Cardigan sweaters are fabulous for layering with your tops, multiplying your outfits, and dressing down a flashy outfit.
to add contrasting color, to mute a loud pattern in a dress or blouse, or add a color to a drab ensemble
In fact cardigans are some of the most flexible sweaters available.
It is important that you first fill your wardrobe with timeless, can’t-live-without essential in solid neutrals such as black, navy, and cream. Then you can start adding more trendy items.
Basic sweate colors include purple, blue, green, mustard yellow, and fiery red.
You will most likely wear whatever sweaters you purchase for years, if not decades. So this is one item that you should be willing to invest more money in.
1. Possible fabric options include…
Cashmere. A cashmere sweater is the ultimate in softness and luxury. They are available in a wide array of price points, qualities and styles.
Cashmere/wool blend... These sweaters are more reasonably priced than cashmere sweaters. They still have the soft and luxurious feel of cashmere and are less itchy than wool.
Cotton…Cotton sweaters are soft and comfortable, but will not keep you as warm as a wool sweater. Most cotton sweaters can be worn all year round.
Wool…Wool is perfect for cold winter days because it is not only soft and comfortable, but also works as an excellent insulator to keep you warm. There are several different types of wool, including…
- Alpaca…stronger than other wool types, but still soft
- Lambswool…fine and soft, cost-effective, durable, stretchy and breathable, itchy
- Merino…a finer fiber if you don’t like itchy wool, offers near the softness of cashmere but with substantially more durability, cost-effective, durable, stretchy and breathable…thinner and not as warm as lambswool
- Mohair…lustrous and long-wearing
- Shetland…made from coarser fiber
A few types of cardigans to consider are…
1. Boyfriend cardigan…casual and long, great for keeping warm, might look or feel a bit like a doctor’s coat…great paired with straight pants, pencil skirts, and simple sheaths…and long necklaces
2. Coat cardigan…makes almost any jeans and tee outfit look polished
3. Cozy knit cardigan...for that effortless, vintage look
4. Draped cardigan.... looser than typical cardigans…have more volume than a boyfriendcardi, but are just as long.
5. Oversized cardigans…needs to be the right cardigan in the right shape…not big slouchy sweaters that have no shape and just plain out look sloppy…never wear them with oversized pants because this makes them look way too frumpypair it with a more form-fitting outfit. That means skinny or narrow pants, leggings, skirts, or dresses with a tapered waist or belt.
Oversized cardigans are not simply cardigans that are a size or two bigger than you are…or cardigans actually borrowed from your boyfriend… Shop with your correct size in mind, and make sure that the shape of the sweater itself doesn’t swallow you up. Sleeves should hit at the wrist or just slightly cover the hand.
6. Simple cotton cardigan...light and thin, excellent for layering over a t-shirt or dress
Typically cardigans hit just below the hip and can be as long as mid-calf. If you are short, keep the length right around the knee or above.
Any length cardigan looks good with pants…
A cardigan that hits slightly above or below the hem works best with skirts.
A cardigan that is a few inches above the hem, at the hem, or mid-calf if you are wearing boots works best with dresses.
Note for Petites…
If you are petite or plus size, stick with cardigans made of thinner material. The drop shoulders, length and slight oversized middle of cardigans in these fabrics will not overwhelm a small frame or add bulk to a larger one.
Also, thinner oversized cardigans look more polished than cable knits or other heavier sweaters.
As we approach the beginning of fall and winter… (even though it’s still 95 degrees here in Texas most days)…it’s time to drag out or start thinking about dragging out the sweaters…and probably even buy more.
But there are so many sweaters available that you may find the choices a little overwhelming. How do you know which sweaters look best with your body type, face shape, and neckline?
Let’s take a look at several different styles of sweaters and necklines and consider which ones will be the most flattering based on both the shape of your face, body, and neck.
1. Boat Neck
Design……sits near the collarbone and extends horizontally outward onto the shoulders and parallel to the bustline
Bustline…makes it seem more pronounced.
Face Type…can enhance the beauty of a heart-shaped face
Head…provides a balancing effect for women with a smaller head
Neck…flattering for women with long necks, can make an overly long neck appear slightly shorter
Design…the collar of a cowl neck sweater folds over and lies on the shoulders and chest to create a drape around the neck
Body Type…excellent for apple-shaped women because they open up the neck area and are not as form-fitting…also great for pear-shaped women because they draw the eye up and away from the lower body
Bust line…excellent for busty women because they open up the neck area and are not as form-fitting
3. Funnel Neck
Design…similar to a mock turtleneck except that the neck extends upwards from the bodice of the shirt in one piece instead of being a tube sewn onto the neckline…excess fabric could either stand straight up or roll over
Neck Type…short neck, as the collar does not normally cover most or much of the neck length
Design…a plain rounded neckline that rests near the base of the throat
Bustline…makes the bustline more noticeable
Necks… long, because the jewel neck minimizes attention to the neck and
Design…similar to a turtleneck, but about half as long…stands up on its own… gives the appearance of a turtleneck without the extra folded-over fabric
Body Type…woman with a slimmer build.
Bustline…makes busty women look confined and somewhat matronly
Design…have a long tube of fabric that is longer than the neck serving as the collar and draping around the neck…can also be folded over once for a neat appearance at the base of the neck…often form fitting with long sleeves and a hem that ends at the waist or top of the hip.
Bustline…large-busted women tend to look even larger in turtlenecks, so care should be taken to choose a finely knit material and add a layer that creates a longer line
Face Type…heart shape…can provide flattering concealment for a double chin
Neck Type…can have a slimming effect on a wider neck and not best on short necks, although older women may like the neck camouflage offered by a turtleneck sweater
Design…V-shaped neckline with long sleeves and ribbed cuffs and hem…wide at the top and slants inward, coming to a point at the bottom.
Neck Type…Since they show a narrowing section of skin, they can have a lengthening effect on the neck. This illusion makes them popular among women with shorter or wider necks visually elongate the neck. They typically give women with short necks a more elegant appearance.Thicker Neck or Double-Chin
Things to keep in mind when shopping for sweaters…
1. Close-fitting sweaters work well with wide-leg pants and flowing skirts. Bulky sweaters look best with snug bottoms, such as a tight pencil skirt, skinny jeans, or leggings…
2. Keep in mind the events, occasions, and activities that you might want to wear the sweater…the climate you live in…and any accessories that you might need to go with your new sweater.
3. Smaller, thinner jewelry works better with light sweaters or those in a fine-gauge knits. Thinner necklaces look even smaller when worn with heavy sweaters.
4. Thick sweaters look best with longer, thicker necklaces or long, thin chains with bold pendants.
5. Tying or draping a scarf around your neck and shoulders gives a sweater extra flair.