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.