Are You Cardi-Cautious? Five Ways to Make a Cardigan Work For You

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Some women avoid them like the plague, others embrace what they see as their grandmotherly charm, still more inhabit the vast middle ground of the cardi-cautious. What would it take to convince you of the soft power of the cardigan? Chic women wearing them beautifully with plain white tees, with belts, as coats (long ones, called coatigans), layered over sweaters, but not in a twinsetty way), bigger ladies making a statement with bold patterned cardis-as-coats wrapped around them on a cool day …

Cardigans and The Older Woman: Five ways to make a cardigan work for you

Trinny Woodall says (and we listen) – if you have boobs, belt your cardi. This gives a neat shape over a pencil skirt, trousers or even jeans. A narrow leather belt works best – a wide one will cut you off under your bosom.

If you are petite or flat-chested, make the most of your figure by wearing your cardi a size too small – this looks very chic and emphasises neat shoulders and arms. Bracelet length sleeves are smart – or style the sleeves by pushing up – and add a big cuff or bangle to draw attention to your slim wrists. You lucky cow.

Right now lots of online retailers have summer linen cardigans on sale in pretty pastel colours – in autumn they make a pretty layer under a blazer or tweed jacket. Try massimodutti.com where we bagged a pretty pale blue one recently.

An oversized grey cashmere or lambswool “boyfriend” cardigan looks fabulous with a white tee and white or blue jeans, brown feet and espadrilles – prolong that summer feeling. A button-less longline cardi suits those for whom the buttony nature of cardis is the stumbling block.

As the weather gets colder, wear a calf-length cardigan as a coat. Belt a black one with a wide tan belt. And look out for what are effectively Dressing Gowns in another guise – coatigans in a really good wool mix with stretch which keep their shape and keep you feeling DONE and together but still super-comfortable.

Cropped ribbed alpaca-blend cardigan, €89, at & Other Stories

If you can afford cashmere, it’s hard to beat for warmth and softness. But very cheap cashmere is no better than lambswool or merino – a good lambswool cardi will wash better and last longer.

LOULOU

Camel Tiberine wool cardigan, Loulou, €325, at Costume. 

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ALEXANDER MCQUEEN

Camel engineered-sculpted cashmere-mix cardigan, Alexander McQueen, €1,368, at Brown Thomas

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ZARA

Pearl grey knit cardigan with tie details, €39.95, at Zara

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ARKET

Beige boiled wool wrap cardigan, €99, at Arket

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Trinny Woodall says (and we listen) – if you have boobs, belt your cardi. 

ARKET

Beige boiled wool wrap cardigan, €99, at Arket

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MANGO

Caramel fine knit cardigan, €79.99, at Mango

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COS

Camel long-line merino wool cardigan, €125, at Cos

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MAGEE 1866

Magee Black Beatrice tailored fit cardigan, €119.40, Magee 1866

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