Shopping: Sweaters

Cuddly sweaters are the best thing by far when the weather starts getting grey. Madeleine shares her favorites

I own 42 sweaters. For me, the sweater is an essential item of clothing and one I truly love. There’s nothing better than a really nice sweater. It may not be enough for some people, but I get confused by too many things. A pair of jeans and a sweater – I like that. I came to this realization early on.

When I was eight years old, I fell in love – with a sweater. My mother bought it for me at a children’s clothing store. The saleswoman was really nice (it may have had something to do with our frequent visits to the store). The sweater was white, with a small knit and a cable pattern. I don’t remember the brand anymore, but a small rose adorned the label at the neck. Romantic. We were inseparable and I wore it every day. I had to take it off sometimes so that it could be washed. Tears, screaming…it was of no use. Our reunions were a time for celebration because, without it, I simply looked like nothing. Whether in the classroom, on the playground, or dreaming of ponies, I always felt beautiful and safe when I wore it. It’s amazing how much self-confidence a piece of clothing can give you. And this sweater gave me magic powers, that’s for sure. At some point it wore out, and everything went to pieces (it wasn’t that bad). But I’ve never loved a garment like that again.   

Luckily, the fashion industry doesn’t suffer from any shortage of production. Season after season, favorites change, the cards are reshuffled, and new superpowers are handed out. There’s a lot of potential this winter season – great pieces were shown in almost every city during the fashion weeks. Balenciaga combined big, bulky sweaters with delicate skirts, Loewe and Fendi brought the Norwegian sweater to a new level, and Prada made a pink, fluffy sweater serious business. You could even go on a date in the one by Calvin Klein 205W39NYC with the slit shoulders. While the big houses flow into the trend reports with their versions, smaller labels like Barrie and The Elder Statesman reliably make great sweaters in wool and cashmere, regardless of the season.

But despite all the choices, designs, and potential, sometimes I’d still like to be eight years old again eating lunch on the schoolyard in my childhood sweater.