Gents, as winter creeps toward the Southern Hemisphere (MSP’s home base), & the nights begin to have that wee bit of a bite, we feel it prudent to urge you all to cover up and do it in a casual, laid back and very sexy cool style – the cardigan.
For those of you with curious minds, the cardigan is a type of sweater (or jumper) that ties, buttons or zips down the front; in contrast, a pullover does not open in front but must be “pulled over” the head to be worn. The cardigan was named after aristocratic, flamboyant and stylish James Thomas Brudenell, the 7th Earl of Cardigan – a British military commander, following his service in the Crimean War, of which he spent most nights of the campaign aboard his luxury steam yacht, ‘Dryad’, in Balaclava Harbour. It during this war that the Earl was seen sporting a knitted waistcoat – the first of its kind – and the look became instantly became fashionable amongst the stylish set of the day.
Manly, elegant and a great way to show off your pecs, cardigans and even sweaters are often worn over shirts and inside suit jackets as a kind of less formal waistcoat or vest. Cardies are great ways to play with colour in your wardrobe so don’t always stick to traditional neutral colours like black or white. How about red, yellow or even electric blue? That’ll jazz up your style and give people something to talk about.
When it comes to material, wool and cotton combination cardies are the best – they keep you warm and let you breathe at the same time – and like any good wardrobe piece, pay good money for a quality piece that will last you for many years.
PS. The 7th Earl of Cardigan was a rogue to say the least – He married young and then scandalised society by leaving his wife and marrying his mistress, achieving still greater notoriety as he had been conducting an affair with her as his wife was dying. He fought duels often with various imagined enemies and despite his bravery in the field, was often censured for his cruel mistreatment of soldiers in his charge. After his retirement in 1866 he passed his time with hunting and shooting, with the occasional foray to London to speak in the House of Lords and to press for further official recognition of his glorious military career. He died from injuries caused by a fall from his horse on 28 March 1868, possibly following a stroke. Hmmm …