Marc Jacobs Cardigan
Generally speaking, we never wear our clothes backwards-not intentionally, that is-but occasionally we come across a look or two that makes us reconsider this sartorial stance. (Don't worry: we're not channeling '90s rap duo Kris Kross!) We spotted an intriguing example of this retrograde trend back in February, when Ashley Olsen decided to reverse her Christian Lacroix couture gown for the ELLE Style Awards in London. Then, just a few months later, Kate Moss executed a front-to-back flip when she turned up at a London launch party for one of her Topshop collections wearing a silk romper stylishly reversed. But while these flashbulb-worthy outfits are both notable, we weren't fully sold on this idea until we noticed an extremely wearable iteration of this trend on Marc Jacobs' F/W 10 runway. One look and we knew: it was time to break out the backwards cardigan!
Though the Jacobs' high-end collection is full of loads of lovely knits this season-the Fair Isle Sweater ($820) and the Hand-Knit Fisherman's Sweater ($1400) are two yummy options-our jaws nearly dropped to the floor when we first spied the chartreuse Backwards Crew-Neck Cardigan ($995, available here in eggplant) strolling down the runway. Bold in color, simple in silhouette, and styled backwards with a floor-length draped skirt in yellow ombre sequins, this sweater is a total stunner. If the aforementioned reasons aren't enough, consider this: the cardigan's buttons are bejeweled, which means a dramatic departure is guaranteed!
While we certainly encourage you to save up for the exact runway iteration, we also know that not everyone wants to a) wait or b) invest so much in a sweater. As such, after a quick examination of the cardigan, we knew this was the perfect project for our dear friend and do-it-yourself guru, Erica Domesek of P.S. I Made This! (If you're not intimately acquainted with Domesek's work, you should get familiar with it at once! Start by checking out her crafty blog and be sure to pick up her newly released book, P.S. I Made This: I See It. I Like It. I Make It., which is filled with even more hands-on, budget-friendly fashion ideas.) Fortunately, this jeweled sweater is easy to approximate, so if you're up to the challenge, dear readers, all you have to do is pick up a few ingredients and follow today's simple D.I.Y. step-by-step instructions and you'll have your very own elegant, Marc Jacobs-esque cardi!-Jessica Baker
Before you start...
First things first: the most important part of this project is picking the right cardigan, so make your selection carefully. Remember that the finished cardigan will be worn completely buttoned, so it's imperative that you pick a style that both fits nicely when done up and flatters your frame. Also, be sure to pay attention to your cardigan's neckline; don't forget that you're going to wear it backwards, so a deep-v or low crewneck might show off too much of your back. You'll also want to make sure that the sweater's buttons are on the smaller side, as the new rhinestone buttons will be applied over the existing ones. And finally, if chartreuse is not your color, no worries-any other hue will do! Now you're ready to DIY!
-1 crewneck cardigan (we used Old Navy's Facet-Button Cardigan ($29.50) in Frog Green)
-Rhinestone, vintage, or otherwise interesting buttons (the number of buttons needed will be determined by the cardigan you use)
-Needle and thread
-Glue gun and glue (if necessary/wanted for better button support)
1. Lay cardigan on your workspace and unbutton it.
2. Line up your rhinestone buttons in a vertical pattern next to each buttonhole.
3. Sew the button flush to the seam of the buttonhole corner closest to the inside. (Note that you are not switching out the original buttons, but rather adding larger, more ornate buttons that will sit on top of the pre-existing ones. Your new buttons should be large enough to completely cover up the smaller, original buttons.)
4. After securing the new, bigger, rhinestone buttons, you may need to glue them (using the hot glue gun) to the cardigan so that they lay flat. If so, wait a few minutes for the glue to try before buttoning the sweater.
5. Button up the cardigan. Your new decorative buttons should now fully cover the original small buttons.
6. To style it in a Marc Jacobs fashion, wear the cardigan so that the buttons are facing the back!
Marc Jacobs runway photo, courtesy of Marc Jacobs; Sweater detail photo, courtesy of First View