A Moment of Sanity


In recent years J.Crew has become the retail equivalent of your preppy college roommate who was kind of quiet and wanted to date the frat guys, and whom you lost touch with after school but then ran into a few years ago at Trader Joe’s and over periodic lunches learn that she spent several years in her 30’s trekking through the Andes photographing lichens and now is into healing crystals and has a tarot reader on speed dial and bursts into song in line at Starbucks and holds birthday parties for her parakeets.  All fifteen of them.  But every now and then she says something so insightful, so grounded, with such amazing clarity, that you keep making lunch dates with her.

Behold, the Jackie Cardigan:

This little masterpiece of cotton/nylon/spandex blends in beautifully with almost any ensemble and spans Southern California’s seasons, such as they are, with ease.  It holds up to washing, travel, and being balled up in the bottom of a tote, all without pilling.  My navy Jackie has been a quiet workhorse in my wardrobe, always ready to help keep me grounded.  Wandering through J.Crew this week, I spied this cardi in two must-have (for me, anyway) colors: a dark olive and a dark steel grey.  At 30% off, how could I resist?  (These colors don’t yet seem to be available online, but the store had plenty of stock in these and other hues, so keep checking.)
Also spied-and-tried on my J. Crew travels, for those of you who may be flirting with the idea of a marinière but haven’t committed yet, may I suggest this one:
Unlike many of J.Crew’s tees, this one is cut with love and forgiveness.  It’s long, yes, but not narrow.  (Alas, too long for me.)  The material is light, though not tissue-thin, and has a nice drape. 
Have you recently found any amazingly sane pieces in unexpected places?
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27 Comments

  1. October 13, 2010 / 1:01 pm

    Love the college friend analogy, the parakeets and the long skinny mariniere too!

  2. October 13, 2010 / 1:07 pm

    You know you can hem a t shirt to the length that looks good on you.

  3. October 13, 2010 / 1:55 pm

    Utterly hilarious opening paragraph!

  4. October 13, 2010 / 2:00 pm

    The sewers are chiming in! I have to admit that Nancy K’s comment was my first thought too.

    I love the Jackie cardigan and the colors sound good too.

  5. October 13, 2010 / 2:05 pm

    I think I AM that college friend:). And Deja, I cannot wear cardigans any more. They make me feel like a sausage. Oh well, au revoir, mes cardis…

  6. October 13, 2010 / 2:31 pm

    Hilarious! I agree with Frugal Scholar.

    I do like that striped Tee, though – very nice.

    I have one black cardigan sweater that is a workhorse for my wardrobe – well-cut, nice length, washable, with pockets (good when wearing dresses without pockets) – it’s an Exclusively Misook I got on Ebay. I would mourn if I lost that sweater.

  7. October 13, 2010 / 3:37 pm

    I think I’ve already given a link here to my latest amazing piece in an unlikely place: A $100 turtleneck sleeveless soft knee length black jersey knit dress online at Neiman Marcus. It fits like a dream and I’ve been wearing it a lot. The brand is White+Warren and it’s still available on the http://www.Neimanmarcus.com webiste.

  8. October 13, 2010 / 4:41 pm

    We do not have JCrew in Canada…but the Seattle store is within my shopping zone.
    Cardigans if not cut right can look very mumsy…
    I prefer those with a V neck…as they elongate my short frame.

    I am happy to see heavier sturdy fabrics that skim instead of cling and a generous cut too…so much more flattering for us “over 50 gals.”

  9. October 13, 2010 / 4:51 pm

    Your old roommate also married a Trustafarian- so can buy the Belstaff leather jackets J Crew sell.

    They have embellished too many pieces with chiffon edging, bows etc., too young for me.

    The sanest purchase I make, over and over: Blundstone boots.

  10. Frugal Scholar
    October 13, 2010 / 12:04 pm

    That first sentence is a “little masterpiece” too. Thanks.

  11. Jana
    October 13, 2010 / 2:23 pm

    Which J-Crew? I’m in So Cal and I’d love all three pieces….South Coast Plaza or Shops at MV?
    Jana

  12. Anonymous
    October 13, 2010 / 9:38 pm

    I am pasting that hysterical opening paragraph on my bathroom mirror to make me laugh first thing every morning…

  13. La Belette Rouge
    October 13, 2010 / 3:08 pm

    I have more Jackie cardigans than I am willing to own up to.

  14. Sal
    October 13, 2010 / 4:03 pm

    Ach, you crack me up.

    So sad to hear that tee won’t work for you. It looks fabulously soft.

  15. October 13, 2010 / 11:44 pm

    Hey, I thought of you today when I read that Talbot’s was replacing Linda Evangelista in their ad campaign with Julianne Moore.

  16. Staircase Witch
    October 13, 2010 / 5:36 pm

    Thank you. That first paragraph is the best thing I’ve read all day. I wish I knew someone who threw birthday parties for her parakeets.

    My cardigans all come from Lands End, but I may have to branch out a bit, it seems.

  17. Tiffany
    October 13, 2010 / 8:31 pm

    Love the first para! And that mariniere looks lovely, but probably too long for me also …

  18. October 14, 2010 / 3:40 am

    Frugal Scholar – awww, thanks!

    That’s Not My Age – thanks, and yes, it’s a great shirt.

    Nancy K – true, I may have to try that.

    Tabitha – thank you!

    NancyDaQ – I’m going to look into it, hope they don’t charge as much as the shirt cost!

  19. October 14, 2010 / 3:45 am

    LPC – oh no, you may have had some adventures, but just about everything you say is grounded and succinct. 🙂 I buy my cardi’s a size larger to get away from that sausage feeling.

    Jana – Century City.

    Aunt Snow – thanks so much! Your sweater sounds like a real find.

    LBR – I’m gaining on you….

    Susan – that dress you linked to looks fabulous. I’ll bet you get a lot of wear from it.

    Sal – thanks! I’m going to see how much it might cost to get it hemmed. Haven’t given up yet.

  20. October 14, 2010 / 3:58 am

    hostess of humble bungalow – I think this particular cardigan doesn’t look dowdy, but generally I prefer v-necks too.

    Duchesse – I agree about the embellishment, usually too much for me. Blundstone boots sound like an eminently sane purchase, especially for your winters!

    Staircase Witch – Thanks! If I actually did know someone who threw parakeet parties, I’d definitely cultivate that friendship.

    Tiffany – Thanks! My sewing friends here have talked me into investigating having it hemmed.

    Anonymous – oh, you are too kind, thank you!

    Wendy B – yes, they really are bringing in the big guns, aren’t they?

  21. Jill Ann
    October 14, 2010 / 4:43 am

    Today I had nothing like a moment of sanity: I had a moment of sheer lust. At Neiman Marcus. I rarely get down to that part of town, but had a day out to myself; treated myself to lunch at Neiman’s, and while walking to the escalator, was gobsmacked by a dress. The black velvet Milly “Tiffany” dress. OMG. TOTALLY Holly Golightly, black velvet with pearl collar, and, and, a hot pink lining! If only I were younger, or more importantly, still had my younger body that could wear that dress. I am still dazzled by it. I took pictures of it on the mannequin with my cell camera. People probably thought I was nuts. But it was total fashion looooove……

  22. October 14, 2010 / 2:00 pm

    I feel I’m always behind in the commenting these days, but I’m still here. As ever, you don’t just introduce a useful classic, but you entertain us along the way — that analogy is priceless! And I love the way it really only works for those of us of a certain age who have had the opportunity to live it, to bump into that once-conservative friend and marvel at her transformation.

    As for the staples, I appreciate dark (charcoal, dark brown, black) v-necked body-skimming sweaters or T-shirts. AND cardigans, which are more comfy to wear than blazers/jackets, but can smarten up an outfit almost as well.

  23. October 14, 2010 / 11:32 pm

    HAHA – love your JCrew description.

    I recently picked up 2 thin stretchy vneck sweaters at Sam’s Club, in black and gray. They are long and mostly cotton with a bit of acrylic and spandex. Accidently threw one in the dryer but it looks like new.

  24. Kathy
    October 14, 2010 / 4:50 pm

    I love your sense of style…can you suggest an appropriate outfit for an art museum opening in a small city, cocktail attire, black or jewel tones….

    thank you…

  25. October 15, 2010 / 12:50 am

    I was out shopping today and happened upon a line of dresses that really fit my body well!! I’ve been hard to fit in dresses, so I am very pleased.

    I’m 5’8″ and wear a size 14 in this designer’s dresses (age 58) . They are flattering. In case you would like to peruse the selection, go to davidmeister.com
    and look at daytime dresses.

  26. October 15, 2010 / 4:19 pm

    Jill Ann and Susan – that Milly dress is fabulous! I’d have a tough time with that neckline (needing to wear a bra) but it’s a stunner.

    materfamilias – thanks so much! The college roomate is, admittedly, mostly a fiction, though an exaggerated composite of some actual situations. I play for effect. 😉

    Kathy – I’d love to see what I could come up with. I’ll play with some Polyvore this weekend.

    Genuine Lustre – gotta love those basics that stand up to the dryer!!

    Susan – I’ll check those out. It’s always good to have another resource, thanks!

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