Autumn is here and the cardigan is officially back after a few seasons in the fashion doldrums. Jane and Beryl love a cardi as much as the next menopausal maven. What's not to love? There's not too much commitment as it's 'off and onable', (a major consideration when one is prone to sudden temperature fluctuations) and it can extend the wearability of lighter clothes, later into autumn. The 'right' knit can be a head-turning, drop dead elegant bit of kit. Beryl's thinking a bit of vintage Goat, for example.


However it can also be the place where all youth and life spirit GO TO DIE. Top of Jane and Beryl's Room 101 of garments that age and depress, is the grey or beige baggy, pilled, (probably with the hated waterfall neckline and mis-fired egg) shapeless cardigan. This garment announces to the world, that the bearer is officially 'past it', 'out to pasture', and has 'one foot in the grave'.

Only fit for the Hoovering?

Two Danes £99



Two Danes £159
  



















Scarf Sandwich £32, tassled necklace Olsen £38
Beryl and Jane hit the concession's floor of Camp Hobson in Newbury to check out their seasonal offerings. 'Camp Hobbo' as it is lovingly known is just the kind of department store that knows its core customer well and will be sending her home with a fine knit to her name, but perhaps not this one (too grey) or that one (too square) and with a sneaky waterfall grrrrr....  




If you have already made the ghastly error of buying one of these (or have one in your wardrobe) you can save it from itself by adding scarves and necklaces - these two grey cardis are much improved with these trinkets. 

Cardigan Two Danes £79,  Scarf Olsen £39
Beryl likes this as it is a fine knit. Substantive bosoms and chunky knitwear do not mix as a rule. 


Jaegar £99

Resplendent in navy and white, Jane feels she has cracked it with the first thing she tries on. This smooth knit cardi from Jaegar is in their sale for £99 which, quite frankly, is more than enough to pay, but she is very tempted. She feels this is the moment to point out her heavy linen trews from (gulp, this is quite an admission) Cotton Traders. They have been such a brilliant bit of autumn kit and all for thirty quid! Anyway, she digresses...

Sandwich £99

'Well, Goldi-locks have you found one that's just right?' asks Beryl. Perhaps... This can only be described as a waistcoat, not a thing that would instantly turn a girl's head. However, the graded pattern and the no sleeve arrangement make it a much more likeable bit of kit than the name might suggest, and Jane could even forgive its greyness... mainly due to the luscious feel of the knit. Jane singing the praises of a grey waistcoat? Strange but true...


White Stuff £79


Every woman probably has a shape of cardigan in which she looks her best. Beryl likes a nipped in waist, as she is very short in the body, while Jane favours a long slender column, or so she tells Beryl. However, there are exceptions and Beryl really liked this, but then remembered one lurking in the wardrobe not dissimilar. Quelle surprise! This is 'tribe pattern' by White Stuff and cost £79.

Masai £78


Depressed by the acres of grey, navy and other sludgy colours of autumn in wool and acrylic stretching into the middle distance, Jane was tempted by the sheer bubble gum joy of this cardi. However, the reality was that it was neither Arthur nor Martha: not long enough and/or not shaped enough. Others may find it works on a different body shape, but Beryl couldn't make it work for her either.


M&S £17.50


Beryl and Jane are now in M&S looking for a little blue cardi, so that Beryl can make the most of her beloved  £7 charity shop Emily and Finn dress. This cardigan is a lovely colour and a nice little fine knit for it's £17.50. It will probably have the half-life of a nuclear reactor and will be going strong long after posher versions are pilled and moth-eaten. It's a good option for someone as short as our Bezza, who can look like a hot water bottle with a woolly cover in a big knit. 



And so to Jigsaw...

Jigsaw cardi £175, bag £185
At last, at last! Some colour! Jane was much taken with this maroon cardi with its unusual fastening and interesting texture. But such is her fear of the pilling which will inevitably ensue (especially on either side of her ample bosums where they rub on her less than ample arms), that she tosses it aside with its £175 price tag.  She concentrates instead on Beryl who, meanwhile, is in a frenzy of cardigan buying not seen since the Boden sale in Winchester Town Hall in 1997 (remember them?)...

Jigsaw £149
Jigsaw £80


Jane had to be very firm with Beryl in Jigsaw who was in danger of throwing all caution and her cheque book to the wind and buying both of these. Talking Beryl gently off the parapet, she pointed out that the blue, despite the heavenly colour was in fact too long in the waist and that Beryl was constantly fidgeting with it. Beryl bagged the pink with an air of martyrdom. 


Monsoon £65

Into Monsoon. Surely there must be cardigans aplenty in gorgeous colours? Not a bit of it. This navy number - admittedly with a few spangles thrown in as a nod to the party season - was the ONLY one in the shop! Have they not read the fashion press? Do they not know that the cardi is a big fashion statement? Apparently not. Jane wasn't enthralled, but brings it to you as a possibility if you don't have such an item (Jane does, unsurprisingly). 

LK Bennett cardigan £75.
 M&S skirt £49 Spring 17, shoes £4 charity shop.
 Denied the blue cardi in Jigsaw, Beryl found this petrol blue number in the closing down sale of LK Bennett (sad) in Winchester. (Not that sad, says Jane. As a symbol of our High Streets expiring, yes, but Jane has been predicting this for months - there just wasn't enough wearable kit in there and it was too expensive!) This spring season's M&S skirt, has a bunch of iced pastel colours that are curiously a winter trend for 2017. The tucked in knit with big skirt, is a bit of an experiment, Beryl  admits. 





What Jane and Beryl found was that there are some lovely, original, interesting cardigans - or even coatigans - out there and they can be reasonably priced (White Stuff). But beware the very expensive bit of knitwear unless you have money to burn. They ALL pill in the end and some of the most expensive, sooner rather than later. Beryl found what she wanted in a sale and Jane has gone back to her cardigan drawer... there must be something in there, surely?











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