12 Days of Style, Day Six: Add a Little LuxeSusan Wagner
My kids have exactly one more day of school before they’re home with me for two weeks. While I’m looking forward to two weeks of not making lunches (because the lunches make me crazy, you all) I’m also exhausted and really really just want to stay in my pajamas. Or in my bed. Or both.
Know what I mean?
Not in the mood to really dress up? Then don’t! Going casual doesn’t have to mean looking like you slept in your clothes — add a little bit of luxe to your everyday look with a cashmere sweater.
I know what you’re thinking — cashmere is scary! It’s expensive! And it has to be dry cleaned! And it’s totally not kid-friendly.
Let’s start with the expensive part. There are a variety of affordable cashmere options out there. You can find great crew necks and cardigans in the $75-$150 range — look at places like J. Crew Factory and Banana Republic. Watch for sales and deals and invest in a style you’ll wear all the time. Pullover styles — including hoodies — are super mom-friendly, but I’m partial to a cardigan.
A cardi is versatile. Layer it over a tee or a button down or a tank, or wear it on its own with a pair of skinny cropped pants for a cool, retro ’60s look. Look for a hemline that hits just at the widest part of your hips; girls with bigger chests should opt for cardis that button without gaping. A crewneck is classic, but a V-neck is slimming and makes your neck look longer.
Look for a sweater with interesting details. The ruffled edging on the cardigan pictured here, from Garnet Hill, gives it a girly look without being too frilly.
Wear your cashmere cardigan with jeans or a skirt, or over a dress. Belt it for a sleek, polished look. Pin on a fun brooch for a little bling.
But wait! What about that dry-clean-only, not-kid-friendly bit? Here’s the good news: Cashmere should never be dry cleaned — dry cleaning fluid leaves the cashmere fibers brittle and causes the sweater to wear faster. Instead, hand wash your cashmere in cold water; use plain old baby shampoo. I’m partial to the lavender scented kind because it leaves my sweaters smelling yummy. Gently squeeze excess water out of your sweater and lie flat to dry. Don’t wring, though — that will stretch the sweater.
Tomorrow: Sequins for day. Yes, really.
Photo via Garnet Hill