Tag Archives: cardigan

Letter Sweaters

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

6694439c6a6a137d86156aa48912fdbb

One of the classic swing dance looks is a “collegiate look,” a youth culture of the jazz age and swing era (and beyond, really), who had their own trends and fads, like any youth culture – one option to add to this look is a classic letter sweater.  Last year All Balboa Weekend had a limited number of ABW patches made up, so of course I snagged one because I love the look, love the concept and I lettered in a couple of sports when I was in high school, so I’m partial to that nostalgia – I mean, of course I’ve lettered in Balboa by now, my 10th ABW, right?

But my ABW letter patch has been sitting on the dresser in my guest room since then, waiting for the perfect sweater.  I had hoped to find a vintage one, but finding one in the right color and in my size proved to be a non-starter.  I ran into New York dancer/instructor/performer Adrienne Weidert at Camp Hollywood in September sporting a Miss Camp Hollywood letter sweater and she (and several other former Miss Camp Hollywood title holders) had purchased theirs online.  It makes sense, I had a letter jacket in high school, those classic items can still be purchased, why not sweaters?

school-sweater-with-double-sleeve-stripe

A Neff letter sweater with all the bells and whistles

A quick internet search directed me to Neff, a company still making classic letter jackets and letter sweaters, but the absolute best part is that these sweaters, made from acrylic, are customizable – 16 different colors to choose from, decide what you want each color to be for the body of the sweater, the neck/placket, the pocket trim, the buttons, and if you want stripes on either sleeve.  I designed a sweater and submitted it for a quote, which came back at $94.95, which is cheaper than any vintage sweater I had found that would work.  Then we had to get our roof fixed for the impending hurricane than never ended up coming, and the sweater quote email sat in my inbox, I’m sure you know how that goes, and I never got around to getting this…

Then, dancer/instructor/organizer Andy Nishida tagged me on Instagram for a kelly green 30’s/40’s wool letter sweater being sold by @mrartdeco, and I had to have it – exactly my size, my favorite color, maybe it would look good with the ABW letter, and if it didn’t I’d still have a ton of things to wear with it.  It arrived and it is WARM and HEAVY – like I don’t know if I’d need a coat if I had it on, which I think was the point (that you’d want everyone to see your sweater and not cover it up with a coat).  There’s no way I could dance in it, so I decided to look for something more…3 seasons than 1 season.  But never fear, the green sweater will be out in its own glory, it really needs no embellishment and you will all see me coming a mile away.

G8452_BK0001

Harlow cardigan – a good choice for my climate and needs

I had a birthday coupon for J Crew and went to look at their cardigans – I don’t buy a lot of things from J Crew, but their Jackie cardigan is my go-to classic cardigan (good weight cotton, lovely finish, stays nice through washes, nice shape/length, etc.) so I went to check on any new colors they may have for the fall season.  As I’m perusing the cardigan page, I notice the Harlow cardigan, which looks like a letter sweater in shape – merino wool, pockets on each side, trimmed in grosgrain ribbon, but it looks like a lighter weight wool.  Of course ordering things online is tricky and I was fully prepared for this sweater to be a total failure of modern clothing, like most things from mall retailers are for me these days.  It arrived today and it’s perfect – great weight for a little nip in the air, light enough to be a middle layer, I prefer natural fibers for breathability, and just enough space to sew my letter on.  I can’t wait to wear it out and about!

Thus ends this letter sweater story – if you are on a search for your letter sweater, I hope some of this information will be helpful.

Advertisements

Oldfield Clothing – British Sportswear and Accessories

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Oldfield-Clothing-Half-Page

A postcard from the UK that reads, “Wish you were here with all this tweed…”

Every time I turn around, I hear about a new vintage reproduction company in the UK, which seems to be where I want to spend my dollars-into-pounds lately and the retail climate appears to be thriving for vintage-inspired clothing.  Swing bandleader, guitarist, and dancer Glenn Crytzer tipped me off to Oldfield Clothing, “purveyors of fine British sportswear and accessories for ladies and gentlemen,” when he picked up a pair of their 1930’s workwear trousers, wanting something in a heavier weight for loading band equipment in and out at gigs.  The Oldfield Clothing collection looks well-suited to incorporating its pieces into modern wardrobes, with vintage takes on standard clothing items like trousers and sweaters.

aff5fc28185f74c2dae94198224c8460

The trousers really shine – they offer five different cuts, ranging from the most vintage 1920’s golf knickers to the Keaton trousers that look like a standard pair of front pleated trousers (slightly lower rise than their other pairs, but probably higher rise than modern trousers, if you just want to dip your toe into the wading pool of reproduction trousers).  There are a range of fabrics, from linen to corduroy and wool, so you can shop and dress seasonally.  The workwear trousers Glenn picked are really special, not only for their durable fabric, but also for the details – buttons for braces, button fly, fish tail back, and cinch strap and buckle, to name a few.

Women’s offerings are limited to knitwear (specifically – but knickers, see above), but some really good pieces, like solid sweater vests and beautiful Fair Isle vests and a sweater.  Other items that could be unisex include caps, leather goods, and a classic cream long sleeve polo shirt with two collar options.

Here are some of the goods:

4625296845_366x574

“The Ralph Trouser” – 1930’s style linen, the trousers you need right now in this Northern Hemisphere heat

4619318389_373x384

Lady dandies, it’s never a bad time to shop for fall – grab one of these cashmere camel slipovers/sweater vests

4566847612

I love the chevron/starburst effect of this Donegal tweed herringbone cap.

4627022963

Polo shirt, available with either traditional collar or vintage collar – “ideal for sport, but smart enough to wear with a tie.”

4621779454

Some of the details on the workwear trousers.

Wollarium on Etsy

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Alpaca!

Alpaca!

Continuing my foray into vintage/reproduction knitwear, I’ll highlight the Wollarium on Etsy, which is both swoon-worthy and holiday wishlist-worthy…and when I say holiday wishlist, I mean that the Wollarium (Emma Sommerfeld in Berlin, Germany) produces hand-made reproduction sweaters from vintage patterns and said hand-made items are priced accordingly. Have you ever knit something yourself? That scarf I made once took forever, I can only imagine the love and craftsmanship that goes into these gorgeous knits. Knit-to-order, so you can have your choice of yarns and colors! Great items for both ladies and gents.

Commence swooning in 5…4…3…

40's style cardigan

40’s style cardigan

1930's style men's sweater vest, with a great V shape and clever zip top

1930’s style men’s sweater vest, with a great V shape and clever zip top

Desperately in love with this cardigan...

Desperately in love with this cardigan…

Another great sweater vest option

Another great sweater vest option

I could see a great 30's look be inspired by this beanie/beret

I could see a great 30’s look be inspired by this beanie/beret

Adorable 1940’s Dresses on eBay

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

There was an overabundance of adorable-ness in my 1940’s dress eBay searches yesterday – too much not to share!

Two tone gray and yellow dress with Peter Pan collar and contrast trim on giant pockets = LOVE

Plaid pinafore dress with sash, ruffle sleeves, and buttons down the back

Rayon dress in a lovely shade of green

This is technically separates, but this green cardigan and swing skirt with lots of goring were meant to be together! Why is all the green stuff not in my size? 😦

Gorgeous rayon print dress with blue sash

Red gingham dress with white contrast color and pocket detail

Coral print dress with contrast collar and cuffs and double buttons down the front

Candy colored plaid dress with a single giant pocket