Friday, April 26, 2013

Day 60 -- How Now, Brown Cowl?

Since I am an avid viewer of Project Runway (yes, and even the spin-off, Project Runway All-Stars. What can I say...I can't get enough of that Loreal Paris Makeup Room and the Lord & Taylor Accessory Wall), I am fairly certain that Fashion Week for the Fall lines has just recently taken place.  All over the world, fashion editors are busy assembling their inspiration boards and attempting to find new and interesting ways to tell us to, once again, invest in military-inspired jackets and androgynous suiting.

My fear, however, is that the real fashion craze come September will be the triumphant return of the cowl. I can see the (cringe-inducing) headlines in the pun-loving In Style now..."Cowl-ing all Sweaters," "All about the Cowl," or, shudder, "Fall Cowl-ections." Maybe, if I just wait a few more months, I'll be fashion's new It-girl, my cowl-bedecked neck will be following in the high-stilettoed footsteps of Alexa Chung and Sienna Miller before her. My cowls might look, at best, out of place right now, but with the right media exposure and a few strategic re-tweets, who knows? The Lolitas in Japan might soon be abandoning their parasols, pacifiers, and pinafores in favor of some choice chenille cowlnecks. So I should probably hang onto all of my cowlneck sweaters, just in case...right?

This tan chenille cowl sweater hails from the early 2K Express sweater collection and, the savvy reader will notice its resemblance to the ill-fated sweaters of Days 50 and 54.  Yes, it is the third in this series (and there are two more waiting in the wings.  This is the knitwear equivalent of The Partridge Family...or, depending on your decade of preference, Party of Five). While his siblings met an unfortunate demise, every sweater is given a fair chance here (unless, of course, it has a mock neck.  Then I make no promises), and I will judge this cowlneck on its own merits (assuming, of course, that it has any).  And when cowls become all the rage and are more difficult to get than the latest It Bag from Balenciaga, you can all say that I was just extremely ahead of my time. Or maybe ten years behind...

Cowl neck? Check. Bell sleeves?
Discount double check.

You think you're tired of looking at cowlnecks?
Try wearing them day after day. After this experiment,
I'm going to go through cowl withdrowl (sorry...I had to).

What a difference a flash makes. This sad hue
is brought to you by the word "bland."

I've got to say this about the cowlneck--it makes accessorizing a snap.  No necklace, no scarf, no 80s-inspired broach needed...just drape that cowl and go. While it is, in many ways, liberating, it certainly does not allow for much creativity and forces the sweater to do all of the talking.  Which, in this case, was more like a whisper mixed with a mumble.  Not that this wasn't soft, long enough, and, okay, fine...warm, but that's about where the praise ends. In fact, I forced myself to wear it again because I had absolutely no lasting impression of this sweater at all.

Upon second wearing, I started to see the proverbial cracks.  The bell sleeves proved to be a bit cumbersome, and I didn't find the color to be any too inspiring (my Mom called it perfectly.  "It looks like you're wearing a sweater made from a ball of twine."  That's not exactly the words J. Peterman...or J. Crew, for that matter, would use to entice you to buy one of their sweaters, is it?). All in all, this was a fine, milquetoast sweater, but nothing more. While I might keep it on the roster, it is definitely benched, and is in danger of being sent down to Triple A.

My rating: Marlon Jackson (hey, it's better than Jimmy Osmond).  As one of The Jackson Five, Marlon's visage may have appeared on many a lunchbox, album cover, or cheap 70s iron-on decals, but I challenge anyone to try to identify exactly which one is Marlon.  Sure, everybody knows Michael, Jermaine, and, due mainly to the pure joy in saying his name, Tito...but how many people can point to Marlon and say, "Yep...that's Marlon.  He's my favorite Jackson brother." Similarly, while this sweater was fine (and actually met a far better fate than befell his brothers), I sure couldn't pick it out of a lineup (and certainly wouldn't pick it out of an armoire).  I am confident that he was a valuable asset to the Jackson 5, and while this was a warm and pleasant sweater for a random Tuesday afternoon, I feel like I've already given him more airtime than he really wants or deserves.

So, while I'm tempted to donate this sweater to charity, a certain song lyric keeps haunting me -- "Oh darlin' I was blind to let you go. But now since I see you in his arms
I want you back." Okay, fine...I'll hang on to this one (for Michael's sake), but since I've yet to review the two remaining Jackson sweaters (one is a chunky grey, the other a lovely light blue), here's hoping the remaining members of this quintet are fine with Marlon remaining a solo act.  Even the most fashionable of trendsetters would not wear a cowlneck every day.  

No comments:

Post a Comment