Have you ever wondered what it would feel like if you were being held by one million kind-hearted grizzly bears at the same time? I guess that might sound quite ghoulish, but, to me, that’s what wearing a cardigan feels like. Ah, the hug of sweaters, how can I describe thee differently? Cardigans, if you aren’t hip to the finery, are friends, a toasty cup of tea on a glum afternoon, a 5 a.m. wake-up call, a passionate true love’s kiss! In more, como se dice, authentic terms, a cardigan is a sweater material with an open front, usually with ornamental buttons … oh my gosh don’t get me started on ornamental buttons! So, as I sit here pensively trying to display the true eternal beauty of the supple and serendipitous sweater, I will introduce you to some cardigans I have loved, lost, kept in touch, spilled marinara sauce on and danced all night in.
Emerald green, maroon, burnt orange and deep purple make up the rainbow of my most worn cardy. I found this little phenomenon at the Fox Valley Thrift Shoppe: a home away from home, a shoulder for everyone to cry on, a best friend’s abode. This cardigan quickly became a staple of my wardrobe! I bet you’re wondering how a cardigan with such a multitude of colors goes well with such outfits. HAH! Gotcha! The beautiful thing about old reliable is that it probably doesn’t go with everything that I pair it with, but since it’s a cardigan, it does. I cannot explain this phenomenon, but, simply put, your cardigan will always fit with your outfit.
The next cardigan that owns my heart is a green, argyle, wooly favorite. I got this at a thrift store in 2019, before the nightmare that is 2020, and I have admired it ever since. However, I must critique it. Given its wooly nature, I find it hard to wear without a long sleeve shirt under it, which leaves me bitter. Even though a Christmas tree is prickly, do we immediately throw it out of our homes? Of course not. Do we throw away a piece of bread that has some mold on it? Of course not, you scrape off the mold and make your sandwich (right? eek!). Thusly, I just make sure to wear that cardigan with a long sleeve shirt. Perhaps, we can learn a life-ish lesson from my alligator-y cardigan, both uncomfortable and green, about how sometimes we must work with what we have, and I think that’s beautiful.
Next, I have no choice other than to tell you about the modern relic that I found at the Goodwill last Sunday. Are you ready? Like seatbelts-on-as-if-an-angry-and-small-pug-was-driving-the-car ready? Well … I found a months cardigan! What is a months cardigan? If you had asked me that a month ago (hehe) I wouldn’t have known either. Well, this never-been-done-before piece is sectioned out into 12 parts, and each part has the name of a month as well as some symbols! For example, the month of July has some BEADED FIREWORKS!! WHAT?? I know. It’s too literal beast mode, too epic, a serious win. As my eyes locked upon this zesty piece from across the room, it was as if someone had started playing “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion. Nothing else existed except me and this special little drapery. Something about this cardigan, just by existing, made a mockery of every other piece of clothing I owned. I knew that if I left without buying it, my life would simply be ruined.
Now, you probably think I’m all cuckoo bananas because I said my life would be ruined if I had passed up a seemingly obnoxious cardigan. However, if I could make you feel what I felt when I laid my silly little eyes on that silly little cardigan, you would understand too. Especially in this horrific, gut-wrenching, “Why god, why?” times, it is important to find some excitement in small things. I hope that even if it’s grandma’s old sweater, some sweatpants from a bat mitzvah in seventh grade where you danced with your crush, or a thrift store cardigan, that you can feel as happy as the day you received it when you put it on.