Dynasty teaches the power of shoulder pads and Miami Vice is seducing men into a world of pastels and deck shoes. Women are defying the laws of physics in leg warmers, lace and headbands perched above Brooke Shields eyebrows. Men are swaggering in Magnum-inspired Hawaiian shirts and growing thick moustaches and designer stubble.
Hair can’t be big enough, makeup can’t be heavy enough and Polo cologne can’t be strong enough.
Evening television includes the Night of 100 Stars Diamond Fashion Show hosted by Joan Collins and featuring Treat Williams and a plethora of nighttime soap stars wearing designs from Halston III for JC Penney, Bob Mackie and Oscar de la Renta. (Check out You Tube and be sure to turn up the volume to fully enjoy the disco-infused Beethoven.)
I’m 11 years old and my favourite season is here. I love fall because I’m mad about sweaters, and this year I have two new outfits of note. First, a pair of red wool plaid pants with a mustard yellow knit sweater. Second, stirrup pants with slouch socks, Keds and a striped batwing sweater. Yes, memories are made of this. Crisp September days and cosy sweaters.
Every autumn is like this for me, and friends are familiar with my love of sweaters. Even Style Guy said to me, “Well Sarah, you do love your cardigans.” Yes, all 17 of them. I love black turtleneck sweaters, argyle sweaters, Aran sweaters, Fair Isle sweaters, and the list goes on. And when I showed Style Guy a photo of my favourite hand-knit sweater and asked him how to describe it, he replied, “Ugly.”
Well, I am learning that love for a sweater doesn’t translate into said sweater being stylish or flattering for your body type. This is where Style Guy comes in. I wondered, what sweaters are hot for fall this year and who should wear them?
Here, Style Guy gives us an overview of a fall favourite.
The Cardigan – this sweater classic is as versatile as it is essential. In a variety of textures from silk to cashmere and wool the cardigan sweater can be dressed up elegantly for a night out, worn to the office to finish off an outfit or more casually with a pair of great denim.
The Turtleneck – another fall/winter classic. The turtleneck sweater comes in several forms, but it is important to remember a few key things. First, NEVER wear a ‘mock’ turtleneck, as this is not a good look on anyone, and secondly, if you have a short neck length avoid this type of sweater altogether, as it will cut off your neck and make you appear less than flattering.
The Cable Knit – this sweater is all about comfort and staying warm. This is the perfect sweater to wear on a cold fall evening or winter’s day. Look for one that is more tailored to your body shape and size and pair with khakis or denim for a comfortable look that is still pulled together.
Colours? For women: black, brown, camel and pastels. For men: black, navy and grey.
Where to get the Look? For women: Banana Republic (WEM), Urban Outfitters (WEM), BCBG (City Centre and WEM), H&M (WEM, Kingsway, South Edmonton Common). Best bets for plus sizes are Toni Plus (WEM) and The Bay.
For men: Henry Singer (Manulife Place), Identity Clothing (Rabbit Hill Road), HG2 (Manulife Place), G-Star (WEM)
And now onto our rapid-fire Q&A, where Style Guy answers my questions and takes us through some of the more common fashion successes and mistakes.
Women’s wrap sweaters? Yes if done correctly, but this is not a look everyone can pull off.
Women’s long, belted sweaters? NO, NO, a million times NO!
One colour of sweater and pants? (Ivory on ivory, navy on navy…) This monochromatic look can work, but it has more potential to go wrong, so unless you consider yourself to be in the advanced styling category I would say to avoid this look.
Collared shirt under sweater? Absolutely! This is a great look, kind of preppy and dresses up a sweater for an evening out or at the office.
Men’s v-neck with what beneath? I would recommend wearing a dress shirt with a tie underneath a v-neck sweater. This can be a great alternative under a suit or to dress up a pair of pants or khakis for the office.
Men in cardigans? Guys should definitely wear cardigans. Again be aware of your size and body shape when selecting fabrics and colours, but this can be a great look for guys.
For more of Style Guy’s moral discourse and honeyed words, check out styleguyjared.ca and “Like” his Facebook page. Watch for the next disciple column in September, as it coincides with Fashion Week.