A Cardigan Saves The Day










My good friend Esther works at a mid-sized office in downtown DC.  If I could use one word to describe her, it would be "fabulous".  She takes biannual trips to Europe with her boyfriend, spends the summers sailing on his yacht, skis the winters away in Aspen, and her car payment is more than the average mortgage.  When it comes to fashion she's all Louboutins, Louis Vuitton, and leopard print.  And she's definitely not afraid to show off her rockin' curves -- let's just say her would-be mother in law gave her a turtleneck last Christmas.

All this fabulousness makes many women love to hate her -- and her boss (let's call her Jean) is no exception.  But Esther has a bubbly personality, stellar work ethic, and is never late -- so the only thing left to attack -- her wardrobe.  A couple of months ago Jean started calling Esther into the office to give her "warnings" about her work attire.  Her skirt was too short, her blouse was too low cut, the outfit was too flashy or too tight.  . Frustrated, Esther asked me to go shopping with her and we picked up longer skirts, pants, and conservative one-pieces.

But it still wasn't enough.  Jean managed to find something wrong with every single outfit and went as far as to write her up.  The thing is, Esther just has that kind of body that makes everything look too well fitted (think J Lo).  She had no idea what to do.  Considering the cost of her wardrobe, she wasn't in the mood to revamp it entirely.  She even thought of quitting her job.

And then one day I convinced her to try on a cardigan.  She resisted at first because she thought cardigans were too "granny."  But it was perfect!  It perfectly concealed her "too low cut blouse" and camouflaged her "too tight dress."  We even managed to find one fabulous enough for her -- a gorgeous white cashmere cardigan with crystal studded buttons.  And when Esther went in to work, Jean gave her the once over and gruffly said, "Good job today."  A cardigan saves the day!

A cardigan is the perfect piece to make any outfit more conservative.  There's something so "librarian' about it and it gives just the right touch of sophistication and nerdiness (albeit sexy nerdiness). Even a skin tight little black dress can be converted into a work dress with a nice cardigan and a strand of pearls.  And it's such a versatile piece that you can wear it every day of the week -- over jeans and a tank top with booties, leggings and an over-sized t-shirt with ballet flats, or an evening dress with heels.

Esther ended up buying 5 cardigans -- in all her fabulous colors and fabrics -- and hasn't heard a peep out of Jean since.  "This could've all been solved so easily," she mused. "If only Jean just literally told me to put on a sweater!"