Knitscene Gallery: The Emerald Isle Cardigan

Last time, I introduced Sharon Riggs, assistant editor of Knitscene and our very own rockstar. Jumping off of Kate Sonnick's styling fun with the Indigo Banded Cardigan (page 96 of the Fall 09 issue), Sharon will be exploring ways to style the garments from the current issue. You only get to see the sample sweater on one model with one outfit in the magazine, but each project can be styled tons of ways–so here we have room to play!

So here's Sharon!

Emerald Isle Cardigan by Melissa Wehrle, Knitscene Fall 2009As our motley editorial group’s self-avowed fashionista, I’m going to explore different ways to style some of my favorite Knitscene garments, starting this week with Melissa Wehrle’s Emerald Isle Cardigan. (And yes, I do have the best job in the world, thankyouverymuch.)

This cardigan has so many positives it’s hard to know where to start. It’s a classic, flattering shape; it can be dressed up or down; it can be worn in place of a suit jacket or blazer or, alternately, as cozy outerwear.

In the magazine, our lovely model Angelika wears the Emerald Isle Cardi paired with jeans and a simple white top. You can never go wrong with the classics, and this look suits both young and mature women. But what other sides of your personality can you embellish with this versatile sweater?

First, I decided to put together a work outfit. As I mentioned, a cardigan can take the place of a structured blazer in a more casual workplace setting. Since the V-front allows me to showcase a blouse with interest at the neckline, I chose a ruffle-front white button-down paired with brown windowpane trousers. Add a pair of smart earrings and top off with the Emerald Isle, and you’re ready to kick some butt in corporate America.

Sharon's work lookSharon's Boho lookSharon's evening look

Next I ventured into unfamiliar territory when I opted to style a bohemian look. Since I’m not personally a sandals-and-patchouli girl, I borrowed some clothes from a friend, and I must admit this turned out to be my favorite outfit made with the Emerald Isle. This sweater looks amazing over a delicate patterned blouse and long, full skirt; I tried (and liked) this look both with a belt and without. Mixing textures is key to this “child of the world” vibe: Add feather accessories, wood bangles, mismatched metals, and stones in their natural forms to enhance the wooly goodness of a great sweater. In this outfit I’m ready to hit downtown Boulder to sip cappuccino and watch the street performers.

Lastly, I wanted to put together an evening look showcasing this sweater. As I might have mentioned before, I believe that fashion’s about taking risks and having fun. I’d rather wear an outfit that people “just don’t get” than one that leaves me lost in the crowd. To that end, I selected bright yellow shorts, a black top, patent-leather platforms, and a feather headband. In the last few years, shorts have taken their place alongside the miniskirt as sassy going-out attire, and I think they’re great fun paired with heels for a punch of drama. Over all goes the fabulous cardigan, which is still the feature even with all the bold pairings. And (shhh) on a practical note: I’m always cold, and this outfit gives me the impact of a cocktail dress but I still get to wear a cozy sweater. Win!

Certainly, not all these looks will suit your taste, but I hope I’ve given you a bit to think about when styling your freshly knitted garments. Dress ‘em up, dress ‘em down, but don’t say “no” until you try! We are making clothes when we knit, after all. Mixing and matching elements, as in baking (or mixing cocktails, for that matter), will lead you to fresh and fun new discoveries.

 Thanks to Tanya Vildasol for taking these pictures!


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