters are on sale because for some reason people don’t want to buy them right now!  And offices are often extra-freezing in the summer!  Serendipity?

Slightly embarrassing story: in college, I had a fuzzy purple bathrobe I liked so much I wore it outside, as if it were a coat instead of obviously a bathrobe.  Now that I am doing a better job pretending to be an adult I do not wear my bathrobe outside, but as I get cold a lot, I still look for things that are as cozy as that bathrobe.  Outdoors, this means I have an excuse for fancy coats.  Indoors is harder, because I resist wearing: button-up cardigans (too fussy-looking), pullover sweaters (too hard to take off), blazers (too stiff and corporate).  If you do want those things, I make recommendations near the end of the post.  Otherwise, here is a sampling of the secret blankets of various weights I have left available to myself.

Budget and Style Favorite: Ike Behar Wrap (from Costco!), $12-$30

 

If you look up “Ike Behar Wrap” on eBay, you will see several different designs of a very affordable thing I bought at Costco.  (It has been available for the last two years at Costco, so you will probably see new designs there again this winter.)  This garment is not, like, formal-meeting appropriate, but it looks like you are an Adult wearing an Adult Thing.  In fact, it is the only thing I have ever worn that has gotten me called “chic.”  It was a confusing experience.

Secretly, it is made of polar fleece!  So you are basically wearing an inexpensive blanket around on your shoulders while pretending to be sophisticated!  It is the greatest.  I have two, and I do not buy two of very many things.  I am not sure about its ethics, though, and things this cheap are generally not ethically made.

 

Lightweight Favorites: Ureshii Stella Cardigan, $86;

 MM.LaFleur Graham Kimono, $155-$175

For if you want to actually be seasonally appropriate.  I couldn’t pick just one of these, because, believe it or not, they’re quite different, even if they confirm that I have very consistent taste.

The Ureshii Stella has a seam along the waist, whereas the Graham Kimono does not; the ties are cut slightly further outward on the Stella than on the Graham Kimono, which means that more of the shell or dress you wear underneath the cardigan shows; the Stella has giant, my-hand-sized pockets where the Graham Kimono has none; the Graham Kimono is longer and the sleeves are slightly wider-cut, which means that it’s flowier and can be tied at the hips (where the Stella can’t).  And MM.LaFleur’s Graham Kimono is about as good a fit as you can get off the rack– but Ureshii’s not off the rack, it’s made-to-measure, which means their fit is perfect.

Ureshii definitely has more customization options, both in terms of fabric and color– you can’t get the Graham Kimono in merino or linen. However, if you want a topper in a sheer ribbed fabric, the Graham Kimono has you covered and the Stella doesn’t.  Like I said, they’re different, and I couldn’t pick one that’s strictly better in every case.

If you want something similar but slightly more casual than either option, I can help you out!  Because apparently I have tracked down all the sweaters that look like this.

If you would like an organic cotton sweater that ties in a different place, Blue Canoe’s Scarf Cardigan Sweater looks like a nice option.  Also, if you would like a topper in a somewhat similar style with less practical sleeves that you can wear even more ways, Ashner By Elizabeth makes something she calls an Option Top in a variety of fabrics.  Option Tops are dancewear, but many of them can be worn casually, and I can personally vouch for their quality.

 

Heavyweight Favorite: Amour Vert Edisa, $102.40 through midnight 5/30 with code PINEAPPLE

Anthracite

Amour Vert is known for their ethical clothing, which makes me feel a bit better about getting a heavy merino sweater.  However, I do have some caveats.  First of all, it has kimono sleeves, which are both recently-trendy (and thus could make the sweater look dated soon) and less warm than they could be. Secondly, for the first two weeks that you own it, it will pill so much.  I wore it more or less nonstop for those two weeks, and it seems to have settled down, but those first two weeks it looked pretty ratty.

I got the Edisa largely because the material is exactly as warm and thick as MM.LaFleur’s Morandi sweater, it is less than half as expensive as the Morandi on sale, it is office-appropriate, I like the colors better, and, most relevantly, it has giant pockets that I can fit my entire hands into.  The fact that I could only fit half a hand into the Morandi’s pockets drove me crazy.  If that wouldn’t bother you, you might like the Morandi better, since the sleeves are a little longer and less drafty.

Runner-Up: Ayr Chevron Cardi, $157.50 through midnight 5/30 with code LASTGOODBYE, Final Sale

I keep looking at this one and not wanting to get it, and I could not tell you the precise reason why.  I guess I don’t feel like straight-cut open cardigans are that occasion-versatile, and also they tend to be bust-unfriendly.  However, I think it’s really cool looking, and until the end of Monday it’s extra on sale.  Originally it was $395, which IMO is ludicrous.

Pullover Sweaters And Blazers That Are Nice And Also Ethical:

  1.  I think Ureshii’s Mobius Sweater is both cozy and neat-looking, and they offer it in both merino wool and vegan-friendly cozy bamboo french terry.  All sizes.
  2. I also like the look of Fair Indigo’s Ballerina Wrap Sweater.  Sizes XS-XL.
  3. Alpaca is the least itchy wool I personally know of and one of the most sustainable.  If you want an ethical alpaca sweater and are a size S or L, I love the asymmetry of Kordal Knitwear’s Carolina Sweater in Moss.   I keep considering buying it even though I hate fussing with pullovers.
  4. Citizen’s Mark makes the only high-quality, socially responsible blazers that I know of.  Honestly, these look cool enough that they almost make me wish I had a different figure and also a reason to wear blazers.  Sizes 0-12.
  5. Petite, plus size, or otherwise hard to fit blazer-wise?  US-based Vigilante Labs makes custom suits and blazers that look nice!

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2 Comments

  1. Hi, I just ran across your blog while googling reviews for MM.LaFleur, and wanted to say I really enjoy your posts. You seem picky in many of the same ways that I am picky, and I appreciate that very much. I ended up getting some Amour Vert shirts after you mentioned them in this post, and they’re great. (Incidentally, I’m nursing my baby, and these shirts — a wrap front and a henley — are perfect for nursing in spite of not being nursing-specific.) So thank you for that! You’ve made my life a little easier and I wanted to comment and let you know.

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