Toggle Trouble

Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent has been a favorite label of mine for a long time. Over the years I’ve especially loved when the Los Angeles based designer has captured the California boho-chic style through eclectic collections that feature Native American inspired patterns. While living in Southern California I was lucky enough to go to a couple sample sales at their offices in the fashion district of downtown LA, but my favorite Twelfth Street piece is still the “Vintage Dakota” cardigan (below left), which I picked up at Flight Boutique in Park City, UT back in the Spring of 2009 or 2010.

Although the Dane calf-hair bootie has been an indispensable addition to my wardrobe this season, lately I’ve been less captivated by the apparel offering. Nevertheless, my sweet husband surprised me with a very nice Cynthia Vincent shawl collar sweater for Christmas this year. Its a cozy cardigan with a cut that’s unique enough to be both interesting and still versatile. That being said, I was quite disappointed to notice that the appliqués that secure the toggle detail were made in cheap synthetic leather! Some people might see this as a trivial detail and maybe, being a shoe designer, I’m extra sensitive to material decisions, but I knew it would bother me if I let it remain.

I think a classic detail like this deserves a more authentic execution and would have thought that Cynthia Vincent was making clothes to a higher standard (especially on a sweater with a retail price of around $300). But in no time at all, I had chosen a dusty pearlized suede, swapped out the patches and toggle loops, and the cheap faux leather was a distant memory. Of course I won’t hold it against CynVin for cutting corners – I’m sure she is under a lot of pricing pressure from her suppliers and stockists – but I do hope that this isn’t the first sign of the downturn of her line. In the meantime, I was happy to do this little DIY to ensure my sweater makes it into regular rotation during the remaining days of winter.

Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent sweater and velvet skirt, Equipment silk blouse, LL Bean boots

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