The Sweater Trend

by Avis Yarbrough

It all started with the sweater girl. A term used to describe a look popularized in Hollywood by such female stars like Lana Turner and Jane Russell.

In the 1950’s the cardigan became the trend of the day. We all can remember images of housewives, dressed in a cardigan twin set with a single strand of pearls surrounding their necks.

This was the norm, women of the 1950’s often wore them to compliment the neckline of the sweater. Another trend that had been started in the 1940’s, but continued into the 1950’s, centered around adolescent girls. They often wore cardigan sweaters backwards, and buttoned up in the back. Also, the cardigan twin set was a “must have” to any young college women’s wardrobe.

How did the cardigan get its name? It was actually named after an actual person: Cardigan, James Thomas Brudenell, a British general

The evening sweaters also became an important part of women’s closet in the 1950’s. They came in various kinds of decorations. Women could be seen in evening sweaters with sequins or with embroidery.

There were also the sweaters with appliqué- where pieces of fabric is sewn onto a foundation piece of fabric to create designs. Other popular nighttime sweaters had lace, beads, rhinestones and even huge fur collars.

The cashmere sweater in the 1950’s and 60’s also became a popular item among young women, as well as men. Cashmere is made from the fur from a cashmere goat.

In the late 1950’s and 60’s, these beautifully decorated sweaters were produced in Hong Kong. Other huge name manufacturers of the time were Schiaparelli, Dalton, and Hardly.

Even today sweaters of that era are in vogue.

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