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Coming down the catwalk in her library cardigan

J Crew Library Cardigan

J Crew Library Cardigan

Even those of us who worry about the image of librarians can’t get upset about J. Crew’s “library shawl cardigan,” with its sexy-smart thing workin’ for it.

Although — full disclosure — in the real world, my library sweaters have typically been ratty, lint-flecked monstrosities designed to be furtively donned in the privacy of an overly-cold office.

(Sandy has even crocheted me various “office blankies” to help keep my shoulders warm.)

As someone who spends half the month working in red flannel jammies, I really shouldn’t talk. But I look at this ad and ask, girl, what is it with the shorts? Can you really see an ARL dean garbed in this outfit, strutting into the provost’s office to discuss construction projects? Well, if I were an ARL dean and I looked like this, perhaps in this economy I wouldn’t be shy about tarting my way into a mano-a-mano meeting with the Big Guy or Gal if it meant saving a capital campaign. I suppose I could drop a pen and then lean over and giggle softly… “Times are hard, are they not?” … while the boss ogled my long, long legs and pert bottom. But now I’m writing a porn movie.

My guess is they paired the sweater with a long skirt and realized that cardigans are fundamentally dowdy (which is why I haven’t worn them publicly since my Maud-homage long-sweater-scarves-and-dark-lipstick phase of the early 1980s, and fortunately, few photos of that era survive).  Yet the marketing of this sweater is a knowing nod to the essential sexy-smart hotness of librarians… I suppose no matter how modest our garb in real life, in our hearts,, we’re struttin’ down the librarianship catwalk in our short-shorts.

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