If you watched my latest vlog then you’ll know that I’ve been on the hunt for a new chunky, almost-counts-as-outerwear cardigan. There’s a special name for this type of heavy-duty cardi, the sort of cardi you can throw on over your entire outfit in lieu of a coat, and it’s a name that gives me hives: COATIGAN.
Who came up with such a ridiculous moniker? It makes me think of old goats and it reminds me of that song that we used to sing at primary school:
“There was an old man named Michael Finn-egan,
He had whiskers on his chin-igan,
They fell out and grew back in-again,
Poor old Michael Finnegan. Begin-again.”
Anyway, I need a new coatigan (argh!) because I virtually live in them. I use them as a less cumbersome dressing gown for doing the breakfast shift, I wear them over my leisurewear when I’m working in my office and when it gets properly cold I use them as a sort of inner lining to my parka for extra warmth. The coatigan is my ultimate all-purpose garment.
And I want this coatigan of all-purpose dreams to be almost hideously loud and noticeable. Let’s not go too below-radar with this piece of clothing; yes shades of wheat and dove grey are versatile and flattering but they also don’t belong in this post. I want jungle prints, I want bolder colours, I want the sartorial equivalent of a marching band led by cymbal-clashing monkeys riding elephants.
I want an Amazing Technicolour Dream Coatigan.
All of the below Amazing Technicolour Dream Coatigans require something (a lot) of an investment but it seems, after many weeks of casual research, that if you want your cardigan to be outré and also of exemplary quality then you have to pay through the nose for it. If anyone does find a high street Amazing Technicolour Dream Coatigan of the sort of quality that will see it through more than a season then hit me up with links in the comments section below.
And so from left to right above we have the Zebra coatigan from Maxmara at Net-a-Porter here*, the rainbow delight of a cardigan from Paper here* and Pinko’s brightly trimmed coatigan (which I think is my favourite), £285 at Selfridges here*.
(I do realise that the rainbow cardigan from Paper isn’t strictly a coatigan but it’s lovely all the same and it’s also a (comparative) snip at £137*. Allow me some artistic licence!)
From left to right again; a piece from the absolute Queen of Outré Knitwear, Hayley Menzies. Her designs are just utterly bonkers and beautiful and boho and you can (almost) guarantee you’re not going to find many other people wearing the same design. Find her knitwear here.
In the centre, something a little more sober but the pattern is relatively funky – technipattern, rather than technicolor; this belted coatigan is from Vince, £302 here*.
And a high street contender! Dogtooth checked coatigan from Reiss, £185 here* – looks quite glam belted in a la how they’ve styled it on their website. Still, the Hayley Menzies designs call to me like a lost reveller in the Chihuahuan desert who’s off his tits on Peyote.
“Dude…..DUDE! Come and step into my crazy coatigan designs, man! There’s a red horse riding a leopard and, and a tiger riding a horse and….ugh.”
Poor old Michael Coatigan, Begin-Again.