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Six of My Favourite Cropped Cardigans

Hell Bunny Paloma cardigan with Trashy Diva dress

First of all: no, I didn’t cut my hair – this is an old photo, which I’m re-using instead of taking a new one, because, a) that’s just the kind of  lazy-ass blogger I am, and, b) I don’t really need to mention my kitchen renovation again, do I? OK, good.

The reason I’ve dug out this old photo, meanwhile, was this question, which was submitted by Ginger (GREAT name, by the way!) last week:

Hi, Amber! Thanks to your constant use of them over the years, I’ve acquired five of the Hell Bunny Paloma cardigans. I LOVE them! I’ve never had a cardigan that worked so well with full skirts before, and the variety of colors is terrific. The darker colors can even be worn closed as pullovers.

But how do you wash them? The tag says to hand wash. I don’t enjoy hand washing at all, and I know they’ll just sit in the laundry pile for months. I’m about to the point of just tossing one into the wash and hoping it isn’t ruined. What do you do?

(I’m not sure if this is a blog-worthy question, but I’ve been wondering about it anyway!)

Firstly: ALL questions are blog-worthy 😉

Secondly: Honestly? I stick them in the machine. I actually didn’t even KNOW they were hand-wash only until I got this question, because I’m also the kind of lazy-ass who just throws pretty much everything into the machine, and hopes for the best. This… probably isn’t the best advice I’d ever given, but it’s true, so there you have it. And, I mean, I DO have some stuff that I hand-wash: normally the more expensive items, in fabrics like silk or cashmere, or just very precious things that I couldn’t bear to see ruined. A £20 cardigan, that could be easily replaced, though? Ain’t nobody got time for that. Our machine has a ‘delicates’ cycle, which washes at a lower temperature, so I use that on most of my “handwash only” items, and – fingers crossed – I haven’t damaged anything yet, although I’m sure my time is coming.

That’s the beauty of these cardigans, though, isn’t it? The green one I’m wearing in the photo was my very first ‘Paloma’ (I now have four more, in black, mint, pink, and baby blue): I bought it around four years ago, and not only is it still going strong (Which I guess answers the question about machine-washing), it’s also still available to buy, so even if I did ruin it, I’d easily be able to replace it. Having said that, I do have to admit that none of my “Paloma’ cardigans are in pristine condition any more. The green and black versions have worn the best, and are still looking prety good, but the pastel shades are definitely looking a little washed out now, so although machine-washing hasn’t damaged them, I’m guessing that handwashing would probably extend their lives even longer.

This question has actually just reminded me that I really need to replace some of mine soon, though: I’ve been meaning to do it for ages now, but buying replacements for items you already own is never as fun as buying something brand, spanking new, so, for those of you who share my love of cropped cardigans, here are six of my current favourites, to tempt you. Enjoy!

6 cropped cardigans to try

01. New Look 02. Collectif 03. Joanie Clothing 04. Oasis 05. Louche 06. Hell Bunny

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10 Comments
  • Viridiana
    April 28, 2017

    Hello Amber! I have two hell’s bunny cropped cardigan (black and pale blue) and I’m really in love with them. I do wash them in the washing machine, using the wool and delicate program that is very gentle and they are fine. To be honest, I also wash my wool and cashmere sweaters in the washing machine and I have never damaged one (well. not in the washing machine… I still manage to damage my clothing in creative ways, though). Using a mild detergent helps, and if your machine has a cold setting you could use it (my machine “wool” cycle has a temperature of 30 C , that is low enough, and a low rpm spinning cycle) . And as my grandma would have said, the secret is to not overwash your wool (maybe it can seem gross, but there’s no need to always wash a sweater after every wear, often just hang it to refresh will do the trick)
    Speaking of cropped cardi, what do you think about the boden cashmere ones? I love the colours and the shape, but they are pricey.

    • Amber
      April 28, 2017

      I have three of the Boden cashmere ones and I absolutely love them: I’d buy one in every colour if I could afford it!

  • Steph
    April 28, 2017

    A random place to get some – M and Co! I got about four really cute ones in their sale the other month!

  • Naomi
    April 28, 2017

    Are there clothes these days that don’t come with the ‘handwash’ tag? Those damn blends are great for comfortable wear, but washing machines have not caught up yet to the fabric industry.

    Ginger, Amber, wash your Hell Bunny (and other blouses, trousers, etc) inside-out on wool cycle (so it won’t actually spin, but rather sway). The ‘spin’ cycle should be 400 max if the machine lets you set it, the temperature best at 20 degrees. 30 is even too much for continuous washings! Use fabric softener to reduce static. And make sure you’re there to take them out once the cycle is done, because *they must not sit in water*. Something about the cotton blend shrinks horribly in water (learned that the hard way). I haven’t had a blouse or cardigan pill-up since!

    If you ever wash by hand – even better, but who bothers?- don’t leave the clothes to soak. Use cold/lukewarm water. Gently massage the clothes where your scent lingers (under the armpits?), there’s no need for more.

    Don’t want to come off strong here, but needed to impart my hard-earned wisdom (it was expensive, you can imagine).

    • Myra Boyle
      April 28, 2017

      Ditto Steph, washing things outside in at low temperatures is the way to go to keep them colour safe.

  • Ginger
    April 28, 2017

    Yay! Thanks so much for the answer, Amber! (And my name really is Ginger – a nickname for Virginia that my parents always used.) I’m SO glad you machine wash them. I figured you would, which is why I asked! I’m in Texas, though, and it was actually quite a hassle to get these; shipping is about as much as the cardigan itself. So I was a bit more concerned if I ruined something I wear every week. Now I’m inspired to go forth and wash! My machine doesn’t have a wool cycle as such, but permanent press in cold water, with delicate settings for agitation and spin, should work just fine. I have some gentle detergents, too.

    I also noticed that the pastels aren’t quite as sturdy as the darker ones. They don’t have ribbon reinforcing the buttonhole side, so mine have stretched out a bit; I keep meaning to find ribbon and add it myself, but I haven’t done that yet. (Predictably.) But the fit, and the LONG SLEEVES, are amazing. My arms are super cold sensitive. Cropped length with long sleeves is pretty much the Holy Grail of cardigans. I’m so glad you wrioe about these. That Oasis one looks really cute, too.

    That lovely green is the only one I don’t have… and it’s sold out in my size. Waah.

    • Amber
      April 28, 2017

      I was so hoping it was your real name! Glad to have helped 😀

  • Rachael Dickinson
    April 29, 2017

    I love the number 3 from joanie clothing, I’ll have to try out their brand! I have never looked at them for anything.

    Rachael xox
    http://gatsbyandglamour.blogspot.com

  • rings90
    April 30, 2017

    If it says handwash I tend to ignore it myself. I just wash on delicate and if I worry the garmet may stretch, I put it into a lingerie bag. So far my luck has held out.

  • D. Johnson
    May 1, 2017

    Glad I’m not the only one who’s to lazy to handwash. My contribution to this subject? I try to fill my handwash basin with the lukewarm water and Woolite first thing in the morning. Then, after massaging my delicates, I’ll go prepare breakfast or do something else that only takes a few minutes. I place the basin on the tub edge, get in the shower, and rinse the items with the shower stream before washing myself. Hung over my shower rod, the items drip into the basin, then I grab them with a towel and can squeeze/press (gently, so as not to stretch) to remove much of the water. They are then carefully hung on hangers (or larger items are arranged on a flat surface; flip repeatedly) and are ready to wear that evening. I leave a fan on in the room to circulate the air. Whew! That IS a lot of work, even without laboring over a sink or tub. Some items demand it, though.

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