I have a Viktoria and Woods cream wool cardigan which I love. I am very fussy about cardigans. One wrong move – the length of the hem, the neckline, the narrowness of the sleeves and torso, the quality of the fabric – can take the wearer from super chic to premature Nanna to six kids in the ‘burbs with a smoking face. Yet a really good, nicely tailored cardigan can change an outfit: over a silk camisole or soft, loose cotton T it looks stupidly cool. It makes jeans insufferably elegant. And perhaps most importantly, it means you can continue to wear your most favourite summer clothes in cooler weather and not have to banish them to the back of the wardrobe for the vast amount of time that is winter, and where they will look at you forlornly every morning, reminding you that flimsy dresses, My Girl denim cut-offs and diaphanous prints should be worn ALL THE TIME.
So I was very happy to discover Viktoria and Woods one day. I love my V&W cardigan because it is a very soft, finely ribbed pure wool (I stress the word finely because ribbing which is ever so slightly to thick, too wide looks somehow tacky and even cheap). I love it because it is not too baggy or too long – I never understood the cardigan as coat trend. All these attractive young things with perfect hair and makeup and cool shoes slouching under oodles of baggy marle grey? It’s like bag lady meets middle class.
My V&W cardigan is a satisfying blend of slimline and oh I just threw this thing on loose. The hem is higher at the back where it sits just on the waist, and longer at the front/sides where the length elongates and tapers subtly towards the front. There are not buttons, no bulky pockets, no fancy trimmings, and it is made in Australia using biodegradable Australian Merino wool.
Perhaps the most exciting thing about this cardigan is that it can do magic tricks. For months now I had been wearing it as is: shrugged on casually over neutral-toned vintage camisoles in ivory, white, black or with another favourite item: a cream silk strappy dress with a jade green bird print and soft bodice by White Suede. But then the other day I discovered two small, secret loops stitched into the two longest ends of the cardigan at the front. Feeling suddenly enlightened, I wrapped the lengths around my waist, pulled one of them through this secret loop and hey presto, my cardigan was suddenly a yoga ballerina wrap top. Tricky! So now I have been telling everyone about this wonderful magic cardigan by Viktoria and Woods. They are a seriously great Melbourne label. Aside from cardigans that can do magic tricks, they produce really soft and stylish separates which look luxe and feel cosy, including a smaller range of items in silk and other soft, high quality fabrics.