Cardigan sweaters have been popular as long as I can remember. My mother and all of her friends used to have a white cardigan to slip on as a light jacket. They may have been practical but were not only matronly looking but also all looked alike. As I was growing up, the fashion changed to our buttoning them up for a stand-alone top. Of course, there was a short time we buttoned them up the back just to be different. (That might have just been a fad in Oregon!)
In recent years, businesswomen, embraced the cardigan, paired with a matching shell. Taking the place of a jacket, the cardigan set gave a softer yet professional appearance. In warmer weather, you could button the cardigan and drape it over your back, tying the sleeves in front. This was cooler for our Atlanta summers but gave a more put together look. An added benefit for those with a triangle shape was that the sweater added more substance to the shoulder area shoulders helping balance with the hips. It also added visually to sloping shoulders. Of course, the look did not visually benefit an inverted triangle.
This year the cardigan is more popular than ever with a new twist. Matchy-matchy is no longer in vogue, although I do still see matching cardigans and shells advertised in the higher end department store catalogues. The look this year is a bright colored cardigan, buttoned part way and paired with a shell or blouse underneath. The cardigan is generally more fitted like a blouse and can be found in a full range of colors as well as prints. Some prints are shown paired with a complimentary print shell or blouse. Combining two prints requires some real know-how, as the look can be great or a disaster. Check out some of the lines like Etro, know for combining prints, to look for ideas and then choose two prints only if you really like the combination and feel comfortable wearing it.
Cardigans need not be just the traditional sweater style. This season features boleros, waist-length styles that button, long cardigans, cape effects — the choice is endless. These sweaters are one of the most practical ways to update your wardrobe while adding a piece that is really versatile. And, the best part is that stores are starting their markdowns so you can get a great value while still finding a wide selection.