Before the cardigans we know and love today were in style, there was a time when the garment was only worn in the realm of lawn bowls and bingo. However, in recent seasons this comfy button-up has become a mainstream fashion staple. The cosiest outerwear piece has a newfound relevance thanks to its layering prowess, easy-wearing appeal and versatility. In this article, we’re sharing our top tips for how to style a cardigan, what to wear with it and how to layer one, so that you can create elegant and incredibly warm outfits all season long.
History of the Cardigan
The cardigan was originally named after James Brudenell, the 7th Earl of Cardigan and a major general in the Crimean War. The cardigan was modelled after the knitted wool waistcoat worn by the British Officers during the 1850s conflict. Coco Chanel is often credited for popularising the cardigan because she hated how tight-necked men's sweaters messed up her hair when she pulled them over her head. During the 1950s, women’s fashion was at a turning point. With Chanel’s influence on fashion and the women’s liberation movements during the 50s and 60s, cardigans became an easy layering piece that didn’t restrict the wearer’s movements.
During the 90s and into the early 2000s, cardigans were once again brought into the limelight and worn by several women’s political activist groups. Nowadays, cardigans are much less a political statement but rather a way for women to express their individuality.
How to Style a Cardigan?
When styling a cardigan with your Melbourne-inspired outfit, there are a few aspects to consider to make your look unique and flow seamlessly.
1. Add Texture
Adding texture is an easy way to break up your look and provide a sense of depth. A chunky or cable knit sweater layered underneath a cardigan is the perfect way to add a textural element to your outfit. Pair your chunky knit and cardigan with a leather belt and skirt to elevate your look while allowing the unique stitches to take centre stage.
2. Cashmere Layering
The benefits of cashmere are many, and this is no different when it comes to cardigans. Soft and breathable, layering your cardigan over a cashmere knit, in Melbourne and Sydney weather, will create an easy-to-wear outfit that will keep you warm without overheating. Complete your look with waxed leggings and sneakers for a more casual ensemble or a long skirt and boots for an extra chilly day.
2. The Perfect Smart-Casual Piece
A cardigan can instantly elevate the look of your outfit and is the perfect outerwear piece to take your look from casual to smart-casual. Pair our Fringe Cardigan over a basic tee and waxed leggings for a smart-casual outfit sure to impress. If the occasion calls for something more formal, layer over a white shirt and add a heel or ankle boot.
4. Keep it Monochrome
If you love a simple and minimalist look, an outfit that sticks to a monochromatic theme is sure to leave a classic and timeless impression. Consider co-ord sets when choosing your cardigan for a more modern aesthetic. Add a contrasting clutch or belt to your cardigan and jumper set to complete your look. For cooler days, adding a long cardigan in a similar colour to your outfit brings the comfort level up a notch without compromising on style.
4. Day to Night Wear
Heading out after work? The cardigan is a great option to take your look from day to night in an instant. Opt for a longline cardigan in a darker shade, combine with boots and a wool coat for the perfect office to evening seamless transition. Remember, if the cardigan is slouchy, keep the layers underneath more form-fitting to flatter your shape and reduce any bulk.
A cardigan is one of those pieces that provides an endless amount of styling versatility, and with the tips above, you can create stunning cardigan-inspired outfits that will look stylish and comfortable all day long. Discover the wide selection of women’s cardigans and Australian-made clothing from Cable Melbourne to add to your wardrobe collection now.