Crewcuts mohair cable sweaters in "natural" & "spiced chartreuse"
When readers ask me about buying kids clothing, I usually recommend against it. I also get a bit peeved when I hear "Just shop the kids department!" in response to small-framed women asking where to find clothes. Kids clothing is cut for kids...little humans with round tummies, possibly some baby fat, and no bust or hips. Although the overall sizing may suit smaller-framed women, I've come to realize (through experience) that the cut and details are usually not right for grownup bodies.
Last week, however, my search for sweaters led me to this J.Crew kids option. I wanted: a cozy cable knit in a casual cut, either classic colors like camel and navy or bright, fun colors, a small crewneck opening to layer over collared tops, and a good price. This sweater was on sale for $34.50 with great color options, so I decided to give it a shot.
Fit: As expected, the kids sweaters ran short and wide. To illustrate, I compared these below to a fitted Old Navy sweater that many of us may have, in size XS regular (see my post here and Kelly's review here). Please note that most Old Navy sweaters don't run so small - this one was a shrunken fit style.
Size 12: 12.25" across shoulders, 16" across armpit, 14.5" across bottom, 20" length and sleeve length.
Size 14: 12.5" across shoulders, 16.5" across armpit 15" across bottom, 21.5" length and sleeve length.
The kids 12 is comparable to some womens XXS's, and the kids 14 is comparable to some womens XS's.
The girls size 12 on me (5 feet tall, 32-24-32) fit well throughout (fitted, but not snug) but was slightly boxy in the torso and had room in the upper arms. The length hit me right at the hips, and sleeves hit awkwardly at an inch above my wrist bone. This could be addressed by layering a longer sleeved shirt underneath, or just scrunching up to wear 3/4 sleeve-style.
The girls size 14 on me was casually loose throughout and baggy in the arms. Length hit at my lower hips, and sleeve length was right below the wrist bone.
Left: Kids size 12 Right: Kids size 14
Material: 46% acrylic, 24% nylon, 20% laine, and 10% mohair is soft but itchy against bare skin. I can't imagine dressing little kids in this itchy material. The knit is more frothy and airy, and not a dense close knit. As crazy as this may sound, I am okay with an itchier material for this sweater because I would never wear it without a layer underneath. I have an old cardigan from J.Crew in almost the exact same material, and I've worn it for years just layered over tops.
Colors: In person, the spiced chartreuse is a bright yellow with hints of mustard and lime green. It's the same color as my old Gap cardigan jacket which is a wardrobe favorite. The "natural" is a light oatmeal. I love the yellow, but for a neutral I'd prefer a warmer camel, or a lighter winter white.
Verdict: Keeping the spiced chartreuse color, but unsure about size 12 versus 14. J.Crew has color options that I rarely find at any other retailer, so I am getting a color that I love, and slightly sacrificing fit and material in return. Since I'll be wearing this casually and layered, I don't mind the boxier fit or itchy material as much. I'll show examples soon of how I'd style these.
Old me would keep the size 12 without hesitation, but the more I look at the casually loose sz 14, the more I like it. My least favorite part of the 14 is baggy sleeves and bigger neck opening, and my least favorite part of the 12 is the shorter length and sleeve length. Shrinking in the dryer is not an option for this sweater as it's hand wash only, and I'd like to preserve the frothy material and vibrant color.
Shop similar sweaters in adult sizing:
Readers - Should I keep the spiced chartreuse in size 12 or 14?