It’s officially fall now, which means that we’ll soon be piling on the layers in the morning to protect ourselves from brisk winds and frost. We will gladly put on our jackets, sweatshirts, hoodies, scarves, blazers and coats but cardigans are something that a lot of people don’t wear. They associate cardigans with the “vintage” ones their grandpas wear or they think about pastels twinsets worn with a single strand of pearls and decide the look definitely isn’t for them. A cardigan may not be as trendy as a fashion sweatshirt, but you should have a few in your fall wardrobe.
Cardigans–or “cardis” as you should start affectionately calling them–enjoyed a brief surge in popularity a few years ago with the rise of the longer boyfriend cardigans. (Remember wearing them with your skinny jeans a slouchy knit beanie?) However, they should be a staple in your wardrobe right now.
If you’re thinking “I don’t like the style of cardigans,” get that thought out of your stubborn head right now because there are so many different styles to choose from. Oversized cardigans aren’t that different from the flowy kimonos you wear to all your summer music festivals. If you like a vintage pin-up look, you can get a cropped, fitted cardigan to wear with your pencil skirts and rompers. For grunge lovers, there are oversized and draped cardis. If you like a glamorous look, there are plenty of embellished or beaded cardigans or ones created out of metallic fabrics. You could even get a shacket. (FYI: That’s sweater jacket.)
Another huge reason you should have at least one cardigan in your wardrobe is that they are the perfect piece to nail trans-seasonal dressing. Your summer dresses can still be worn into the fall when you put a cardigan on top of them. Your t-shirt can look more pulled together when you layer a cardi over top. And unlike sweatshirts and sweaters, you can actually see the clothes you’re wearing underneath them.
Similarly, a cardigan is the piece to have on standby if you are always cold. You can get lightweight ones that keep you warm but not bulky so they can be folded up small enough to fit into your bag. They are also much more polished than wandering around your frigid office with a scarf draped over you. The same goes for wearing your ratty gym hoodie in the office. And did I mention that most cardigans are very comfortable thanks to the knit fabric? They can feel like you’re wrapped in a blanket but they key is you don’t look like you are.
The next time you’re out shopping for fall clothes, make sure you check out the cardigans. They are comfortable, chic, warm and there is one to suit your unique style. And your cardigan will never go out of style the way your high-fashion sweatshirt will. People love those now but in a year or so there will be some new layering piece the fashion pack will be obsessed with. It won’t matter as much to you when you have your cardigans to fall back on.
(Photo: Kristin Sinclair/Getty Images)