Waltzing Banjo & Matilda

DSCF2066_2 DSCF2070_2 DSCF2074_2Top: Banjo & Matilda

Skirt: Asos

It’s not difficult for a hard-core shopping addict like myself to rationalise a purchase, but even I had to work at it before I could talk myself into putting down the big dollars I needed to to get my hot little hands on a Banjo and Matilda Love Crew sweater.

The cashmere brand-darling of the elite, Banjo and Matilda is worn by socialites and celebrities including Naomi Watts, Claudia Schiffer and Gwyneth Paltrow. And now, little old me.

I spotted the Love Crew sweater a few years ago – it’s actually what inspired me to make one of my very earliest remix projects, but I never managed to convince myself to shell out the not-inconsiderable dollars to buy The Real Deal.

Then, a few months ago  Chelle from Fat Mum Slim pinned (damn you Pinterest, you’re going to send me broke!) a tutorial on gift-wrapping where Lauren Conrad was wearing The Sweater.

At first I was like “Oh! Nice sweater!” then I was all “Wait, I feel like I’ve seen it before…. wasn’t it an Australian brand?” and then I went on a Google mission to prove myself right that somehow led to an extraordinarily lovely interaction with the online-chat customer service representative at Banjo & Matilda who then-and-there measured the ACTUAL SWEATER for me to make sure it would fit, and then – I’m still not quite sure how – I ended up buying it.

It was just after my birthday, and I was nursing my black eye and a bad case of Feeling Sorry For Myself. I’d had a particularly miserable couple of weeks and was at one of the great all-time-lows of the last couple of years. But my contract from the Guardian had just come through (proving for once and for all that it wasn’t some dreadful case of mistaken identity) and I felt like maybe I deserved some retail therapy.

So yes, this sweater was ridiculously expensive. But no, I don’t regret it for a second. And, I think if you’re looking for a bit of over-the-top indulgence you won’t either.

To start with; it’s just beautifully packaged. It arrives in an embossed keepsake box, tied with ribbon, so you really do feel like you’re giving yourself a nice gift.

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Inside the box is a custom-printed cotton bag for storage, and the sweater itself, wrapped tenderly up in tissue paper.

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The sweater is made of single ply cashmere, buttery soft and not even slightly scratchy against the skin. It’s quite thin – I’m wearing it with a singlet in winter because the wind whistles right through it – but this means it will transition between seasons comfortably. I have found pilling to be a bit of an issue (apparently that’s pretty common with new garments & should settle down) but a quick run-over with a fabric comb and it looks as good as new. Despite repeated wearings the sweater hasn’t stretched out of shape at all, though it’s still to have its first launder. (p.s. I’m not gross – the website actually recommends that you air your cashmere as much as possible, rather than washing it.)

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A little fabric and leather tag chronicling the story about Banjo & Matilda (a story that apparently doesn’t include a spell check program, which is kind of endearing) accompanies a few spare threads for essential repairs.

DSCF2071_2This has rapidly because the favourite sweater in my wardrobe. It’s eye-catching and bold and versatile. I love wearing it with jeans or skirts. You can dress it up or down, and you’ll always get someone commenting on it when you wear it.

Though it was thinner than I’d anticipated I have nothing but good things to say about the quality. I will admit that if you’re buying a Banjo and Matilda sweater you should be paying that premium price for a cool intarsia print (they also have stars, flags and skulls. If you wanted a plain cardigan or sweater I’d direct you to Pure Collection or Eugenie Cashmere instead.

And if you can’t quite rationalise the price tag (I found a discount code which took $75 off, and it was STILL more expensive than pretty much every other sweater in my wardrobe, combined) then there’s a sort of similar sweater on offer at Asos at the moment up to a size 18, for under $50

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For the record, I saw the Asos top BEFORE I bought the cashmere sweater at Banjo & Matilda, and I’m still happy I shelled out the extra couple of hundred dollars for the original. Sometimes you just have to treat yourself.

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What have you bought yourself lately as a special treat?

 

50 thoughts on “Waltzing Banjo & Matilda

  1. Your heart jumper is a stunner, Lilli! Well worth the splurge I say. Cashmere is an investment that lasts forever if well looked after…at least that is how I rationalised a similar priced cardigan from Brora a couple of years ago. I have never regretted it – it is In heavy rotation year round (air-con overload in Sydney means it gets summer outings too). It has worn beautifully, is a fabulous blue/purple & looks new after countless wears & many washes (although I too air it after every wear to limit how often it needs to be washed). I have many Pure Collection cropped cardies in the same style which have served me well but simply haven’t worn as well or have as beautiful a saturated colour as my faithful Brora one.
    “It’s not difficult for a hard-core shopping addict like myself to rationalise a purchase” – Lilli, this made me laugh – I know the feeling too well!

    • Good quality really does speak for itself, doesn’t it? I hadn’t heard of Brora before though – I’ll check them out! Always looking for new places to indulge 😉

  2. That last shot proves that it was worth it! You are radiating happiness & confidence. Love it! And are those new glasses? They’re brilliant!

  3. I dream of one of their sweaters but just can’t rationalize it- one day! I adore their French one and the American star one! Sigh!
    The heart sweater is gorgeous!! You look lovely! Goes beautifully with the navy swingy skirt!

  4. Beautiful outfit! I love your lipstick- where is it from?
    You look very svelte- have you lost weight? I would love any tips you have. Xoxoxo

  5. Gorgeous! My recent “I don’t need it but I want it and it’s in my size and so pretty and I really can’t justify it….BUT….” purchase was a beautiful late 1920s deadstock bias cut pale blue silk nightie. It makes me feel like a glamorous film star. I don’t regret it for a second (though I am upset I didn’t have the money to buy the nude coloured one). For those wondering “Clara Fox Vintage” is where I got mine from and she had plenty of beautiful things that would fit a size 18/20.

  6. I used to work in high end knit manufacturing and sales and can assure you the pilling will settle down! It will happen with every knitted garment to varying degrees, and certainly doesn’t indicate poor quality. The softer and finer the knit, the more it is likely to happen. I used to recommend to customers that they not wear layers over the top (though that’s easier said than done in winter) as the rubbing of a jacket will hasten the pilling. But after a few wears and washes (definitely only sparingly) the stitches will ‘bloom’ and it will settle into itself.

  7. that sweater is super adorable! glad you were able to treat yourself – it’s definately worth it when you know the quality will make it last. also may i mention your hair looks particularly beautiful in these photos. it’s sort of disney princess-like… in a good way!

  8. THE best top I have seen you in. What a win, enjoy it 🙂

    P.S. I know people generally mean well but I can’t believe people have asked you about your weight?! Ignore them!

  9. Oh My!! I’ve been looking all over for cashmere jumpers that aren’t made for old ladies… this is gorgeous! And thankyou for bringing Banjo & Matilda to my attention. I’m off for some retail therapy right now!

      • Hmmm colour stay, do you find it drying? I always avoid anything deemed long lasting. It looks so creamy, is the texture soft?

  10. Life is too short to not celebrate your achievements, spend time with people you love and have special treasures to remind you of both. You look truly beautiful in both … the achievement and the sweater. Many congratulations!

  11. Looks great on you – and like everyone else who’s commented, I love your hair and glasses! And I’m sure you’ll get value out of your purchase – firstly, in how good it looks/feels, and secondly, you could probably spend much of that money on a couple of tops that won’t last as well and would leave you disappointed.

  12. Well worth the investment – you look gorgeous, it’s very ‘you’ and I’m sure it’s making your smile that much brighter (which is why everyone is saying ‘You look great’ / ‘Love your lipstick!’ / ‘Have you lost weight’ / ‘Your hair is so shiny!’ – you just look super dooper happy. Enjoy!

  13. Sooooo worth it! It’s divine.

    I’m so glad you are feeling better after your rotten month.

    Lastly, you are such a beautiful writer, my dove. “Buttery soft” – now I want one, too…

  14. My latest splurge was the gorgeous black card/jacket you wore on the plan to New York – I knew I had to have one too and found it through your online link. Sometimes I think you are sending me broke with your good taste and all… 🙂

  15. Just noticed on the crossroads website that they have a jumper with the same design. I highly suspect it wouldn’t be the same quality though!

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  17. I saw the pic on pinterest and I just have to say it just struck me. You’re so darn cute! Great photos. Definitely a great purchase, you look fantastic! Treat Yo Self!

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