Wednesday, January 20, 2016

School Uniform Girls' Performance Zip-front Cardigan, a review

School Uniform Girls Performance Zip-front Cardigan-Classic Navy,L
School Uniform Girls 
Performance Zip-front Cardigan-Classic

Last year, we reviewed the Girls' Zip-front Drifter Cardigan. It became my daughter's favorite go-to sweater all year long. New for the 2015-2016 school year, Lands' End began offering a similar zip-front sweater. So when my daughter's favorite zip front drifter began to get snug on her, we ordered this updated version. Here's a list of features listed in the product description:
  • Resists fading and pilling for long-lasting color and comfort 
  • Easy-care blend feels soft as cotton 
  • Fully-fashioned construction for a great fit 
  • Full-zip front 
  • Easy-moving raglan sleeves 
  • 60% cotton/40% rayon-modal 
  • Machine wash/Imported
Compared to last year's version, the collar on this new one is smaller, more like a traditional cardigan and the fabric is a softer cotton blend.  I agree with the claim that it resists fading. We've washed the product numerous times so far and it is holding it's color well.  Also, no pilling so far.  The feel of the cotton is soft to the touch while the weight of the sweater feels substantial and warm. My daughter quickly adopted this as her new favorite sweater.  She demanded I put it in her book bag in the early fall when a lighter weight sweater may have been more appropriate.  I understood why when I visited the classroom for our first parent teacher conference of the year.  It is freezing in her classroom.  The teacher said the room is the coldest in the school and she encourages the kids to always have a sweater on hand.

I was surprised when I went to wash it for the first time.  I read the tags that recommended 'block flat to dry".  Huh?  I honestly had no idea what that meant. So, I did what any normal person would do, I Googled it. It outlined a method that made sense laundering hand knitted clothing and fragile fine fabric sweaters. I quickly decided that the process was too complicated for me, as a busy working Mom.  I don't have time to find butcher paper and trace the outline of the sweater, etc.  It all seemed like too much effort for a simple school sweater that I wash every weekend.  Instead, I tested my own simpler method.  I made sure the zipper was fastened and washed the sweater in cold water in the delicate cycle with other items that seem suited for that cycle.  Normally, I then would have thrown it in the dryer on low.  Instead, I "blocked" it, not to fit its traced outline on paper, but instead I simply shaped it resemble its original shape and size and then carefully laid it across my drying rack to air dry.

After repeating this process each week for a several months now, the sweater has held its original shape and looks just fine.  If you've devised your own simple strategy for blocking sweaters, please feel free to share your feedback in the comments below.  Also if you also have this sweater, tell us how you launder it.

My overall opinion is that this sweater is worth the money.  It retails for $50, so try to catch it on sale. At 30% off, it will definitely earn it's keep in the school wardrobe rotation.  I would guess that my daughter will end up getting at least 2 years of wear from this sweater before she outgrows it.

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