Dusters, Cardigans, and Sweaters, oh my!

Office Fashion: Why Cardigans are the Better than High Heels

I don’t know if it’s the fact that I’ve had to dress business casual for the past decade or if it’s because I subconsciously long to be a librarian, but it dawned on me recently that I’ve become completely obsessed with cardigans. Or really, any kind of duster, throw-over, or sweater that is open in the front.

Prior to entering into the corporate world, my biggest fashion obsession was shoes, particularly the high-heeled variety. The more outrageous the heel, the more I loved them. While not the most comfortable or practical obsession, it was one I knew to be a common side-effect of the female condition.

It’s not that I don’t love shoes anymore but these days nothing excites me like a new knee-length duster. And honestly, I think I’m better for it. Here’s why:

They’re Always Comfortable

High Heels are con artists. They seduce you into trying them on because they look fantastic and the next thing you know they’ve convinced you to put comfort on the back-burner. Even if comfort is something you’re rational about, you won’t be able to tell from the five minutes you spent wearing them in the store that they will be making your feet cry for mercy within two hours of wearing them to the office.

Maybe its just because I’m the ripe old cranky age of 32, but I don’t have patience for shoes that torture me anymore, no matter how cute they are.

Okay, maybe if they’re really cute. The point is, I have lower tolerance for painful shoes.

Cardigans never lie to you. If it’s comfortable in the store, it will be comfortable anywhere else, no matter how long you wear it. They are in it with you for the long haul. I even wear mine around the house over my pajamas some mornings like a house coat.

They Keep you Warm

For whatever reason, every office I’ve ever worked in has basically been an icebox, no matter what time of year it is. Either my co-workers are secretly penguins or the AC has no spectrum between on or off.  I’m leaning towards the penguin theory. But since becoming addicted to cardigans, chilly days at the office are bearable.

In contrast, my heels don’t keep my feet warm at all. Then again my cardigan doesn’t keep my feet warm either. They need to make feet cardigans to go over your socks. Multi-million dollar idea right there.  

They Make You Look Smart

Pair a cardigan with some thick glasses and you will show up to your next meeting looking like you have the answers. Or like you got lost on the way to the library.

I’ve also been compared to a jedi master while wearing my cream-coloured duster. Think about it, when was the last time your shoes made you look like you could kick a storm-trooper’s butt?

I mean, you could wear a suit jacket and some people say that looks smart. But they’re not as comfortable and if you work in a business casual office then it just makes you look like a jerk.

They’re Practical

Today when I was heading out for lunch, someone coming in from outside said to me, “you’re not going to need that sweater, it’s a million degrees outside.”

I smiled and nodded, but my internal dialogue was more along the lines of, “challenge accepted.” I walked out into the blistering heat and proceeded to drive home in my stifling car without ever taking my sweater off. 

Okay, so I guess that wasn’t the best anecdote for this point.  Don’t blame the sweater, though.

Just because I’m not practical doesn’t mean the sweater isn’t.

One comment

  1. Scout says:

    I’ve recently “graduated” to SAHM status. I’m also a blogger/fiction writer in my *ahem* spare time. Two small kids. But I’ve worked for years in an office with business casual as the dress code. You are so right!!! Especially while I was pregnant, those open-front cardigans were my best friend. It’s like wearing a blanket…in a socially acceptable way. Lol

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