Ribbed Sweater Redux

Updated on Jun 25, 2018
camel H&M sweater
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cocoandvera 's Thoughts:

In high school, my closet was full practically to bursting with ribbed sweaters. Practically every shade of the rainbow made an appearance at some point, but my favourites were always in the pink and red family. I vividly recall wearing a red ribbed turtleneck with black brocade cigarette pants and platform shoes on the last day of our class trip to Europe when I was fifteen. We were in Switzerland and, budding minimalist that I was, I left my backpack in the hotel room, opting to carry nothing but my camera with me. I felt unbearably chic, and just a little bit smug, next to my older classmates in white runners and worn jeans.

Considering the depth of my love for ribbed sweaters, it seems strange to think how easily I gave them up. But I did. By the time I reached my early twenties, they had all but disappeared from my wardrobe, replaced by an endless array of black knits. The truth is, I never even thought to miss the sweaters I once loved so much. In retrospect, I mostly remember their flaws; the wrinkles, their tendency to stretch at the hem and, worst of all, the fact that they make large breasts look even larger. (When you are already unfashionably well-endowed, as I am, there is a very good chance you buy all of your tops based on their minimising effects.) But when, during a browse through Pinterest recently, I spied a camel-coloured ribbed mock neck. And I fell instantly in love.

…and, naturally, a lengthy internet search began. That’s how all these stories go.

My interest in the resurgence of nineties fashions was minimal. Neon and tracksuits were never my thing. But I admit to a renewed sense of inspiration this season, as two-thousands styles make their way back into the fashion world. All of the styles I loved long ago are suddenly back on the shelves. The difference is, now my shopping budget comes from my salary rather than weekend babysitting jobs, which means I can afford all of the styles I covet. Which explains why I now own triple the number of hoop earrings I had in high school. The best part is, I’m not a teenager, so I know what styles work for me – and I can easily skip over experimenting with trends I’ll ultimately hate.

My internet search led me to H&M. I bought this sweater without a moment of hesitation. It has all the same flaws my old ribbed sweaters did, but I love it, just like I loved them. It’s comfortable and easy to wear, but still simple and elegant to dress up. And it brings back memories of my old ribbed sweaters, and the experiences I lived in them.

If the ribbed sweater trend comes around for the third time in my life, I probably won’t want to relive it again. But right now, I’m loving that I have the chance to rewear trends I’ve already worn. Mostly because this time, I know my style, so I get to do it better. Next year, I expect, the styles will all be irrelevant again, replaced by new trends from another era. But right now, I’m relishing the chance to wear them all – sometimes all at once.

Where do you stand on two-thousands fashion? Are you glad to see it back, or ready for fashions to move on again? And if two-thousands styles aren’t your thing, what fashion decade do you love best? (It doesn’t have to be one you lived through!)

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