The knitwear thread

viaattovannucci

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just because you don't want to button it, doesn't me you shouldn't be able to. That's not to say that all jackets need to be loose enough to button up over chunky knitwear, but i don't think i would wear chunky knitwear under a jacket that was to small too button. either get a bigger jacket or don' wear that sweater with it.
I completely agree.

Still seems to be an awkward and roundabout way to say that it is a bad fit. Especially since a buttoned-up sport coat with a chunky jumper is a contradiction in terms, except in the world of iGents I suppose.
 

rdiaz

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just because you don't want to button it, doesn't me you shouldn't be able to. That's not to say that all jackets need to be loose enough to button up over chunky knitwear, but i don't think i would wear chunky knitwear under a jacket that was to small too button. either get a bigger jacket or don' wear that sweater with it.
My jackets olweis button up with some room but sweater is just too chunky. I'm just going to restrict wearing it under the barbours, which have more room.
 
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rdiaz

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Edited. hope you are fine. This is exaclty my point. This is how a farmer dress in Spain now



This is how rdiaz rdiaz thinks they dress

4

This is how rdiaz rdiaz would want them to dress

Not nearly. I'm perfectly fine with farmers and rednecks wearing classic black boinas in the spanish country - but they look out of place in town because they've always been associated with spanish country.
A tweed cap should look out of place in town as well but since it's more of an element of british -not spanish- country clothing, prejudice won't be as strong. Same with tweed and stinky wax jackets, although your third pic surpasses the limits of too much country. In fact if I need to see myself in a tweed newsboy cap before buying, it's because it all might be too country and it's likely that I will hate it...
 
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robertito

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Not nearly. I'm perfectly fine with farmers and rednecks wearing classic black boinas in the spanish country - (1) but they look out of place in town because they've always been associated with spanish country.
A tweed cap should look out of place in town as well but since it's more of an element of british -not spanish- country clothing, prejudice won't be as strong. Same with tweed and stinky wax jackets, although your third pic surpasses the limits of too much country.
1) This is not 100% correct. In Oviedo (that has never been a town since viii century) the use of a beret was part of the normal dress until beginning of xx century. Same in many cities in the north of Spain and France Beret is part of the Traditional Scottish dress. are we calling all Scottish hillbillies now?
Nothing wrong with berets.

Actually the typical madrileno outfits dresses a very rural looking gorra....

 

rdiaz

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So now traditional outfits are OK for everyday wear?
I still see most berets as out of place in town and even flat caps as something very difficult to pull off.
 

robertito

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No traditional outfits are not always for everybody use, but my point is that berets are not only for peasants.

I agree that nowadays both of them are difficult to pull.
 

rdiaz

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I didn't mean they're only for peasants. Just said rednecks wear them. I do see them in the country. And they are difficult to pull off because they often make you look like a peasant when you probably don't want to. Those who can own the look get my respect.
 

Kingstonian

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I like the headgear talk too.

Not sure I noticed berets in Santiago de Compostela(unless they were on the Camiño and I would probably remember a symbol or walking staff more) or La Corruna/ A Coruna. As it rained solidly, some form of hat or cap or beret would make sense.
 

The Shooman

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Tried to talk a lady into selling this brand new vintage argyle to me (below) but she refused because l live overseas. I am sad about it because it is one of the most stunning argyles I have ever seen.

An unworn stunning scottish 1970's argyle a lady refused to sell to me. My size exactly!


To drown my sorrows l purchased this nice 1960's Lyle & Scott cashmere argyle.



I also bought a brown 1960's Lyle& Scott cashmere v neck for a rainly day.

I have also ordered a dark natural brown bespoke Aran in this exact pattern except the top part has a turtleneck.


I tried to enquire about a 12 ply cashmere cardigan from Paggy,but he refused to answer my emails despite him promising to get back to people within the hour. He must still hate my guts. Also enquired to O'connells about their 12 ply cardigans and never heard back either.

I am going to wind up my knitwear career with a bunch of fat boys (bespoke arans and 12 plys) and maybe the occasional vintage hermes made-in-scotland.
 
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Kingstonian

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How many items of knitwear do people own?

I have a couple of knitted waistcoats in grey and charcoal which are very useful.

Also one Aran, one Guernsey, one Nordic, one green woolly pulley style and an old shawl neck cardigan.

Not sure I would use more than that in our damp, coldish UK climate.
 

Pimpernel Smith

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How many items of knitwear do people own?

I have a couple of knitted waistcoats in grey and charcoal which are very useful.

Also one Aran, one Guernsey, one Nordic, one green woolly pulley style and an old shawl neck cardigan.

Not sure I would use more than that in our damp, coldish UK climate.
No more than half-a-dozen at any one time. They don't last long with me and then you only really need woollens 2 months of the year and you can get away with cotton jumpers the rest of the time.
 

rdiaz

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I only have a cotton cashmere sleeveless jumper, a cashmere (not really good quality) thin cardigan, a lambswool and alpaca cardigan and the recently acquired aran jumper which makes me sweat on -6C days
Next on my list would be a submariner
 

Kingstonian

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I only have a cotton cashmere sleeveless jumper, a cashmere (not really good quality) thin cardigan, a lambswool and alpaca cardigan and the recently acquired aran jumper which makes me sweat on -6C days
Next on my list would be a submariner
You sweat at -6c in an Aran sweater but you still want a submariner?

Style over practicality?
 

The Shooman

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It was just a way of saying it's verri warm. Actually welcome on -6 weather, though I have to get it off as soon as I arrive to my overheated workplace.
No problem, stripping off layers is easy. Better to keep warm than to be too cold outside.
Ah yes, overheated workplaces, nothing worse. Not only unhealthy, but people stay extra warm inside all day and then have to go outside later, and often people are not dressed for it.



I boosted my turtleneck collection with three cashmere items.

Brooks Bros - made-in-Scotland - black turtleneck


Brooks Bros - made-in-Scotland - bone turtleneck


1980's (I think) vintage Club Room - made-in-Scotland


Club Room has been made in China for years and is supposed to be rubbish so it will be interesting to see how the vintage Scottish stuff is.

Let me just say that the vintage Club Room is amazing. It is like one of the top makers made it. It is thick and solid where-as the modern day Club Room is made in China and said to be rubbish.

The modern day Brooks Bros I purchased are thinner and not as robust, but they seem o.k, but nothing on the old Ballantyne etc.

It's amazing how much greater things were 35 years ago.
 

rdiaz

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No problem, stripping off layers is easy. Better to keep warm than to be too cold outside.
Ah yes, overheated workplaces, nothing worse. Not only unhealthy, but people stay extra warm inside all day and then have to go outside later, and often people are not dressed for it.
It just makes no sense, really. Usually too cold AC in the summer and too much heating in the winter, rather than trying to have a comfortable temperature - say 20C - year round...
 

The Shooman

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Why 100 pieces of knitwear - the logic for why


On the weekend I found a pile of made-in-Australia v neck lambswool jumpers that had been packed away for years in the back of my closet. I never knew they existed. All in good condition and fit me. They are probably from the 1980's. It's very rare to find any good made-in-Australia knitwear anymore.

How many pieces of knitwear do l have? Would be getting close to 100 pieces, BUT it is not excessive because I only have medium size rotations of various types of knitwear:

- plain coloured cashmere v necks
- argyle cashmere v necks
- plain colour merino v necks
- cashmere cardigans
- cashmere turtlenecks
- lambswool turtlenecks
- lambswool mock turtlenecks
- thin wool v necks for cool summer nights
- thick aran knitwear

See....when all the varieties are divided up and put into rotations the number is only moderate. There is nothing excessive about 100 knitwear items,especially when you wish to wear knitwear 7 - 8 months of the year and wear it for decades to come and want a rotation to last and to provide a variety of looks in your style.

Eg 1, if the summer has cool nights for a week l am going to wear a different thin lambswool v neck each night.

Eg 2, during the winter l am going to wear a different aran each morning when l do my meditation to allow for good rotation.

Eg 3, during the cooler months (most of the year) I am going to be wearing lots of cashmere V necks, cardigan and turtlenecks, so of course l am going to need a good rotation of these things to wear something different each day for at least 2 - 3 weeks.

Eg 4, on some of the warmer months l may need lambswool items to rotate when it is too warm for cashmere.
 

The Shooman

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Shooman you are the tops. You just do your own thing.
Yeah, l don't follow igent trends and care for what others do, I have always done my own thing. I was a shooman way before the internet was invented. I know what l like and don't like, and l know what l want and don't want.

Kingstonian said:
It is a lot of jumpers for most of us. A hundred shirts would be a big number.
I don't have near as many shirts because no rtw fit me well. None-the-less, i'll be getting a bunch of bespoke shirts and trousers and a few MTM coats to round off my clothing collection. Why bespoke?...because no rtw is suitable to my needs....I need my trousers and shirts to be made a certain way, and no rtw caters for that.
 

QuandoDio

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Problem with 100 pieces of knitwear ( or a 100 of anything) is , cost notwithstanding, storage.

I have about 30 pieces and i struggle to wear each item once a season.

Thruth, The Shooman The Shooman and the like reside in entire countries by themselves, the rest of us normal folk don't have such privilege.
 

fxh

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Inside the Business of Vicuña, the Wool Worth More Than Gold
For years, products made from the fleece of vicuña have been a symbol of ultimate luxury. Now, demand is rising and competition is heating up


ALTIPLANO, Peru — There’s a reason why the Incas worshipped vicuña, the miniature cinnamon-hued cousins of the llama. The doe-eyed creatures, which inhabit the chilly Andean plateaus, produce a fleece so fine that it was considered to be cloth of gold. Only Inca royalty was permitted to wear it. About three million vicuña once roamed the rocky terrains of the Andes — until the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors, who made guns the primary method of obtaining “the silk of the new world” which was used to line King Philip II’s divans. And, for centuries, the animals were hunted, rather than sheared, for a material substantially finer than cashmere.

By the 1950s, vicuña had become synonymous with two pop cultural references. The more notable related to a scandal concerning Sherman Adams, US president Dwight Eisenhower’s chief of staff, who was forced to resign in 1958 after accepting a vicuña overcoat from a textile mogul who was under federal investigation. The case would become known as the Vicuña Coat Affair. The other was a scene in the 1950 film “Sunset Boulevard,” in which a tailor urges American actor William Holden, “As long as the lady is paying, why not take the vicuña?”

Both of those moments did much to reinforce the expensive allure of vicuña wool, which, by 1960, was incredibly scarce due to the fact that there were less than 5,000 of the creatures left in the Andes. After many unsuccessful attempts, the government of Peru, where much of the population lived, put its proverbial foot down and banned the hunting of the species, which were soon classified as officially endangered with an embargo placed on all trade of its wool by The Washington Convention (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora).

Nature reserves were established for the preservation of the animals, and slowly vicuña became less relevant to a younger generation of luxury consumers. But a couple of vicuña admirers, inspired by their father’s love of the fibre, saw opportunity in the material: Sergio and Pier Luigi Loro Piana, the co-CEOs of Loro Piana, the Italian mill that was a part of the mid-century ‘Made in Italy’ movement and would eventually grow into one of the world’s largest producers of cashmere — and its biggest supplier of vicuña.




Per kilo, raw vicuña can fetch up to six times more than cashmere | Source: Courtesy

“We worked a lot to reintroduce vicuña to the commercial world,” says Pier Luigi Loro Piana, vice president of his family’s eponymous brand, which became actively involved with the Peruvian authorities by officially investing in nature reserves and preservation initiatives in the mid-1980s. “We worked pretty hard in the ‘80s and early ‘90s to make that happen,” he says of his and his late brother’s efforts to get vicuña back on the market. By 1994, their foresight paid off when The Washington Convention relaxed its restrictions and the Peruvian government chose Loro Piana as its exclusive partner in the procurement, processing and export of vicuña in the form of fabric and finished products. “Since then, we sourced a lot of vicuña that was officially sheared, and researched ways that we could develop a variety of items in new product categories to develop the possibility of a market for it here.”


Today, the total global supply of vicuña wool produced annually that can be transformed into yarn is only about 12 tonnes, compared to approximately 25,000 tonnes of cashmere. “Per kilo, vicuña costs between $399 to $600, compared to $75 to $85 for cashmere and $5 or $6 for wool,” says Pascaline Wilhelm, fashion director of Première Vision, the Parisian textiles and fabric fair. “It is seen as the finest and most luxurious of these fibres and it’s very exceptional to see 100 percent vicuña as it’s so expensive.”

But is there a genuine market for finished products made of the material? Or is the business of vicuña more like haute couture: a demonstration of creativity and quality that ultimately functions more like a marketing exercise?

At London’s Harrods department store, the spiritual home of the high-net-worth-individual, vicuña appears to be popular — though in true testament to Thorstein Veblen’s theory, the high price of the material may be one of its biggest selling points. “We now have a strong demand for vicuña and our clients recognise that it is one of the rarest and finest materials in the world,” says Helen David, the store’s chief merchant, though she declined to reveal specific sales figures. “The biggest offer we have is still obviously from Loro Piana, however, we also carry pieces from Berluti, Zegna, Brioni and Zilli.” Harrods also carries Falke’s pure vicuña socks, priced at $620. “In the end, it took us two years to produce the socks,” says Paul Falke, who adds that the wool is sourced from Loro Piana. “The demand for them is high, but as the yarn is so rare and exclusive we can only produce a small number a year, which is what true luxury is all about.”


At the Loro Piana boutique on London’s Bond St, a large, widescreen television plays a high-definition video of the animals roaming the Andes; elsewhere, a sack of raw vicuña wool invites customers to dip their hands into what feels like a cloud — the idea is that after touching it, cashmere simply doesn't compare. “Once you become addicted it’s very hard to change,” says Mr Loro Piana. One of the brand’s vicuña sweaters is up to four-and-a-half times the price of its cashmere equivalent — $995 compared to $4,495 for otherwise comparable V-neck sweaters. And the decadence of its 100 percent vicuña jackets and capes is often amplified by chinchilla trims and mink linings, making for what some see as the ultimate status symbol. Yet Loro Piana’s Bond Street store only ever has one of each style at a time and products made of vicuña make up a very small percentage of the items on display.

“For our business, it’s a very small part but a very significant one,” says Mr Loro Piana, who, with his brother, in 2013, sold 80 percent of the brand to French luxury conglomerate LVMH for $2 billion. Loro Piana, which is by far the world’s largest maker of finished vicuña products, declined to reveal precisely what portion of total sales revenue they represent.

But Mr Loro Piana is hesitant about vicuña being compared to couture. “It depends what you mean by haute couture,” he says. “If you mean it as something that’s in the air without any real meaning to the world, then no. But if you mean it as an expression of creativity and the highest level of quality, then you can compare it. Vicuña should be in the wardrobe of every Loro Piana customer — if only just one item.”

Loro Piana now has control over most of the world's vicuña market — it opened the 2,000-hectare Dr. Franco Loro Piana Reserva in Peru in 2008 and purchased a majority share in an Argentinian firm with legal permission to shear wild vicuña in an area of approximately 85,000 hectares in 2013.




Loro Piana now has a dominant share of the vicuña market | Source: Courtesy

Until three years ago, the company sold its vicuña yarn to other brands. “To be competitive and provide to third parties, you need a critical mass of the raw material,” explains Mario Ortelli, senior analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein. “Other brands that source from Loro Piana are usually proud to say it because it’s synonymous with vicuña and high quality, so it’s a win-win situation.”

But today the company has pulled back and says it only sells vicuña-cashmere blends to third-parties, reserving its supply of 100-percent vicuña wool for its own products. “I think it’s a great way to get Loro Piana to stand apart,” says Luca Solca, head of luxury goods at Exane BNP Paribas. “They have access to a number of raw materials — lotus, baby cashmere, vicuña — which helps them to substantiate their high-end ambition, unlike some of their competitors.”

While it dominates supply, Loro Piana is not the only brand that has access to pure vicuña, however. Other brands and mills have been sourcing the wool in South America since 2002, when The Washington Convention opened up the trade of vicuña to outsiders. Ermenegildo Zegna and Kering-owned Brioni offer products made from vicuña, which they say they source independently.

Savile Row firm Holland & Sherry began been sourcing its own vicuña in 2003 from Bolivia, Peru, Argentina and Chile. (The company says it must source across four countries because Loro Piana’s near-monopoly makes it difficult to source enough vicuña in just one country). “When you say ‘vicuña’ to customers, the next words to come out of their mouth will be ‘Loro Piana,’” says Richard Chambers, Holland & Sherry’s commercial director. “Our service is just as good as theirs, if not better, but they have been part of that development from early on and now that they are part of the LVMH group, it seems they are only promoting it to the other brands within that same family.”

Moreover, Haider Ackermann’s inaugural ready-to-wear collection for LVMH-owned Berluti included a double-breasted overcoat with peak lapels which was crafted from 100-percent vicuña, which the Italian brand says was sourced from Loro Piana.

So how does Loro Piana’s emphasis on conservation play into its commercial agenda? “We have become a market leader because we had the possibility to buy the majority of what was available and guarantee the continuity of that business to the breeders,” says Mr Loro Piana “We needed to convince them that it was worth it for them to breed these animals. Also, to breed a vicuña you need at least 10 hectares and you need people to watch them.”

Meg Lukens Noonan, author of “The Coat Route: On the Trail of the $50,000 Coat,” began her research into vicuña seven years ago and has witnessed first-hand the traditional “chakku” shearing process, which is inspired by Inca tradition. She says the Italian brand has been pivotal in bolstering the population of the species in the wild, but is sceptical about the trade agreements the company has in place with local villagers. “The villagers were given a stake in the harvesting of the fleece so that it was advantageous for everyone; they got some money out of it and also had reason to protect the vicuña from poachers,” says Lukens Noonan. “But the villagers have not made a lot of money from this, especially when you look at the disparity [between what they earn and] what the finished products are worth.

“I think that what [Loro Piana] has done has certainly helped keep the animal alive, but I’m not sure that Loro Piana has had a positive influence on the [local] population or not,” adds Lukens Noonan. “It’s not profitable enough for Peruvians to sort of set up their own manufacturing and it is very niche.”

Mr Loro Piana seems aware that things must change in order to attract new workers to the profession of vicuña breeding. “We need a young generation to take care of the vicuña,” he says. “But they need to have the same standard of living as those young people in town otherwise they’ll just leave the Andes.”
 

The Shooman

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Thanks FHX, i'll have to finish the rest of that article later.

Offshore making of the old big name scottish jumpers.

a division of Ballantyne - made in China
Ballantyne - made in China.jpg

Lyle & Scott cotton jumper - made in China
Lyle & Scott - china (cotton).jpg


Lyle & Scott
cotton jumper - made in India
Lyle & Scott made-in-india.jpg


Lyle & Scott wool - made in New Zealand
Lyle & Scott made in NZ.jpg


Pringle - made in China, Hong Kong and Thailand
Pringle - made in India.jpg Pringle thailand 1990's.jpg Pringle hong kong.jpg Pringle - hong kong 1.jpg

Ballantyne - the secret hidden labels they don't want anyone to see
Notes: Ballantyne is very careful to not show their made in labels, and that is no accident. Most prestigious former highend makers that manufacture in countries like China and Bangladesh rarely show their made in labels. If brands manufacture in Italy or the U.K they always proudly show their labels, but when they start manufacturing offshore they rarely do.

I sent an email to Ballantyne to ask if their sweaters were now made in China, and if not, where are they made. Naturally l haven't got an answer, nor do l expect to get a reply. I should have written `are your sweaters made in China, if so let me know so l can tell everyone all over the internet'.

"Therefore it pains us to see what has transpired with this great Scottish brand, rebranded cheap Chinese cashmere is not worthy of the Ballantyne name. In 2014 the real Ballantyne company ceased to exist"
https://www.berkcashmere.co.uk/category.php?id=64&name=Ballantyne



Lyle & Scott
The Lyle & Scott cashmere is made in Scotland, the rest is made offshore.
Lyle & Scott obtained the royal warrant in 1975, but have since lost it.


Pringle
Pringle obtained the royal warrant in 1960's but lost it in the 2,000's (I think). The cashmere is made in Scotland, but to my knowledge it is chinese cashmere (not inner mongolian) and spun by chinese owned company Todd & Duncan and the company is also owned by the Fang family in China, and the cashmere knitwear made by Johnstons of Elgin and the rest made offshore.
 
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rdiaz

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Well I hope the Pringle sweater I just got off the Bay is made in England, in any case as long as it's warm and doesn't pill much I'll be happy
 

The Shooman

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Well I hope the Pringle sweater I just got off the Bay is made in England, in any case as long as it's warm and doesn't pill much I'll be happy
Have you got a link to it, or can you show a pic of the label?

btw, l got this beauty earlier. I really love it when l buy vintage 1970's Ballantyne cashmere. Got a crew neck this time, in forest green. It's been very difficult to find vintage Ballantyne for months now.


This could have been mine too, but the seller messed things up on me. STUNNING 1960's Lyle & Scott, WOW!!!!
 
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The Shooman

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Why l like to buy vintage scottish cashmere

For me it is not about buying a jumper, it is so much more. It is about buying into a past forgotten world where cashmere was glorious and luxurious and a celebration of greatness. Gone are those days, gone is the true greatness of cashmere jumpers. Gone are the days where cashmere jumpers were made without constraints and went against the modern day trend of slick and deceptive marketing. Those were the days where greatness of cashmere was limited to the cashed up consumer without apology, it was not for the masses and certainly had no appreciation of egalitarianism, and with that came the greatest most beautiful cashmere clothing the world had ever known, true luxury highend goods.

When l buy vintage Ballantyne l get an old world luxury item that only Scotland could deliver...l live the scottish cashmere lifestyle! It's a romantic feeling that combines a love of the craftsmanship and appreciation of the craftsman who devoted their love to the quality of the product.

These things will never be had again. Buying these things is a celebration of a world that used to be. The whole scottish cashmere world that `once was' just fascinates me no end. I am amazed at the quality and I am amazed at how available the cashmere used to be. Cashmere is so rare in Australia, so naturally cashmere fascinates me.

regards,
Shooey
 

The Shooman

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Finally got my first vintage Pringle cashmere turtleneck in purple. It is half an inch shorter than l would like, but l will stretch this a touch and it will be fine. This will be a welcome addition to my collection.
 

viaattovannucci

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Finally got my first vintage Pringle cashmere turtleneck in purple. It is half an inch shorter than l would like, but l will stretch this a touch and it will be fine. This will be a welcome addition to my collection.
What a gorgeous number, Shooey! It looks like a piece that would play well with others—just imagine it with a charcoal flannel chalk stripe suit! But I think it would truly shine on its own!

For my part, I’ve just acquired two Ballantyne basics in navy:

C8F2D9D2-E9E9-4548-BC8F-2DA4BBA843DC.jpeg



07A5ACED-B404-44D4-9E87-37F1490E6AFC.jpeg
 

The Shooman

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What a gorgeous number, Shooey! It looks like a piece that would play well with others—just imagine it with a charcoal flannel chalk stripe suit! But I think it would truly shine on its own!

For my part, I’ve just acquired two Ballantyne basics in navy:

View attachment 28604


View attachment 28605

You are very lucky V, I almost snagged that navy Ballantyne sweater. It would have made my collection of the BIG 3 complete of the most classic sort after sweaters, the navy v neck. I've got a Johnstons of Elgin navy v neck, a Pringle navy v neck and a Lyle and Scott navy v neck, and l could have completed my hat-trickof the BIG 3, but l thought i'd let it slide and let someone else have it. My heart wasn't in it, and snagging that wouldn't have been a victory. All l really needed was that purple turtleneck from Pringle, my heart was fully into it, and that was a sweet victory. See...a victory needs to be sweet and have your heart in it.....a victory needs to be celebrated, and it should never be mundane.

I had been eying off those Ballantynes from about the first couple of hours when they got listed. You are lucky V....I was going to go in for the hardcore snag and make sure l got the v neck, but had last minute thoughts.

I let a few things from that seller slide today. Why? Because self control is really important, and I don't want to be excessive.


V, l am happy you got those two items. I've already got those two classics (2 navy cardigans and 3 navy v necks), but you needed those great basics. I am glad you have those foundation items. Brilliant!
 
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