For decades I remembered a top my mother wore as a very young woman: I was so young myself, I was still wearing Mary Janes at the time (you know: that sort of baby shoe with a thick strap across the instep). The top was bright pinky-red and would have been sleeveless but for a bar of fabric that wrapped around each arm, just beneath the shoulder. I always thought it was a spiffing design. And I've never seen a top ever since quite like that. In fact, for almost a lifetime I never saw any so-called 'cold shoulders' at all. Everything had a sleeve or else it didn't: there never seemed to be anything in between. I missed that gap at the shoulder, frankly.
Why do I take this tiny trip down memory lane? Because the hole in the shoulder has been rediscovered -- and my goodness, it's here with a determination that we'll never, ever again forget! The trouble is that a sexily exposed upper arm only makes sense for warm weather clothing. My mother wore what was just a t-shirt in construction, with a cut-away in the sleeves. She was not seeking ventilation in winter. Why on Earth, for instance, would anyone want a sweater -- in cashmere, no less -- like this one?
Marks & Spencer can't even decide how to categorize it: is it cosy or is it cool? Well, it's both! But in this case, when 'cool' is not merely a synonym for 'fashionable', the item in question doesn't strike me as 'cosy'. I happen not to like collars that crowd my neck. But if I did want a collar like this on a cashmere woolly because it was cold enough to appreciate the lack of draughtiness, why on god's green planet would I want a chilly shoulder?
I've always liked the idea of the fabric tease, but there is a season for it, and neither fall nor winter are appropriate. I'll wait for the spring and summer fashions to come forward. Perhaps by then there will an item in the style that will actually tempt me to buy it.