Cardigans have a time and a place. They do keep you warm, and as the authors of The Preppy Handbook will tell you, suburban matrons in pearls have been wearing them since at least the 1920s. Cashmere cardigans can look classy when you are dressing for CASUAL occasions.
The key word is:
Additionally, as all unstructured garments will do, the cardigan can and will showcase your worst features.
Good tailoring, on the other hand, can hide a multitude of sins.
So, pray tell, why does Michelle Obama insist on wearing a damn cardigan everywhere?
First there was that cardigan over the butcher’s apron dress:
In that instance, the cardigan went on top of a hideous dress:
The red extended upwards almost to the neckline, and downwards to mid-thigh, petering out top and bottom in a sort of cast-off splatter. The effect of the strong contrast was to turn a mere frock into a poster in the most disturbing colours known to man, the colours of chaos. The juxtaposition of a rectangle of red on a black field is what we might expect to find on a flag or a shield. Coral snakes and venomous spiders signal their destructive potential by the display of similarly violent contrasts.
Then there was the cardigan when visiting the Queen:
WRONG because it looked too casual for a momentous royal visit. One does not meet the Queen every day. The Toledo dress LOOKED like a skirt and top worn with a casual cardigan — an outfit more appropriate for a fundraising cocktail night at her daughters’ school than for meeting the woman whose profile still appears on the coins of numerous countries. Why the First Lady bothered to spend big bucks on an Alaia cardigan, I have no idea. It could have been any old cheap schmatte, it appeared so shapeless.
WRONG because in almost every way for Michelle, the outfit was a figure DON’T. At 5’10” Michelle has a strong statuesque figure that is striking in outfits with clean, long lines. This black and white dress cut her length in half, making her suddenly appear short-waisted. Then to add injury to insult, the big flaring bell skirt ballooned out over her curvy pear-shaped hips adding feet to her width. Yeah, Michelle looked like a bell all right from her wide base all the WAY up to the tippy top of her new disaster do.
That cardigan stopped exactly at the waist, exacerbating the effect of the flared skirt.
Then there was the sequined cardigan:
It’s morning. You’re on an official visit to a head of state. Leave the sequins home. A nicely tailored jacket would have made a much better and much more flattering look.
And then along came the argyle cardigan. Argyle, a pattern best appreciated in men’s socks, only made more, ehem, striking by splitting the pattern:
Again, the cardigan stopped exactly where it accentuated Mrs. Obama’s worst feature: her hips.
Please, give up the cardigan.
And while you’re at it, stand up straight, shoulders back, chin up. Be proud of being tall. I know I am.
Coming soon: What not to wear 2: The Gathered Skirt.
Special thanks to Larwyn for the concept and links.
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Via Ameripundit, The Daily Show talks about the coverage:
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||M – Th 11p / 10c|
|The Poisonous Queen|
UPDATE, Saturday 4 April
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