Thursday, November 27, 2008

Cross Dressing

Even in French they call it the "boyfriend sweater".  It's that classic, long, v-neck cardigan we sometimes think of as grandpa's sweater.   Not in the hands of a French woman.  As usual she gives new meaning to what we've always thought was the perfect gift for un homme d'un certain age.

First she steals it from the man in her life, then she gussies it up with her inimitable magic touch. If perchance she doesn't have a man from whom she can lift the object of her desire she heads off to any store selling men's sweaters, and hones in on sizes XL or XXL.  Big is better.

As you can see in the photo with the gray sweater, opaque tights and narrow belt which
turn the cardigan into a little dress; this is not for us.   Let's not say we're too old for it,
let's just say we've outgrown the look.

 Anne, a friend of mine in the fashion business, wore hers in such an understatedly sophisticated way that I made her tell me every detail.  She bought her boyfriend cardigan at Charvet because her husband didn't want to share his.  (From the minute I met him, I never liked him.)

Hers is lean and long enough to cover her derriere, but not snug.  
It glided over her body without clinging. Abiding by the immutable rule of every elegant French woman I know -- especially when elegant is also expensive -- she chose a neutral color; a heathery gray cashmere.  She layered it atop a slightly paler gray T-shirt; pulled her pencil-slim, charcoal gray flannel skirt from the back of her closet; added black opaque tights; Roger Vivier's signature silver buckle black patent flats and a narrow, black patent belt.  

Anne has the good fortune of owning some major family jewels, on this day she piled on  several strands of her big, fat gray pearls with unabashed abandon.  Deee-vine.

***Ooops, almost forgot.  Happy Thanksgiving.  We don't celebrate it over here.  So sad.  Every year on this day the International Herald Tribune re-printed a hilarious column by the late Art Buchwald explaining to the French what the holiday "Le Jour de Merci Donnant" meant to us. If you go to Google, type in Art Buchwald and click on "Chacun à Son Goût on Thanksgiving" you can read it.  It's wonderful.

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