Stowaway cardigan

Chicago TribuneJuly 14, 2014 

Name: Pocket Poppet

What it is: A jersey women's cardigan that collapses into its own built-in nylon ripstop pocket, concealed on the interior back of the sweater. Designed for stowing in a handbag or glove box, it's like a fashion first-aid kit for frosty airplanes, icy cubicles or frozen-food aisles.

The good: I traveled no farther than the food court across the street to appreciate this concept. Shedding the cardigan in the sun, I folded it into its pocket and slid it into my crowded midsize purse. Redeployed back in the office, this open-front waterfall cardigan flatters the figure, draping to the top of the thigh. Armholes aren't oversize, and ruching on the sleeves - my favorite detail - keeps them at three-quarter length without constant re-scrunching. The pocket creates no bulge at the small of the back, thanks in part to box pleats that start slightly higher than the natural waist on the Classic style and a gathered seam in the same vicinity on the Lotus style. If you wad rather than fold the cardigan into the pocket, it wrinkles. But gravity and body heat - and the touch of spandex - quickly release any creases. Sophisticated enough for a dress, casual enough for yoga, it's available in seven colors.

The bad: When the cardigan is worn, the pocket's Velcro closure is exposed to the shirt you're wearing beneath, so there's a slight chance of snagging delicate fabrics or knits (but the Velcro isn't industrial strength, which mitigates risk). A pocket within the pocket accommodates an ID and lipstick, but I'd hesitate to trust it with anything more than a business card.

Cost: $99 for the Classic (rayon and spandex) or Lotus (moisture-wicking bamboo, rayon, spandex).

Available: in five sizes (xs-xl) from thepocketpoppet.com

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