Sometimes you find the perfect thing and want lots of it. It doesn’t make for very good financial management, but so long as a purchase doesn’t send you into debt, I don’t see the problem with the occasional indulgence. It just has to come with a lot of guilt and shame, lest you make a habit of it.
My perfect thing came last year in the form of a navy Shetland sweater from O’Connell’s. As I mentioned at Put This On, Shetlands are scratchy sweaters heavily rooted in casual American style. Brooks Brothers brought them over in 1904, and they’ve been popular ever since. There’s even a story about how women used to raid the men’s knitwear department at Brooks Brothers for Shetlands, until the company decided to make a special version just for them. Of course, that may well be a story invented for marketing purposes.
You can get Shetlands today from any number of places. LL Bean and Brooks Brothers will have affordable versions, though the second has been slightly ruined with a logo embroidery. Nicer pieces can be bought from Bill’s Khakis and The Andover Shop, while Albam, Howlin’ by Morrison, and Neighbour will have pieces for the younger customer.
What makes O’Connell’s particularly special is the construction. I’ve found mine to not pill as much as the ones I’ve bought from Brooks Brothers, and it feels a bit sturdier than the pieces I’ve handled at Neighbour and Beams. It’s also just the right weight - not as light and thin as the cheaper versions, but also not as thick as Bill’s Khakis. It’s the perfect thing to wear alone with an oxford cloth button down shirt and some khakis or corduroys, or layered underneath a Barbour Bedale or LL Beans’ yellow trail jacket. That’s exactly how I wore my navy Shetland last year on a trip to Seattle and Vancouver.
The sweater was so great that I decided to order thirteen more. The problem with ordering from O’Connell’s is that their website doesn’t give the greatest of photos. I find their whole operation wonderful (they still send out newsletter catalogs, just like I used to receive as a teen!), but I wish they had more accurate product shots. So, to that end, here the most accurate photos I could muster of the fourteen I received, in case anyone needs a better reference. In descending order, you’re looking at: navy, blue danube, blue grey marl, autumn, peat, tobacco, mushroom, heathered oat, pumice, dark charcoal, charcoal, medium grey, light grey, and forest green.
That’s admittedly more than one needs, but if you end up buying as many, I’d understand. This is some good Shet.
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- momdressedmethismorning said: 13! Oh the decadence!
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