Not Martha

help, I need a clothing decision

I need some help deciding if I want to keep this wrap sweater thingy I bought. I got this, in black, thinking it would be good for nights where we go see a movie in our tiny local theater and then walk down the street to have dinner at the pub. The sweater is flattering enough in a drapey, clingy way. I can tie it in front like this, wrap around and tie in back like a ballet sweater or throw one side up over a shoulder like this. If I get cold I can throw the long panels up around my neck. The garment seems useful and cozy, and it’s easy to stuff into a bag. It’s 95% Rayon and I’m unsure if it will wear out and pill too quickly, though I’m all set for letting it air dry so it won’t shrink.

But… I don’t know. I this something that I will be embarrassed to have in a year? Does it say “I drive a minivan”? Is it one step closer to shopping at Chico’s? Or will it be the perfect thing to bring along for casual summer evenings that might get chilly?

I’ve gone back and forth on this and spent way more time than is logically worth it. So, what do you think? Is this something I’ll get some use out of? Or is it destined to be forgotten in the back of a closet? I need your help!

update: Thank you so much to everybody who left a comment. I love reading how different all the opinions are and all the various things to take into consideration. I’d also like to thank Jennifer from StyleBakery for taking the time to leave some advice, and thanks to Allison for contacting them. In the end I’ve decided to return that cardigan for two reasons. The first is that I realized I didn’t like the way it looked while I was wearing my glasses, which is what I’d likely have on in situations where I would be wearing the sweater. The second is because there was an exposed seam running along the back of the neck. It was supposed to be hidden when the collar is folded down but I could never seem to keep it from showing. Otherwise it was well designed for what it was — the back of the sweater fit nicely and made a slim line, it didn’t want to tangle around my legs as I walked. I think a shorter version of something like this would work better for my height though.

I ended up buying a scarf from the Gap instead. It’s pashima sized and, unlike ones I’ve bought from American Apparel in the past, doesn’t want to curl in at the edges so it works nicely as a very simple wrap or a scarf. You can tie it into a ball and it doesn’t take up too much space in a bag. It’ll do nicely for summer trips to the movies.

· comments [146] · 07-24-2008 · categories:shopping ·

146 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Carrie // Jul 24, 2008 at 10:45 am

    it is destined to be forgotten in the back of a closet. The first time you wear it, it’s going to fall off your shoulders into your food/drink, after you spent 20 minutes infront of the mirror trying to arange it to hang just right.

  • 2 tali // Jul 24, 2008 at 10:45 am

    i love it. i think i would only ever wear it in black though. i’ve actually been looking for something just like this that’s affordable and buying one right now, thanks for the link :)

    for what it’s worth – i have some friends that have had similar wrap sweaters and have worn them for a couple cold seasons now…

  • 3 stephanie // Jul 24, 2008 at 10:46 am

    I hate to say it cause it seems like something with potential, but I’m afraid it will put you one step closer to Chico’s. I don’t know what it is. Can’t put my finger on it right now.

  • 4 Sarah // Jul 24, 2008 at 10:46 am

    I like it well enough as it is in the first photo, but I really didn’t like the over the shoulder or tied look.

    I think if you leave it open, you’ll be able to get some use of it, and it won’t look too stodgy.

  • 5 Katie // Jul 24, 2008 at 10:48 am

    I personally love it! I like the tied in front. If you wore it that way, you would need to wear a low cut shirt so that they do not interfere with each other.

  • 6 Adrienne // Jul 24, 2008 at 10:50 am

    I have seen a few sweaters like that on people, and they looked good… but that one in particular seems to have a bit more drapery (for lack of a better word) around the front. It might be too much.

  • 7 Jessica // Jul 24, 2008 at 10:51 am

    Looks great on the manikin yet I have to agree with Carrie and I too would be fussing with it so much it’d just be annoying to wear. It’ll fall everywhere with the slights breeze. It’s super cute and great idea but to much of a hassle.

  • 8 Colleen // Jul 24, 2008 at 10:53 am

    I have something very similar that I bought on Etsy from hodgepodgefarm and I love love love it. I keep it at work and am wearing it now. It’s different from yours in a few ways, though: it’s wider, and more like a shawl with arms, so it wraps around my body in more configurations. It’s also wool jersey, which is way better than Rayon, although she does make them in other fabrics.

  • 9 Barbara // Jul 24, 2008 at 10:53 am

    I say keep it – I’ve had the DKNY version for a little over a year now, and it’s turned out to be a perfect go-to layering piece when it’s cold (which is all the time in SF). It looks awesome with boots and jeans, and it’s flexible (my favorite look is wrapping across the front and tying in the back). In one of the other colors, it might look a little too suburban-soccer-mom, but in black I think it’s pretty stylish.

  • 10 Karen // Jul 24, 2008 at 10:53 am

    Keep it. It has to many possibilities. Here in the Seattle area a nice sweater that can be worn in different ways is something that would come in handy. And black is always a classic color.

  • 11 deanna // Jul 24, 2008 at 10:53 am

    It would be dangling in my plate every time I wore it out to dinner.

    If you are already doubting it, it’s not the sweater for you.

  • 12 Lara // Jul 24, 2008 at 10:54 am

    I like it, don’t think it looks too “suburban mom” but my clothing purchasing policy is that if you don’t love it when it’s new…you’ll never love it. I’ve been trying hard over the past few years to cultivate that–and save myself some money spent on things that I never wore.

  • 13 Melissa // Jul 24, 2008 at 10:54 am

    I’m thinking this will end up in the back of your closet. Make yourself a no-sew jersey scarf instead:

    I made some for my sisters for the holiday (with enough material left over to make one for me too) and they are wonderful.

  • 14 fert // Jul 24, 2008 at 10:56 am

    I like it! It has that architecture-as-fashion thing going for it that makes it timeless. I think makes a lovely statement alone and would be easy to accessorize with colorful or graphic patterns (in a headband, skinny scarf that goes inside the draping, etc). I like the idea of putting a brooch on it to keep it from flopping all over the place, too.

  • 15 Jamie // Jul 24, 2008 at 10:57 am

    I have something like this in gray. It’s from Forever 21 so it was super cheap and I ONLY wear it to the movies. It is the perfect thing to wear when you want to cozy up. You can wrap the long pieces around you during the movie and then let them down at the Pub (so it doesn’t get in your food.) I think you should keep just for this specific outting.

  • 16 Jamie G // Jul 24, 2008 at 10:57 am

    Since you are unsure of it, that’s how you’ll feel when you wear it–unsure. Ditch it!

  • 17 Rachel // Jul 24, 2008 at 10:57 am

    I love it! But if you’re already doubting it you likely won’t be comfortable in it. It’s never worth it if a garment is uncomfy. =(

  • 18 karen // Jul 24, 2008 at 10:59 am

    I know! Beautiful drape on that! – I’m a sucker too (is that the right word?) for these awesome, dramatic, fashionable, seems-practical pieces… but it would end up at the back of my closet, for sure.

    Go with something that you KNOW you’ll use every day (seasonally, anyway) and is easy to carry (or toss in a bag) if you’re not going to wear it the whole time.

  • 19 Anna // Jul 24, 2008 at 11:00 am

    Well my MiL is a Chico’s fanatic and she would NEVER wear something like this, so I don’t see that it’s particularly soccer mom-ish. I have one, in black, from Forever 21 (don’t judge me!) and I love it. Mine is super thin, but I live in Southern California so that works for me. I wear it to work by crossing the front panels and tying them in the back or making it more shrug-like and tying it loosely in the back (if you tie it too tight it looks weird). Does that make no sense? I can send photographic evidence if you’re interested. I’ve also worn it with both panels thrown over my shoulders and tied in front. It IS a little more “dramatic” than a regular cardigan so if you’re uncomfortable with that idea it might be an issue. I am from the Pacific NW too and last time I wore it in front of my MiL she made a big deal of how “fancy” it was.

    We’re travelling to Ireland this summer and I plan on taking it – I think it’ll make a good travel piece because it can be worn multiple ways and I can throw it on when we go to dinner. It covers a multitude of sins and it’s comfy. Good enough for me!

  • 20 Anna // Jul 24, 2008 at 11:02 am

    More than one step closer to shopping at Chico’s. Each way to wear it makes it look like a sack.

  • 21 Kelly // Jul 24, 2008 at 11:03 am

    Wow, those are exactly the criteria I use when evaluating clothing! Minivan? Mom jeans? Chicos?

    Sorry no advice about the specific item of clothing… just a kindred soul navigating the cruel world of 20-30something women’s clothing.

  • 22 Courtney // Jul 24, 2008 at 11:03 am

    I don’t like it.

  • 23 Melissa // Jul 24, 2008 at 11:07 am

    Yikes, I’m afraid to say that I like it in this hostile environment…but I do!

  • 24 megan // Jul 24, 2008 at 11:19 am

    Thanks for all these opinions, they are helping. As for going with my initial feeling: I really like it. But I know myself and I tend to like clothing based on reasons of practicality and less on how it actually looks. I went to a Catholic school and wore a uniform all the way through eighth grade and, sadly, I have ended up with a vastly underdeveloped sense of how to buy clothing.

    So, I’m still contemplating.

    And Melissa (23), I hope you don’t find the comments too hostile! I appreciate the honesty, both for and against.

  • 25 Maria // Jul 24, 2008 at 11:23 am

    Nope, this is too trendy. Have one of your friends who knit make you something unique and beautiful!

  • 26 Michelle // Jul 24, 2008 at 11:24 am

    Mom jeans… ditch it.

  • 27 Elizabeth // Jul 24, 2008 at 11:26 am

    I really liked it until you said that thing about minivans and chico’s, and then I started to wonder.

    I think ultimately it would feel too fussy to me – I bet I would get more wear out of something a little more tailored – like some kind of sweater jacket or something. I don’t know though, I am still torn as well.

  • 28 Michelle // Jul 24, 2008 at 11:30 am

    I like it in theory but it seems too fussy for me personally. I can’t say the two ways to wear it that I saw “sold” it for me. I’d probably return it if it were me.
    I hope all of the comments help you come to a decision!

  • 29 kpg // Jul 24, 2008 at 11:31 am

    I had this piece in black (also from Forever 21) and ended up giving it away earlier this spring. I ended feeling pretty frumpy in it. I concur with Elizabeth who said to go with something tailored instead.

  • 30 Marsha // Jul 24, 2008 at 11:39 am

    It looks like a polyester nightmare (even though it’s made out of rayon, I know).

    Send it back. Instead, get yourself a close-fitting black sweater you like and a black wrap/shawl–or knit them yourself. :) You’ll have far more versatility with that sort of combo than you will with this wardrobe unitasker.

  • 31 allison // Jul 24, 2008 at 11:40 am

    I have one that is a very fine weave silk sweater version that I bought at Saks 4 or 5 years ago and I love it! It is thin enough to give you shape so you don’t look too frumpy and it’s great with a strapless or thin strapped dress. I have seen the thicker versions that have gotten pilled and sad and they don’t look great. Be sure it’s a fabric you can take care of enough to keep it looking good for a while and you’ll enjoy it!

  • 32 Megan // Jul 24, 2008 at 11:43 am

    I dunno. Personally, I really like the sweater, and have been looking for a nice one like this myself. The price isn’t bad, and if you are comfortable in it, and it looks good on, I say keep it.

  • 33 Amy // Jul 24, 2008 at 11:46 am

    Well, I like it. But I’m a mom, with a *gasp* station wagon – 2 kids – And a dog! (Despite those attributes, I do not shop at Chicos.)

  • 34 jo // Jul 24, 2008 at 11:50 am

    i’m very sorry to say this, but it looks like chicos to me.

  • 35 Darci // Jul 24, 2008 at 11:53 am

    Not for me because it looks to fiddly so to speak. Those long front ties will just get in food and such

  • 36 michelle // Jul 24, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    the front looks a little overly-dramatic. but i just bought a piece with a VERY similar front, that has a little less material (less dramatic), and is made of the nicest tee-shirt material that keeps it more casual. it was a steal at $28 on sale ($38 full price). i’ll check the tag for the brand and pass it along.

  • 37 Robin // Jul 24, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    I have a wrap similar to this that I’ve never worn. It was a “final sale” purchase that seemed like a good idea at the time. Dump it.

  • 38 jen // Jul 24, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    i would return it. i bought something similar (by splendid) @ anthro and took it back because the drapey-ness at the bottom just added weight to my hips when i left it open, and the tied-in-front look made me feel like i should wear it with pigtails and denim cutoffs. this one, because the drape is more in the middle than to the sides, probably won’t cause the hip-fat problem. but on the flip side, it looks a little like a halter-neck evening gown with sleeves. i gotta say, though, when someone comes out with something similar sans drapes, with no buttons and a completely straight front – basically a long cardigan with no buttons and no neckline, i’m all over it. the bag stuffability characteristic is key. back to this design: does the drape being in the middle get stuck between your legs at all when you’re walking? or billow out like a sail when you lead forward? this is incredibly mean imagery, eh? anyway i’m going to quit now, but there’s my, like, 8 cents.

  • 39 Eileen // Jul 24, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    I do think it looks too Chico – a lightweight cardigan or scarf/shawl would be better for our cooler NW evenings.

    And BTW, I’ve already outgrown the minivan soccer mom stage, and I still wouldn’t shop at Chico’s. My sister and I wandered through it a week or so ago, and vowed to each other that we wouldn’t let each other shop there until we’re at least 65 ;-) (we’re both in our late 40’s)

  • 40 Sally // Jul 24, 2008 at 12:18 pm

    Oh, I really don’t like it, and it seems too fussy. It does look like clothing for a “sophisticated woman” to me. But that is just my opinion.

  • 41 Elizabeth // Jul 24, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    Wear it only if you want a “Chico’s kind of day”. It’s too old for you.

  • 42 Jessica Hood // Jul 24, 2008 at 12:20 pm

    it’s a bit odd in my opinion

  • 43 sprizee // Jul 24, 2008 at 12:20 pm

    My advice is if you’re asking that many questions about it then clearly you’re not in love with it. There are way too many cute clothes out there to waste your time trying to talk yourself into something you’re not sure about.

  • 44 Kate // Jul 24, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    I work in entertainment in Los Angeles (at a major studio) and all the young D-girls wear these. It looks kind of “mom” on the headless forms photographed — but in person (and only in black) it’s rather in style. Of course, it’s all about how you style it.

  • 45 Kate // Jul 24, 2008 at 12:25 pm

    Oops! forgot to mention that the only way I see this worn is hanging straight down (it’s far too long to fall in your food, btw) and also tied IN BACK for a fitted look. Never tied in front and rarely over the shoulder.

  • 46 kahreen // Jul 24, 2008 at 12:44 pm

    i think it will make u look frumpy, just too much fabric. it almost looks like maternity clothing. and i agree with the comment about doubting new clothes- any doubts take it back.

  • 47 Rachel // Jul 24, 2008 at 12:47 pm

    Meh, not a fan. I did just order this however for a trip. It looks nice, but a little more $$

  • 48 Raquel // Jul 24, 2008 at 1:00 pm

    Not so much… I would be sad to not have the option of my many knitted scarves – plus I think it would be hard to match it with a knitted hat. It would probably be dirty or wrinkled every time I went to wear it too.

  • 49 teri // Jul 24, 2008 at 1:04 pm

    say hello to chico’s. :) imho, it tries to hard for drama. if seen lots of these in the lower end stores. it’s a “wannabee” piece….kind of like the pashmina shawls were a few years ago. when only the uber rich had them, pashminas looked chic. when you could buy them at several stores in the mall, they looked “wannabee.”

  • 50 Erin // Jul 24, 2008 at 1:08 pm

    I have like three of these in diff colors and freakin’ love them. You can wear them loose or wrap them and tie in the back all kinds of ways. Keep it!
    I take mine on the plane and on trips…very versatile and light weight.

  • 51 Liz // Jul 24, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    Cute! This is the kind of thing I’d want to buy but talk myself out of. (I talk myself out of everything cute because when I have to get dressed at 6 a.m. every morning, it’s much easier to do the t-shirt/jeans thing.)

    I think you’d have to be deliberate in wearing it though. It could get lost in the closet unless you make a point to try it on with like, every outfit you put on.

  • 52 powlita // Jul 24, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    Regardless of the stlyle, this is the rule that I abide with. Even if you love it, if you have this much hesitation, then don’t buy it. I, personally find it cute, maybe a little grown up for my taste, but If i were debating it as much as you were, I’d find something else.

  • 53 megan // Jul 24, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    I just realized I missed the opportunity to title this post “Chic or Chico’s?”

  • 54 Katie // Jul 24, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    I have something just like this in black and I love it. I’ve had it for almost two years and I still wear it often. I say go for it.

  • 55 powlita // Jul 24, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    though this is plus size, i think this would be a better style. You can wear it as a shrugh, sweater, ballet wrap. and it’s simple enough to dress up or down:

  • 56 Rosemary // Jul 24, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    I think you could remedy the “falling down” issue with fabric tape. Also, as long as you accessorize it well, it should look sassy. And if it goes out of style, you know it will come back around again!

  • 57 Miss Sassy // Jul 24, 2008 at 2:22 pm

    I don’t like it. But I’m no fashion maven.

  • 58 erika // Jul 24, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    I’m not a fan–you can definitely do better!

  • 59 Salty // Jul 24, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    That’s a tough one. I can totally see the allure (I love anything multi-purpose), but I have to agree that not only is it a lot of fabric that may just get in the way, but I also find those types of drapy numbers eventually stretch in unflattering ways.
    If it were second hand, I would buy it without guilt, but first hand at $40+ shipping…? I think I would pass.

  • 60 Designer // Jul 24, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    I have 2 in 2 different colors (black and tan) from Anthropolgie which I’ve worn a lot. I purchased them about 2 years ago. Mine looks nothing like you would find at Chicos. Keep it!

  • 61 Hillary // Jul 24, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    I’m drawn to this for its possibilities. It also looks like it could be an amazing layering piece for travel, if nothing else, but I do agree with some commenters that you could spend and inordinate amount of time fussing over it. I think that I would be tempted to buy something like this for travel and maybe only use it for that purpose.

  • 62 SparklingAllison // Jul 24, 2008 at 3:07 pm

    I’m completely torn. This looks like something I’d like to wear, but never would.

    I’d love to have the ladies at Style Bakery’s Ask Alison (note: I’m not that Allison) weigh in! I’ve sent them an email. Cross your fingers!

  • 63 gp // Jul 24, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    I love this sweater. I was a teaching assistant for this very charismatic professor who wore something like this (but even more drapey, and in raw silk knit), in bright red orange, with wideleg black cashmere pants and high heels. She looked really incredible, and the front made these kind of cool swingy movements when she paced around. I want one. It look shot and strangely early nineties japanese couture to me.

  • 64 Shelley Noble // Jul 24, 2008 at 3:22 pm

    It’s fabulous (only in the black) Man, I’d love something like that!

  • 65 Megan // Jul 24, 2008 at 3:31 pm

    Why not take a look at the “customers who bought this also bought these” pictures? It looks like this sweater is popular with the Tommy Hilfiger coat and twinset crowd.

  • 66 jenney // Jul 24, 2008 at 3:32 pm

    I don’t like it tied in front. That gives it a sort of Mary Ann meets Barbarella look, imo.

  • 67 chez shoes // Jul 24, 2008 at 3:38 pm

    Heh, Chic or Chico’s :)

    I like it in black. But the fact that you’re questioning it makes me think you’re already experiencing buyer’s remorse – so in that case, I’d send it back.

  • 68 Fern // Jul 24, 2008 at 3:38 pm

    No way, I love it!

  • 69 Farah // Jul 24, 2008 at 3:39 pm

    I have one in black and I wear it all the time. if you pull one corner over your shoulder, it looks very elegant. you can wear it in the house or out at night. its a staple in my wardrobe…buy it!!!

    ps. i got mine at marshalls for less than 20 bucks in a very soft material that looks designer…

  • 70 Lindsay // Jul 24, 2008 at 3:45 pm

    My take is that it’s interesting enough (though I dislike that over the shoulder look quite a bit), but I wouldn’t peg it as something you’ll wear for more than one season. Wearing it next year will likely make you blend right in to the minivan set.

    HOWEVER, how much was it? Because if you really bought it for just $40 (like the link has it for), then that doesn’t seem like a bad price for a one season sweater (though your budget may vary).

    So I say that if it’s flattering on and within your budget for something with somewhat short-term usage, then go ahead and wear it as you wish! Just don’t keep it around for TOO long. :)

  • 71 Heather // Jul 24, 2008 at 3:55 pm

    my sister has this sweater in the teal color and she was unsure at first but now loves it! she also gets compliments on it all the time. definitely keep it!!

  • 72 Liz J in Central Illinois // Jul 24, 2008 at 4:39 pm

    Actually, I love it. I have a sweater from Coldwater Creek that is similar in style, and wish I had it in more colors! It’s comfy, warm enough without being overly so, and looks good.

    I didn’t like the way it looked with one tail over the shoulder, but tied in front, or left open in front, both look good. Casual enough to be comfortable, and dressing enough to wear out.

    Keep it! And enjoy it :-)

  • 73 Karen // Jul 24, 2008 at 5:09 pm

    I love the Chico’s comment. It will only have the Chico’s look if you wear a giant abalone shell choker with it.
    However, you seem too hip to wear it.
    Why not just get a cool wrap or scarf. That way you can take it off when you feel like.

  • 74 Susan // Jul 24, 2008 at 5:44 pm

    I say if you paid less than 30 for it, it’s a keeper for a while. I don’t like it personally, but I can appreciate the need to have something completely different in your wardrobe. I think the teal and mustard are really dated to an era in the early 90’s I’m pretty eager to forget.
    You totally rock for your afterthought title!!

  • 75 arienne // Jul 24, 2008 at 5:51 pm

    I absolutely love it. Do yourself a favor and do NOT tie it in the front. Over the shoulder with a brooch or open in the front is definitely the way to go. I would love to have one in black. Incidentally, I work in fashion in NYC, and this is a very “in” style.

  • 76 julia // Jul 24, 2008 at 6:15 pm

    I would say you could find something 100% cuter

  • 77 Quynh // Jul 24, 2008 at 6:19 pm

    Return it. Get something more…timeless and less…froupy.
    Even though this is “in style” now, it won’t be next month.

  • 78 Susie Q // Jul 24, 2008 at 6:19 pm

    It kinda looks like an updated version of a ruana, but with sleeves. I really wanted to knit one but the patterns I’ve seen makes me feel a bit “chic or Chico’s”, too. I’m rethinking it now.

    I’d say ditch it and just keep a jersey or pashmina scarf on hand.Same effect but no soccer mom look about it.

  • 79 bella // Jul 24, 2008 at 6:34 pm

    I LOVE it. It is classic. I want one.

  • 80 Marjorie // Jul 24, 2008 at 6:42 pm

    I was wondering if perhaps you could put it on backward? And then throw the long flowy part over your shoulders and gather it, knot it jauntily like a scarf? I dunno, try different stuff with it, seems pretty versatile. Don’t be afraid to try different things with it.

  • 81 Cathy // Jul 24, 2008 at 6:57 pm

    I love the idea of it, especially for the destinations that you’ve described. In theory it works, in reality it looks a little ugly. Or maybe it’s a bad picture. I agree with Julia’s comment- “you could find something 100% cuter” sums it up.

  • 82 janet // Jul 24, 2008 at 7:09 pm

    my very chic SIL wears hers ALL THE TIME! (if that helps?)

  • 83 hilary // Jul 24, 2008 at 7:14 pm

    I had something like this when I was pregnant. I kept it, thinking it would look very stylish on a not-pregnant person. It doesn’t – the front pieces fall down and I really need to just give the thing away. This may be because it’s maternity-sized, but it could also be the style.

  • 84 ModernGearTV // Jul 24, 2008 at 7:23 pm

    I am torn. I have seen a ton of these in stores lately – destined to be good late summer/early fall sellers…but I just don’t know. I’d say buy a cheap-ish one you can afford to not wear in a year if it goes to the “not” side of the hot or not equation. Having said that I’ve seen them for a few years already…but it’I just don’t think it’s destined to be a classic.

  • 85 Leslie // Jul 24, 2008 at 7:32 pm

    i actually think it is a pretty sweater and seems like it could be really versatile.

  • 86 k. // Jul 24, 2008 at 7:43 pm

    It drapes nicely on the mannequin, but how would it drape on a real person? How will it drape over real clothes? It looks too fussy to be practical, and would probably happily slide off onto the ground or into your food. It also looks like something the Little Church Ladies of a Certain Demographic would wear – the same ones who buy the handmade oversized clunky jewelry and the eccentrically colored scarves over their black Chicos coordinates.

  • 87 Elizabeth // Jul 24, 2008 at 7:47 pm

    I actually own one of these…. I made it myself from a vogue pattern. It was insanely comfortable and i loved it to death… but i didn’t wear it out of the house, i just always felt a little silly with my long flaps. If i did wear it out of the house i wore it tied like a ballet sweater. I made mine in a dark grey stretchy knit.

  • 88 jennie // Jul 24, 2008 at 7:50 pm

    I have worn this style for years and years from BCBG. I highly recommend theirs. It’s great for travel because you can stuff it in your purse and then bust it out at night and it makes any outfit look chic.

    I also have this one (in teal) which is more of a jersey than a sweater. I like it for a more lightweight summery choice. But, the thing that makes it weird is the extra collar fabric. It makes it more mature looking which is what I think is bothering you. Check out BCBG’s version and you will see the difference. Also, the silk/wool (I think) blend of the BCBG one makes it stay put whereas this one is slicker. I just wear this one hanging, and I figure it’s a helluva lot less messy than an actual shawl, which drives me insane unless worn as a scarf because it always slips off your shoulders.

    I personally feel ultra trashy wearing anything knotted.

  • 89 Briana // Jul 24, 2008 at 8:00 pm

    Unless your name is Bea Arthur, no.

  • 90 Michelle // Jul 24, 2008 at 8:13 pm

    nooo! it is so classy and versatile! you can wear it with jeans, over a summer dress, as a dance wrap (as you mentioned), wrap it around and tie it at the back like a kimono (which i’ve seen and has looked fabulous) and all sorts of other ways. i’m not entirely sure about what it’s made of and how practical rayon is, but it’s something that is a great addition to any woman’s closet.

    i don’t believe this is “old lady-ish” as others may have hinted at. old lady-ish would be a 10 pound woolen shawl with a fringe. this is a classy wrap with sleeves, which adds the slender lines and prettiness.

    all in all, i think you should either keep it, or find another one in a material you think would be more “practical”. i like it so, nyehh!

  • 91 Jenny // Jul 24, 2008 at 8:19 pm

    I’m sorry to say, it reminds me of my Floridian grandmother. I say axe it.

  • 92 Kate // Jul 24, 2008 at 8:42 pm

    I like it too. If it looks great on, is comfortable, and you like wearing–keep it!

  • 93 Kristin // Jul 24, 2008 at 8:50 pm

    I own two of these sweaters and I love them. I wear them all of the time, especially my grey one which I often wear over a black cotton dress. I am from Portland, but live in LA right now (sadly) and its a pretty common style here, and I totally do not associate it with minivans or chicos at all. I also second the point that its great for travel, I always wear it on planes and it never ever wrinkles. I tend to want to wear sweats all of the time, so if I can get away with wearing an something as comfortable as a blanket and get compliments on it, then I vote for yes.

  • 94 z girl // Jul 24, 2008 at 9:39 pm

    I have either this exact sweater in black or something freakishly close and let me tell you that it was one of the best purchases I have ever made, and I only thought of wearing it over one shoulder. The wonderful thing is that you can (at least with mine) wear it with jeans and heels and some chunky jewelry and it’s amazingly chic and artsy or wear it with something elegant and it looks fabulous.

    not sure about the other colours but the black is killer.

    *also it folds up really easily into a suitcase and can dress up any outfit while you’re travelling.

  • 95 Laura // Jul 24, 2008 at 10:02 pm

    Uhm, what’s wrong with Chicos? I’ve never seen one. Oh, and I think you should skip the sweater thing and instead consider a wonderful black shawl.

  • 96 Kitt // Jul 24, 2008 at 10:45 pm

    I like it!

    But then again, I like Chico’s. Some of their stuff is too “old lady trying to look artsy fartsy,” but they have good basic shirts and pants, and all the travelers stuff that doesn’t wrinkle and doesn’t wear out. Just skip the jumbo abalone necklace and you’ll look fine.

  • 97 Me // Jul 24, 2008 at 10:48 pm

    Ouch!!! I shop at Chicos. Yes..It does look like something you would find there.

  • 98 Michelle // Jul 25, 2008 at 1:59 am

    I’m on the fence with this sweater. It certainly has potential to be cute, depending on how you wear it. My only, and biggest, issue with it is that the front is too much for me. While it is convenient and you can wear it multiple ways, it just feels too overpowering. There’s too much hanging fabric in the front for my taste. Maybe you can opt for a sweater similar to it, but with less materials in the front. My favorite is this one from Anthropologie:

  • 99 Maddy // Jul 25, 2008 at 2:05 am

    Keep it! I have a couple of things like this (one longer, grey silk and cashmere mix from DKNY; one shorter and sheerer in black from Allsaints) and wear them all the time – so easy and elegant and interesting. I’m 26 and live in central London. Mom-jeans and mini-vans couldn’t be further from my existence.

  • 100 rose // Jul 25, 2008 at 2:34 am

    I have the Serenity Shawl (click my name and scroll down) from Natural High clothing, which is very similar in style. I never thought of it as chico’s like, but if that’s what’s going through your mind, maybe it’s not for you.

    I do think it’s perfect for the situations you describe. Do weigh the pilling potential heavily though. (I *hate* pilling!)

    BTW, while I love the serenity shawl (mine is made of hemp), it’s a little small for me, and a bit fidgety. I usually wrap one end around me and took the very end into the back of my waistband. I then wrap the other around the opposite way so the first end doesn’t show. This keeps it relatively under control.

  • 101 codecrafter // Jul 25, 2008 at 3:42 am

    I thought about getting something similar but tried one on and it looked horrible on me! It added bulk and the drapey bits wouldn’t stay where I put them.

    Also my mother did buy something very similar from Chicos last year.

  • 102 miscellanea // Jul 25, 2008 at 6:03 am

    I have one of these in black which was made either less fabric or a less bulky fabric (it doesn’t hang as dramatically in front). I love it and find it’s not fussy to wear at all. I wear mine open (as on the mannequin), over the shoulder and wrapped around me and tied in back. I’m all for layering, so I think this is a pretty versatile and useful piece.
    I’ve never stepped into a Chicos nor do I drive a minivan. My fashion style veers more toward paint-splattered clothes when at home and when going out, my muse is Zoetica Ebb, fwiw.
    (I’ve never left a comment before and since I can’t preview my comment before submitting, I don’t know if that link is going to work. Sorry!)

  • 103 Aimi // Jul 25, 2008 at 6:13 am

    Well, I don’t know what Chico’s is, but I think this sweater is cute and obviously very versatile. Keep it!

  • 104 Laura // Jul 25, 2008 at 6:44 am

    the problem i have with this kind of sweater is that it is really only practical for very specific activities- movies, air travel- and very limited temperatures. it would be perfect for that first crisp autumn evening- but what if it rained? you wouldn’t be able to wear a rain jacket OVER it- and if it was tooo cold, it’s not like you can really layer much UNDER it without being all bulky and lumpy.

  • 105 Val Ann C // Jul 25, 2008 at 7:53 am

    Try taking a photo of yourself wearing it. The camera will tell you honestly if the garment drapes nicely on your frame.

    Does your significant other like it? If I’m on the fence about a garment, I try it on for my husband. If he smiles, I keep it.

  • 106 Ashley // Jul 25, 2008 at 8:25 am

    There are over 100 comments and i didn’t read them all so if this is a repeat, I apologize but…

    I have a black DKNY wrap like this that I got a few years ago and I love it. I wear it all winter long and it even came with a booklet that showed a dozen or so different ways to wear it, including backwards with the ties done in back. It is warm and very cute. I love mine!

  • 107 Melissa // Jul 25, 2008 at 8:44 am

    It seems a little gimmicky to me, but if you truly like it and feel comfortable in it, then you should keep it.

  • 108 pam // Jul 25, 2008 at 9:16 am

    i have one just like it and it’s the perfect leave-at-work sweater. (especially in the summer when the guys crank up the air). i’ve had it for 3+ years. got it from gap. i still get asked all the time where i bought it from, etc. i think you should keep it!

    (also, chico’s scares me)

  • 109 lynnWords // Jul 25, 2008 at 9:56 am

    This same idea appeared in the 1980’s; I tried it then, and while it will consume hours of mirror time, it’s more fun to own a classic shawl or poncho that will last you through the years, and stay in ‘style’ (even while they come and go in fashion).

  • 110 Jennifer // Jul 25, 2008 at 10:00 am

    This was a huge celebrity trend a few years ago worn by women of all ages including Jennifer Aniston and Lindsay Lohan. While no longer trendy, it has become somewhat of a classic look. Donna Karan includes a cardi wrap in every collection made of everything from cashmere to jersey material.

    In order to avoid the “soccer mom” look, it’s all about how you finesse the wrap. In a dark color, it can look chic with a pair of dark slim jeans and ballet flats. I agree with one of the other posters that a bright color is a bit tougher to pull off in a stylish way.

    Keep in mind, though, this is not the easiest top to wear. You’ll find yourself fussing with it all day long, wrapping and rewrapping. It’s also hard to wear a coat over it or to carry a shoulder bag. All that being said, it is one of our favorite tops to wear traveling or on a plane since it sort of doubles as a cozy blanket. It’s also a great “curl up with a cup of coffee and a book on a lazy Sunday” sweater.

    Bottom line advice? If you feel good in it, it’s worth the investment.

  • 111 Amanda // Jul 25, 2008 at 10:38 am

    I think it’s fabulous! I think it will only look mini-vanish if you start wearing mom jeans and white keds.

  • 112 kat // Jul 25, 2008 at 10:41 am

    i have ones that i got from anthropologie which are less fabric in front, but the same idea. they’re cotton though. and i wear them ALL THE TIME. they’re perfect b/c they’re funky, warm enough, not buttoned up like a cardigan.

  • 113 squandra // Jul 25, 2008 at 10:57 am

    It’s less mini-van and more … um, well, blue hair. In the elderly sense. BUT I like the last picture you linked, so maybe it depends on how you wear it? There’s probably another wrap out there that’s more your style, if you’re having doubts.

  • 114 // Jul 25, 2008 at 11:49 am

    I think you should try to look at it objectively, as to whether it would look good on you specifically. Since I think you are petite, all the drape-i-ness might be overwhelming on a small frame.

    That said, I personally don’t like clothing that touts “convertibility”, since it always ends up only being worn one way. It makes me think of that clothing line from the eighties made of all knit fabric, supposedly wearable in endless ways. I can’t think of the name of it at the moment.

  • 115 // Jul 25, 2008 at 11:54 am

    I looked it up. The line was called Units, they had shops in all the malls.

  • 116 diane // Jul 25, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    If there is doubt – ditch it

  • 117 MoCityPrincess // Jul 25, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    I absoloutely love it and it’s perfect for the movies or any other frigid environment. I personally loathe Chico’s — this ain’t Chico’s. As a self-proclaimed fashionable person, I must insist that you keep this item. =)

  • 118 Jenagain // Jul 25, 2008 at 2:23 pm

    I bought something like this with similar thoughts of the different ways it could be worn. I imagine myself with a careless yet comforting swath of cloth nestling my neck. Yet each time I put it on, I end up feeling schlumpy.

  • 119 marthafh // Jul 25, 2008 at 3:03 pm

    if you’re wearing it with your linen drawstring pants from Chico’s while driving in your minivan to the soccer game, then yes, it’s probably a bit too “suburban”. but i assume you’re not participating in any of the above. maybe you could find a cheaper alternative if you fear you’ll regret it down the road. i say go with it.

  • 120 jenna // Jul 25, 2008 at 3:09 pm

    well if you dont want it.. then i will take it!
    yeah you might get rid of it eventualy but i think it is super chic and in a few years when it isnt cool to wear anymore it will become your favorite lounge around the house sweater!

  • 121 Karine // Jul 25, 2008 at 8:59 pm

    Bought one last Fall, and I still wear it but never draped like that. I usually tie or wrap it around one way or another.

  • 122 michelle // Jul 25, 2008 at 9:27 pm

    michelle from post #38 here. finally searched out the one i bought. for real, check it out:

    sooooooo not chicos.

  • 123 michelle // Jul 25, 2008 at 9:27 pm

    (whoops, that should be “michelle from post #36″)

  • 124 Jackie // Jul 25, 2008 at 9:34 pm

    Do not want.

  • 125 herhimnbryn // Jul 26, 2008 at 3:19 am

    In the great scheme of things, does it really matter what others think? If you like it, keep it, wear it.;)

  • 126 Manders // Jul 26, 2008 at 5:55 am

    I like it, but I have that same private-school-uniform background (only I went until I graduated high school–eek), so take it with a grain of salt. ;)

    But no, really, it’s cute. And if you like it, keep it.

  • 127 LeS // Jul 26, 2008 at 6:54 am

    Um, yeah – I am going to have to go with the “hmmm, NOPE” vote. Most likely because it is something my Mom would wear (and she is 68). Sorry.

  • 128 April // Jul 26, 2008 at 11:30 am

    My friend had one of these in her goodwill bag that I was foraging through. I went back and forth as to whether or not I should bring it home. I loved the fabric, loved how cozy it was, thought it might be perfect to throw on over early morning yoga clothes. But in the end, it went to the goodwill. Too much fabric knotted around the middle or constant adjustment to keep the thing over the shoulder. Skip it.

  • 129 Janet // Jul 26, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    Oh, it would be the perfect thing to wear to go to the movies. I never know if it is going to be too cold in the theatre.

  • 130 Susan // Jul 27, 2008 at 1:40 pm

    I wouldn’t do it. I purchased something similar a few years back and it went to Goodwill. Buy a pashmina for a chilly evening if you want a wrap.

  • 131 Kim // Jul 27, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    I love it – and I love the colors too! I think the trick is to wear it right away, so you see how much you like it. I always tend to get more use out of new items if I wear them soon after I purchased them. That way, they don’t just sit in the back of the closet.

  • 132 Lynn in Tucson // Jul 27, 2008 at 3:02 pm

    I’ve bought and returned two of these so far, for all of the above reasons. My Clapotis holds me in good stead for the dinner/movie/too much air conditioning evenings.

  • 133 Nora // Jul 28, 2008 at 3:40 am

    I like it. I’d wear it in a minute. You can jazz it up with a brooch right at the decollete area. Heck, even make one of your own! Black provides a good canvas for your own artwork!

  • 134 slsch // Jul 28, 2008 at 4:43 am

    Is that the Lilla P “origami” ( No matter how you tie it, you end up with a HUGE KNOT. If you tie it in the back, then you’ve got a HUGE KNOT sticking you in the spine and neck… And a huge knot has to make your profile look weird.

  • 135 Karin Ross // Jul 28, 2008 at 8:06 am

    I like it I’m 62. Think maybe a younger look might be better for you.

  • 136 Liz // Jul 28, 2008 at 8:09 am

    If you’re feeling crafty you could make something similar yourself, in a fabric and color that suits you. It’s a simple garment and would be easy to sew. I just bought McCalls M5713 (
    It’s not a tie-in-front wrap, but I’m sure there’s a pattern out there for one.

  • 137 angerella // Jul 28, 2008 at 8:33 am

    Well, a couple o’ things- do you where scarfs often and are you comfortable with this much fabric draped over your declatage? Do you alread own a back long sleeve top that “date nite” worthy? Would this be the only time that you would wear this? In other words are you comfortable in it. If your comfortable then who really care about trend. For me it does kinda screams Seattle soccer mom going on date nite though… will you think of that every time you reach for it in your closet.

  • 138 Lisa // Jul 28, 2008 at 10:25 am

    It’s the fabric that says you’re having a Chico’s kind of day. I have one that’s knit in a chunky wooly style from bcbg, and I love it. this one will pill & looks flimsy. If you like the style, look for a sweater, rather than a jersey.

  • 139 lucy // Jul 28, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    get the bcbg version – it’s awesome for all seasons.

  • 140 JennX // Jul 28, 2008 at 4:24 pm

    DID the research, voila!

    Don’t worry non Martha– I took your question seriously and put my lack of anything else currently obsessing me, I did some digging. However perhaps you should factor in my own confessions.

    Luckily due to unhealthy but stylish weight loss factor, I can now laugh (not out loud- LOL is a personal pet peeve!) at the mention of Chicos. I’m the reluctant to admit owner of thousands of dollars worth of Chicos easy-to-travel and also side benefit of can-be-worn-no-matter-what-you-eat-or-weigh matching outfits with full accessories. I’ve thought, hmmm, Ebay? Still, umm, I still secretly fancy- wince.

    Anyway, I found your wrap beguiling, but I tend to think of myself as much younger and stylish than I see in the mirror on accidental “glance-by’s” that bring poorly matched and unflattering images ala Britney to mind. So to back up my opinion of the garment I checked out the features and was delighted to discover the following FACTS (because they couldn’t put it online if it wasn’t a FACT could they?):

    Product Description:

    Look and feel fabulous in this Renee C long sleeve sweater
    Women’s apparel features tasteful wrap front design
    Chic sweater is constructed of comfortable and durable fabric

    So, to sum up, not only will you look and feel fab but it’s a fact that it’s a tasteful design. And to calm your balling fears, hello… chic sweater (again, CHIC) is constructed of comfortable and DURABLE fabric. I hope this helps. I’m tempted to order for myself as it does look comfy and not too “hiding bodyesque pashmina syndrome, aka HBPS”.

    I’ll send pix when I’m modeling it in front of my mirror.

    Ciao Bella,
    Jenn X (totally real name duh!)

    P.S. Should I confess to a brief obsession with all the fab finds by like minded gals at At the height of my freakish obsession, I got totally into the thought of parasols of which there were dozens displayed and I quickly morphed into purchasing a parasol and paring it with ian old fashioned swedish girls maid outfit- pinafore, huge bell skirt with tons of ruffles and tied up waist to show off girlish figure. Now keep in mind this same collection came with an item I also HAD to HAVE– that would be a quaint little old-fashion hoodie thing with fur trim hood and matching bun– AND I can’t believe I totally forgot about buns– the little fake fur round thingie you put your little hands in to keep warm that came with a handy rope so you couldn’t lose it? How could I have forgotten? Surely I could bring it back in style and show my daring fashion savvy with a wink! Luckily I avoided that, along with the parasols (but admittedly only because the best to be found were in cute London boutiques and I couldn’t figure out the euros and shipping stuff for US– phew!)

  • 141 tllgrrl // Jul 28, 2008 at 6:36 pm

    I LOVE that! I get cold at the movies and I sit in the coldest office at work. Year round.
    I’d rock that sweater year in and year out.
    The key is to have the attitude of Agent K (played by Will Smith) in “Men In Black”: “The difference between you and me is: I make this look *good*.”

  • 142 mipmup // Jul 30, 2008 at 2:22 am

    i have a donna karan wrap and i still can’t figure out if i like it or not. it is hard to drape, is a bit too long, but it is comfy and excellent plane-wear.

  • 143 pam // Jul 30, 2008 at 11:29 am

    NOT that that there’s anything wrong with driving a minivan…wait til you find yourself unexpectedly pregnant with three babies and you’ll change your tune on minivans real fast. :P

  • 144 justJENN // Jul 30, 2008 at 10:55 pm

    HAW. I DO drive a minivan. Yet I do not own one. Maybe it’s stuffed in the glove compartment…

  • 145 plumpdumpling // Aug 2, 2008 at 6:51 pm

    Man, I’m so disappointed I wasn’t around to give advice on this before you returned it. I love the versatility of it so much, and I’m absolutely the last person to own a minivan. Hmm . . . I wonder how over-the-top with positivity this comment would have to be to get you to re-buy the thing.

  • 146 Bea // Aug 5, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    I’m late to chime in, but Lucky Magazine is all about the wrap sweater for fall:

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