Easy and Elegant Life

The Search for Everyday Elegance and the Art of Living Well.

The Easy and Elegant Life Housecoat: Wearing a Cashmere Cardigan.

(From Barbera’s eMagazine)

Well, here we are at the first Wednesday in January. How is your resolve to live a little more elegantly holding out?

Mrs. E. and I have been fortunate to have shared a playdate and several wonderful bottles of Musar Jeune with our neighbors, the Broadbents (if you haven’t followed Bartholomew on Facebook yet, please do.) Last evening we split an ounce of “fishberry jam” (as Patrick Dennis called it) and a bottle of Louis Roderer Champagne to celebrate a dear and close friend’s news that the cyst is benign.

I have completed my exercises for the third day in a row. (Yes, I am sore. But I sleep like a baby, and whilst I haven’t lost weight, I’m toning up fast. I don’t really care what I weigh as long as my clothing fits.) I’ve finished “True Prep” (amusing) and begun “Crossing the Heart of Africa” (fascinating!)

If there is a fly in the ointment, it is that I seem stuck in country clothes. It’s a bit chilly, with temperatures hovering around freezing and not expected to climb out of the high 30’s (ºF), and I’ve far too much housework to do. Thus the country clothes. It’s easy to bang around in cords, cordovan, tweed and merino or cashmere. This stuff is made to take a beating. With the possible exception of cashmere, of course, but aren’t we entitled to a bit of luxury during the grind?

Take our perpetually stylish man above who is comfortably, yet elegantly dressed. Mr. Barbera is at his factory in flannels, tweed, suede and the one piece of kit for which I am continually on the hunt: the cashmere cardigan. A well-fitting, well-constructed (i.e. not distressed — good news! no longer should you worry about rips, stains and moth holes — they’re hip!) and well-built of high quality cashmere fibres, cardigan is going to be your favourite piece of clothing during the winter months. It will take a tie nicely, goes with jeans and a sport coat and is comfortable to slip into first thing on a Saturday morning, sort of like a cashmere housecoat.

Until I find one, I’ll have to be content with merino wool pullovers and cashmere ties. Now off to continue the work toward a less cluttered house. Keep fighting the good fight.

5 thoughts on “The Easy and Elegant Life Housecoat: Wearing a Cashmere Cardigan.

  1. Chris the most dapper housekeeper I have ever seen!

    Louis Roederer Champagne takes you to the top of my list!

    Art by Karena

  2. As society becomes increasingly casual, things like cords and tweeds become more acceptable for urban wear. They still look dressy when everyone is in athletic wear and sweats. I can never adjust to the distressed look. A bomber jacket or jeans look great when broken it, but stains and moth holes on fabrics and knits look careless and unkepmt.

    The sweater problem, the sweater problem. I feel dowdy and Mr. Rogers-ish in cardigans, and pullovers are usually too hot. Lightweight sleeveless sweater vests seem to be a decent compromise.

    I gave up an exercise regimen long ago. Instead, I walk and bike a lot, and do lots of gardening. I found the gym too mindless…I’d almost rather just eat raw vegetables!

  3. SwF, An old friend visited over the weekend. He was wearing grey flannels, chocolate suede shoes, a white open collar shirt and a camel coloured cardigan with a sort of cream placket and cuffs. Looked fantastic. Hence my sudden “need” for a cardigan. I don’t belong to a gym, but run, and do calisthenics at home. Still not too much fun. Ah well.

  4. I bought an APC cashmere cardigan (Gasp!) six years ago and have lived in it ritually ever since. And it really is great with everything. A white shirt, black tie and dark tweed? Of course! A grey T-shirt and jeans? Even better!

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