Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Current Craving: Cropped Cashmere

On the hot, sticky days of mid summer, my thoughts turn to fall... and to soft, cozy cashmere sweaters in particular. It's not because we have fabulous air-conditioning at home. It's just because I love nice sweaters to a ridiculous degree. But even now, I keep one in my bag in case we go somewhere that's freezing. (Yes, I mean you, Pizzeria Regina in the North End. Oh, my god, it's always Arctic in there.)

How fortunate that Boden is having its end-of-season sale. They do a brisk business in cropped cashmere cardigans all year long, since it's allegedly cooler in the UK than it is here. Cropped sweaters look great with skirts and dresses in particular, since they accentuate the waist, but they're hard to find. Boden seems to have cornered the market with classic styles in nice-quality cashmere and a huge choice of colors. Their spring-summer version has three-quarter-length sleeves and comes in two styles: one plain and simple, and one with gathers at the shoulder. They're made in dress sizes rather than the usual S/M/L, so you can be precise about fit, and they provide helpful garment measurements:

I'd ignored these for years until I realized how much I love and rely on a black cashmere cropped cardigan that I splurged on about 20 years ago. It's still going strong despite many moth repairs. So I ordered a pale-pink one that will finally match a favorite dress of mine with a difficult, strangely colored print. Then I got intrigued by some of the cooing comments about the "Bright Pink" color in that last photo. So I ordered it just to see if it was pretty or obnoxiously bright, and it turned out to be an unusual, saturated raspberry with an orange undertone. It's delicious, it glows, and now I can't part with it. Don't you hate it when that happens?

Me neither. But these cardigans also solve the problem of how to wear a too-long tee over jeans without looking shapeless. A cropped layer gives the appearance of a neat little waist whether you have one or not. I have a hard time arguing with a sweater that does that, especially when it's talking back in a plummy British accent.

If you don't see the color you want in your size, bookmark the page and visit it again, as obsessively as you choose. Colors and sizes are refreshed periodically. You can also go up a size in these.

If you can't contemplate cashmere right now, there's a lighter, cotton-blend version on sale now, too. For fall, they also have a pretty, V-necked style in cotton blend in lots of colors. Here it is in "Honey":

Boden just began stocking that sweater as well as their long-sleeved cashmere cropped cardigan. You can get 15% off right now (and free shipping and returns) with this code: 3J5S.  There will be even better deals coming, and I will try to keep you posted.

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