In the fashion sphere, cardigans have about as much sex appeal as tights, their main draw being function and comfort over aesthetics. Like the Birkenstock before them though, cardis are having their moment; they were seen on the SS19 catwalks from Alexander Wang to Loewe, Marc Jacobs to Versace.
The fear with the cardigan is that it can veer into dowdy territory for anyone with boobs, so until now it's remained a favourite of grandpas rather than a fixture in the wardrobes of fashion-focused women. However, the '00s revival has seen an upswing of throwback cropped cardigans, while designers have offered a host of slouchy fits that work as well with midi dresses as slogan tees and jeans.
A great alternative to fisherman's jumpers and athleisure hoodies, it looks like the cardigan is here to stay, especially as a transitional staple between seasons. Here's how I styled three cardigans, from cute and cropped to oversized and cosy.
Cute & Cropped
As soon as I tried on this pink number from cashmere specialist Barrie, I fell in love. It's very expensive, so I'll be looking for vintage replicas of the shape and colour, but everything from the pink button details to the cut, which finishes just above these high-waisted Topshop jeans, is pitch perfect. I added some Whistles snakeskin pumps and a pearl barrette, and voilà, a sweet take on the cardigan.
Grandad's Best Knit
Matches Fashion's own brand Raey has garnered love for its minimalist aesthetic – think ribbed cashmere and silk midi skirts – and this cardigan is the new-season gem in the label's crown. Here, I paired it with a knit from Topshop and snake print midi from Warehouse, plus ankle boots from ASOS, but it's unbelievably soft and comfortable, so I'd wear it all the time: with jeans and a rust rollneck, with a floral midi dress and hiking boots, with flares and a '70s shirt...you name it. My point is, a versatile piece will go the distance in your wardrobe and this cardi fits the bill.
From 10 Things I Hate About You to every onscreen Olsen twins appearance, cardigans were a '00s favourite – specifically tight, cropped, scoop-necked cardigans. Thanks to designers bringing back a host of '00s trends, this style was seen at Ashley Williams, Chanel and Molly Goddard. This Balenciaga number taps into the logomania trend, and the electric blue hue just needs black separates plus some clashing leopard print heels. So fetch.