While we all love the touch and feel of cotton (the fabric of our lives, if I may…) it brings me great pleasure to invite back a fabric that will not only keep you nice and warm throughout these next bitter months but one that will add a new dimension to your wardrobe. That ladies and gentlemen, is the classic fabric of wool!
Although wool has been around longer than any other fabric, most of us only think about wool when shopping for out latest winter jacket; however, in the past decade companies have made great strides in creating more wearable and less itchy pieces, even making some of them machine washable! For example, worsted wool shirts do not have the same hand, or feel, as a traditional wool shirt you would find in your grandparent’s closet. I’m not saying anything is wrong with what grandma and grandpa are wearing – some things have just been updated in the past 10 years and are worthy of recognition! Worsted wool is smoother, finer yarns from longer and straighter fibers and is combed and carded (a process that breaks up clumps of fiber and aligns them to be more parallel to one another) while it also has a tighter twist than regular woolen fabrics. This gives woolen shirts, pants, and sweaters a softer, more comfortable (like cotton) wear with the durability of classic wool.
Just as manufacturers have come a long way in the production of wool, designers have added a more youthful vibe to their recent collections. Today, wool is everywhere from blazers to handbags to the linings of bags and shoes such as Cole Haan exemplifies in his latest riding boot. Keep your look contemporary with simple leather details such as a thin leather trim around the edge of a wool wrapskirt. If you have a wool top or dress, add a simple leather or patent leather belt to dress is up and add a bit of good contrast to your look. Meanwhile, my award for best updated peacoat goes to one with the bold statement of leather sleeves! Its classic woolen body will rock 2010 (and 2011) with its edgy addition!
*As a matter of style: If you’re only feeling a little “sheep-ish” add a wool scarf or bag with Pendleton-like Navajo print on it. These tribal prints are a fun and eye catching accessory that can brighten up any outfit. You could also try a brightly colored wool fedora with a bow around it for a bit of feminine detail.
Whichever piece you choose whether it be a skirt, shirt, jacket, or pants, wool is bound to be a found in your closet this winter!