It was one of those black-hole-scroll nights. When you lose yourself in Netflix’s back catalogue, unsure if you’ll ever emerge. My husband stopped at every Marvel thing and I stopped at every obvious rom-com. It was a genre stand-off. But just as I thought we were destined for an evening of homepage-only viewing we stumbled on Jerry Maguire. Perfect. A rom-com about NFL that neither of had seen in forever. And I’d forgotten how good it was. Tom is amazing, Cuba is amazing and Renée is amazing. The other unexpectedly amazing thing? Its authentic ‘90s costuming that emotionally sent me straight back to my high school days…and also, apparently, to my fashion future.
It’s nothing new that 90s-style is flooding fashion right now, but a chance viewing of “You had me at hello” has completely refreshed my nostalgic inspiration. In particular, this time, the return of cardigan style. The much-papped stylistas of spring-summer 2019 fashion month adopted knitted button-ups with slouchy abandon. There were long-line V-neck styles in argyle checks that engaged a certain polished-grunge, oversized chunky looks that swallowed wearers whole, and furry Muppety statement cover-ups that made for camera-clicking mayhem. But it was the return of the classic, fitted, lightweight version that has us sartorially sentimental.
When Bella Hadid stepped out in Paris on September 18 in a cashmere button-down this simmering trend started to boil. Paired with classic 501’s and slim sunglasses, so comparable was her look to that of Ms. Zellweger in the film, she could have been Dorothy Boyd leaving that office with nothing but a crush and a fish.
Since then, style stars in the form of Jeanne Damas, Caroline Daur and Camille Charriere have been giving what is essentially a piece of (“don’t catch a cold, darling”) practicality a new lease of Frenchy-mode life. Simple, classic and flattering, the new wave has been paired with everything from denim jeans to full gown skirts.
Solidifying the trend? King Karl Largerfeld including nautical, logo-emblazoned versions in his SS19 seaside collection for Chanel (slim-cut, cropped length and elasticised waists and cuffs) and Queen Miucca Prada bringing back tonal, ribbed stretch-knit cardigans, paired with full skirts and gothic accessories for Miu Miu.
But if oversized is more your persona, Loewe’s SS19 range of loose-knit mohair cashmere cardigans have been causing a flurry of #musthave on the socials. There’s more than room for both this trans-seasonal period.
So, was it a universal perusing of her film back catalogue that saw the sudden nod to Zellwegian style (after all, she sports them in Empire Records, Bridget Jones’ Diary and Me, Myself and Irene too)? Or simply that cardigan style is ready for a comeback, a perfect blend of blank-canvas staple and balletic-grunge commemoration? Hmm, no, I like to think that somewhere, sometime Karl, Miucca, Bella and I were all doing the Netflix scroll together.
Zara oversized cropped cardigan, $79.95, SHOP NOW
Ganni ‘Callahan’ oversized cardigan, $296, from Net-A-Porter, SHOP NOW
Uniqlo cotton cardigan, $39.90, SHOP NOW
Markus Lupfer ‘Harper’ embellished cardigan, $590, from Net-A-Porter, SHOP NOW