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The Soft Season

Posted by Laura
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The new sweater-dressing—with Montreal Canadian goalie Edward Walsh—left, the "cashmere" turtleneck bloused on a wide, ribbed hip-band, and matching pull-on pants—easy as a jogging suit. The difference is in the putting together - the belt you wrap around twice; the muffler; the blanket/shawl. Sweater and pants, by Kimberly. Right, one of the best soft dresses around—Blassport's loose, gathered sweater of a dress, to waist-wrap (sometimes!) with a rope of yarn and metallic—in mocha wool-and-nylon.

 

 

Finding a good balance of prettiness and sexiness when wrapped up in comfortable sweaters has always been one of the more difficult aspects for me when dressing for colder temperatures. It has always helped to look for inspiration from editorials from the past, to see what knitwear styles work the best so that I know what to look out for during my vintage shopping. This 1977 Vogue editorial (photographed in Toronto, the hometown of Shrimpton Couture!) is a great primer on the best sweaters and wool dresses for the winter months. Though most of the silhouettes are quite loose, the shapes are tucked and layered to be incredibly flattering. As I write this on a rather frigid day, there are exactly the type of comfortable yet attractive pieces I wish I had to throw on right now for a busy week of meetings.

 

Jerry Hall and Yasmine Guenancia photographed by Albert Watson for Vogue, August 1977.

Natural tones of cashmere, mohair, chamois, and challis: clothes you pull on like sweaters, gather in at the waist with a piece of leather or braided wool...

 

The skirt of the year, left, the wool challis dirndl!—a grey-violet-gold Liberty tulip print, with a scallop-edged chamois jacket and lilac turtle-neck halter... waist-wrap it with chunks of polished "quartz", add a bronze cuff—and you're dressed. By Gloria Sachs. The soft fluffy sweater of a coat, right: hand-crocheted ivory mohair trimmed in grey. To wear over grey flannel and a cowl-neck blouson sweater—you couldn't be cozier! By Eleanor Brenner. In the background, Toronto's spectacular "Needle".

 

 

The suit as a sweater-set—at City Hall Plaza, Toronto—left, the oatmeal cashmere drawstring blouson, and soft matching skirt. Leonard Sunshine Knits. Right, the sheer-knit, vanilla alpaca button-front cardigan and easy pleated skirt—nice on the first fall day (throw on a sleeveless vest when it gets cooler). Sweater and skirt, St. John designed by Marie Grey.

 

 

New look of a two-piece dress, left, the blouson, ruffled at the collar and cuffs, with a pleated skirt—in beige-brown-taupe jersey... one of the first things you'd want for fall (especially with a long, soft serape to throw over it). Dress by Frances Henaghan. Softer, longer, on the right—the mohair sweater you blouse with a belt, ease over a Donegal tweed dirndl—this year's way to be in a sweater and skirt. By Stanley Blacker. Photographed at Sidbec, the big steel-mill complex outside Montreal.

 

 

Country-way to wear fur—anywhere: the zippered civet blouson with caramel Ultrasuede trim, over camel widewale corduroy jeans—terrific! Natural bassarisk civet jacket, by Grovesnor Canada. Cotton corduroy jeans, DBA by Theodore.

 

 

In a year of terrific prints—the challis dress in peach-beige-and-green flowers, foreground, with a ruffled drawstring neckline. To add for texture: a knitted dickey, copper-and-suede belt, and a nubby, fringed serape. Rayon dress, by Richard Assatly for Gino-Snow. Two-piece jersey softness, top: the ruffled, rose-print overblouse and navy dirndl... to wear with a fling of rose-printed challis shawl. Acrylic blouse and wool skirt, by Robert-David Morton. Photographed in front of City Hall, in Old Montreal.

 

 

Country/cozy way to be in a sweater, natural-colored, hooded Coos Curry pullover in oiled wool (i.e. water resistant), and palomino-colored chamois pants that lace from ankle to knee. Sweater, Knockabouts by Pendleton. Pants, Charles Suppon for Intre Sport.

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