Saturday 16th December 2017
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The office cardigan, considered


On particularly dark days during my last job, I’d look around my less-than-immaculate office and wonder: if I get fired, how long would it take to pack this all up? Could I get it done in one day? And then: should I take some of the non-essentials home now? You might consider this morbid of me, but I was just thinking pragmatically: most editors in chief end their tenures by getting fired, and if my number came up, I wanted my exit to be quiet and swift.

I never did that  preliminary sweep, and when the fateful day arrived, the big clean-up took five hours. We packed ten boxes, and one them contained nothing but cardigans. For eleven summers I’d dealt with my building’s air conditioning system, which was as chilly as the refrigerated foods section at Costco, and the sweaters had been my armor. We all had our arsenals—it was a fashion magazine, after all, and we viewed options as crucial—but mine had swollen to comic proportions. And I can’t say that if I ever return to an office environment, it wouldn’t happen all over again. The polar summer office is a universal blight, and the best one can hope to do is face it down with style. DKNY’s classic cozy is perhaps the ideal summer cardigan; it’s a nice, light silk and cashmere blend, comes in every color you could possibly desire, and can be worn in a multitude of ways for maximum versatility.

rachel cardi

The asymmetrical lace on this Rachel Comey sweater gives it just the right degree of interest; the fact that it’s black means it’ll look good with more of your stuff.

band of outsiders

And while we’re talking lace inserts: I want.

donovan jacket

This Tory Burch sweater has the great advantage of looking like an extremely pulled-together jacket, so you get both comfort and something perfect to slip on when the boss calls a surprise  meeting.

Screen Shot 2013-06-25 at 7.52.09 PM

There are more exciting options than the cotton jewel neck cardi, but few that are as affordable, or that you will reach for as often.


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Posted on June 25th, 2013 7 Comments

7 Responses

  1. Bex says:

    At my last job, I used to joke that they kept the thermostat set halfway between “Morgue” and “Meat Locker.” So I also had to keep a cardigan on hand, but none of them was as stylish as the ones you posted. Anyway, after they laid me and 10% of the company off, I managed to land a job where I get to telecommute full time, so I can set the AC to whatever temp I desire. Freedom!

  2. kathy says:

    Have been looking for a summery black cardigan, and the Rachel Comey is perfection – just bought. Thanks!

  3. Joanna aka Alexa (@alexa11221) says:

    Cullen has great linen cardigans, though the colors are boring.

    I am totally lol-ing at this, as I have been trying to pack for a week in Vienna and I really want to take at least 10 cardigans! And they could easily be all different shades of gray, and I would still have drawersful left in Brooklyn.

  4. Michelle says:

    What an interesting post. I didn’t realize most editors end their time at a magazine by getting the boot. Having that possibility always on the horizon must be quite unsettling. Your Lucky editor letters were a feature I looked forward to each month so I feel fortunate that now I get a daily version through your blog. I no longer work in an office either but I would love to wear any of these cardies.

  5. c.w. says:

    Love all but the Tory Burch (for some reason when I look at it I begin humming a medley from Sound of Music…barf). First thing I always pack in my carry-on is a cardigan. Love. Them.

  6. farah bano says:

    I love the Jcrew cardigans, and the Jackie cardigan is my favorite of them all because it’s 3/4 and cotton.

    I would love a post on purchasing multiples of the same thing…because I have 4 Jackie cardigans and want at last 2 more.

    Once I hit 40, I thought if I love something and it looks great on my why not purchase it in more than 1 color? Like No. 6 clogs, perfect flats, or AG jeans? Please do a post on purchasing multiples as the relate to developing a uniform for GOACA!

  7. I appreciate the candor about the “last job.” Maybe you’re tired of hearing such, but I really enjoyed Lucky under your leadership. I bought my first copy at a gas station during a loooong road trip to a wedding in September 2009, and it made me so happy and excited — the styling, the writing, the choice of celeb features, the affordable non-Chanelish labels, the contests, the discounts; and I was hooked. I have several “keeper” issues in my basement, and not-so-oddly, most of them are from the Kim years.