The weather’s cooling down, and one of the first orders of business—along with restocking the pumpkin spice candles and getting the bonfire ready, of course—is to make sure you’re prepped for cardigan season. The open-front sweater is one of the most crucial components of a well-crafted cool-weather wardrobe, expected in situations ranging from running errands to running shows, commanding the boardroom to commanding happy hour. We’re here to help you get cardie-ready so you can slay all season.
Prepping for Cardigan Season
Looking to shake up the cardigan game this year with some fresh new styles? If you have to prioritize investing in two of the most versatile, go with a black or gray cardigan and a navy or brown cardigan. These go-with-everything closet heroes are like chameleons, adapting to whatever genre of style you’re feeling that day. Though, as you probably know, modern-day cardigan trends err on the side of oversized and boyfriend-inspired, more slim and tailored styles are making a big comeback, too.
Our best piece of advice when shopping for and styling cardigans? Pick a style that feels good to you rather than one that’s in style. Whether it’s buttoned-up and neatly fitted or deliberately oversized and vintage-minded, there’s no wrong way to rock the cardie if you feel fantastic in it! If you’re looking for some serious inspiration, check out the list below featuring our favorite cardigan styling tips, with options for all sweater personalities.
1. Sheer and Airy: The Kimono Cardigan—If you live somewhere that’s hot year-round, you probably won’t get many chances to rock your favorite chunky cable-knit and wool cardigans, but here’s a consolation: the kimono top cardigan. This breezy, often-sheer layering staple is great for fall transitioning and it comes in tons of fun prints and patterns, from fresh florals to enchanting animal prints.
2. Long and Strong: The Duster Cardigan—We’ve come a long way since the midriff cardies and boleros of the ’90s, ladies! These days, longer is better when it comes to bringing the sweater drama to the scene. There’s no wrong way to rock a duster. You can sport it as the flirty, boho-inspired knitted layer over your favorite tunics and ripped jeans or in a more polished, structured manner for the workday.
3. Neat and (Literally) Buttoned-Up: The Closed Cardigan—The closed cardigan signifies strength, power and confidence, so it’s perfect for the office. Pair it with some neat workwear slacks and you’ve got yourself a slick look that helps you get things done. If you’re afraid that a fully closed cardie may make you look conservative, break expectations with something on the funky end, like a leopard print cardigan.
4. Oversized and Cozy: The Boyfriend Cardigan—It’s definitely one of the hottest sweater trends of the decade and we’re obsessed with it because it’s about as comfy as it gets. The key to wearing an oversized cardigan is to pair it with a more fitted ensemble beneath, like some slimming skinny jeans and a fitted tank top or blouse.
5. Layered and Lovely: The Stacked Cardigan—A cardigan and a jacket? We know this sounds totally radical, but we’re major fans of the double-layer look these days, even when a part of the sweater is sticking out at the waist. As far as we’re concerned, the more layers the better when it comes to the fall transition, so grab a slim, stackable style.
6. Versatile Yet Statement-Making: The Colorblock Cardigan—We think that colorblocking belongs in the classic category, right alongside dots, stripes and florals.
7. Select a black and white colorblock cardigan if you’re really looking for a style that goes with virtually everything you own, but don’t be afraid to experiment with bright colors, either. There’s a colorblocked cardie out there for every personality.
8. Tailored and Stylish: The Short Cardigan—Extra length is everything in terms of today’s cardigan trends, but that doesn’t mean that waist-length cardies look out of style. In fact, they appear to be coming back with a vengeance because they pair perfectly with high-waisted items and play well into the all-cropped-everything trend. But unlike the crop-top cardie, the waist-length cardie is appropriate for professional outfitting.
9. Casual Yet Put-Together: The Waterfall Cardigan—This supremely trendy sweater silhouette is marked by its open-front style that usually features flaps or folds that cascade down the front of the garment like a waterfall. The result is an outfit topper that creates the appearance of casual comfort mixed with total trendiness, making it perfect for so many fall activities. Pair yours with some knee-high boots for a fully fall look.
10. Preppy and Classic: The Button-Front V-Neck Cardigan—Think: prep school chic. This look is a bit academic and a bit playful, making it an all-around winner for tons of looks. To give the timeless preppy cardigan a modern-day upgrade, opt for a style in an oversized fit, with roomier arms and chunky pockets.
11. Sporty and Cool: The Hooded Cardigan—With athleisure and streetwear dominating basically every corner of fashion, we’ve seen tons of hooded sweaters popping onto the scene, and we are not mad about it. Quite the contrary, actually! This hot style gives the traditionally preppy or conservative garment a bit of a sporty edge and is great for casual days.
Other Fun Ways to Rock This Top
There’s no limit to ways you can style this classic cold-weather garment. Toss it on over dresses, pencil skirts, jumpsuits, rompers or graphic tees and be mesmerized by how at home it looks in every single situation. Because of its endless layerability, the cardigan is a fundamental when it starts to get cold outside. Layer it with tank tops, long-sleeved shirts and even jackets for a practical yet posh approach to dressing for the cold.
Disclaimer: This article was written by a guest author.