Family: Janet Christie’s Mum’s the Word

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If the humble cardie is now cool, I am very chilled

You know that crop top of yours?” Youngest asks me over the phone.

“Ha, ha, ha, ha.”

“No, you know the top you gave me because you don’t wear it.”

“A crop top? In what universe do I ever have a crop top? But thank you for thinking I do.”

“It’s a v-necked one.”

“Oh, is it cashmere, beige?”

“Dunno, tan, yes. I’m wearing it with my pinafore, looks good.”

“It’s not a crop top. It’s just small on me because I’m too fat for it at the moment. And you’re very welcome.”

“Don’t say fat. It’s not about fat. Or thin. It’s about proportions. Choose a style you like and wear it in your own way according to your shape. Adapt it. And see, I do borrow some of your clothes sometimes. They’re not all...”

“Yes, I’ve noticed you’ve been at my cardigans…”

I knew it was only a matter of time –you can’t live in Scotland and eschew cardies for keeps. They creep up on you and before you know it you’ve got one hanging on your chair, under your pillow, in the car, the just-in-case cardie that will outlast most relationships.

And now that it’s having a big fashion moment and the FROW is cosying up to the humble knit and everyone from Alexa Chung to Miuccia Prada is coveting cardies I find myself, by accident definitely not by designer, way ahead of the fashpack. I have everything from a cool Kurt Cobain Unplugged number, through Twin Peaks prim to a couple with zips and hoods that passed Youngest’s hoodie test.

Crucially, it appears it’s not about whether or not the cardie is cool, but how you wear it. I just heave them on, but Youngest understands the rules – thin ones are pulled tight and folded across the chest, ends tucked in or twisted into a cool knot, while the more titanic are snuggled into, the chunky made funky.

“At your cardigans?” she says, indignant. “Well, if you mean that grey top with the shawl collar I had on yesterday, it’s mine. And it’s NOT a cardigan.”

“‘Course not.”

“No, it’s a wrap.”