Ladies cardigans; even the phrase makes one think of a rather mumsy look—twinsets and pearls, knitted Christmas presents from ageing aunts that get consigned straight to the charity shop. Yet we all wear them. They're an essential part of most women's wardrobes, giving that extra bit of warmth on chilly days, either under a coat or jacket or worn on their own when the sun gets a bit higher in the sky. Truthfully, what would we do without a warm cardie or two?
So how do you avoid looking a bit worn and tired in your cardigan? The trick is to have a selection of them, closely matched to the kind of outfits you wear so that they don't look as though you've just thrown any old thing on at the last moment.
For example, if you are into 50s-style clothing, such as circle skirts and Capri-pants, pair them with a round-necked, small-buttoned short cardigan (think 50s smart set American women) or, if you're after a more casual look, a high-school style zipped jacket. If you favour the 80s, try the longer length cardigans for women that were popular at the time. You can even add shoulder pads for a truly 80s power dressed look, even without the formal edge of a business jacket. If you're a jeans and T-shirt kind of girl, a sloppy Joe cardigan fits the bill nicely, but your high-school zipped jacket will also work, especially if you're wearing sneakers or basketball boots, or similar.
As you can see, if you pick your cardigans carefully, you don't have to have one for every single outfit. Go for ladies cardigans in colours that will work with more than one, and keep the style simple if you're looking for versatility. White and black, of course, go with almost anything, as does grey.
On the other hand, there are so many fabulous cardigans for women available these days that you could make the cardigan the key piece of your outfit, wearing simple clothes underneath and bringing out the cardigan's features by accessorizing it with your handbag, shoes, or even just a hair band or clip.
If your budget is limited, though, one of the most versatile styles of cardigans for women you can find is the ballet wrap. Simple, stylish, and almost impossible to mismatch with an outfit, you could get away with having just two of these, one in black and one in white, and they'll go with everything in your wardrobe. If you get bored, do what the stars do—add a brooch or clip to match your other clothes, and you'll look even more coordinated. And when your much-loved cardigan gets a worn patch, or a pull, or a hole, well, you can always add an appliqué flower or other decoration to cheer it up and cover up the fault. Cardigans for women can actually be the crowning point of an outfit, as long as you choose them carefully.