Do not be fooled by this over youthful styling, the Cozy is a genius garment perfectly suited for the 40plus woman.
A long time ago when The Women.s Room worked in a hot and hormonal fashion office selecting shapes and styles to back for the next season, we used to have something called a 'carry over'. This was a design that was so successful and popular, it was carried over from one season to the next, often changing colour and fabric to suit. A carry over style was the height of success, it meant that the design team had cracked what we all wanted at that time, to the extent that customers kept coming back and buying more.
Then along came fast fashion and the importance of New! and the idea that just because a style worked well it should be continued was thought a bit archaic and not what people wanted at all. No matter that New! had been designed very fast and rushed through fit meetings and production, it was fashion and that's what we wanted.
Now fast fashion is begining to lose a little of its shine as we take a step back from our credit cards and piles of average, ill conceived clothes and actually engage our brains before we buy. What we now want, particularly with our experience, is to buy something that works, that makes us feel good, fits us and (if possible) flatters. A style that has had a little thought behind it.
So I find myself this week looking at a Donna Karan Cozy, a cardigan/jacket/scarf affair that she has been selling almost continuously for more years than Rebecca, the sales assistant in the Bond Street store could remember ("Maybe five I think?"). It definitely counts as a carry over and the classic version never goes in the sale.
Karan is one of those canny American merchants who behind the razzle dazzle, produces a continuous run of very wearable clothes that think of body shape before fashion trend. The Cozy is a genius design and having had the 'Twelve ways to wear it' demonstration from Rebecca, I wonder why it hasn't hit my radar before. It is what's been missing from my wardrobe without me even realising it. A versatile,beautifully comfortable cardigan that I can customise to my own personal style (I can even weave one of my multitude of silver bangles into it for heavens sake!) and seems to highlight my thinner bits (Ms Karan thinks shoulders are very sexy).
This is a style that has been honed to perfection over a few years of customer feed back and (I presume) totally adoration, It comes in four weights, Linen for the summer (I bought this one), silk and cashmere (the best selling one), merino wool (only if you live in a very cold climate according to Rebecca) and cashmere (only if you are very rich). It covers all the basics on colour and this autumn throws on a few wildly bright colours, as you can see in the picture above.
Actually, now I think about it, the reason I have not noticed this genius item before could be the very American way this product is presented. Karan tried to sell it to me as part of her 'capsule wardrobe' at a time when I was busy with my head in a fast fashion whirl. Now I'm looking much harder at clothes to check them out for usefulness, there it is.
If you are close to the two stores in London and Manchester, I would strongly advise you put aside your dislike of the slightly cheesy sales techniques and take some time to have them demonstrate the whole wearing process, they excel at it (ask for Rebecca in Bond Street).If not, there are concessions in big department stores and you can view the demonstration video (grit your teeth) on the company's US website.
It's a garment you are likely to end up buying in more than one fabric weight (I am definitely buying one for autumn in silk and cashmere, but not in a bright colour) and maybe more than one colourway too. It is definitely a carry over, then.