Cardigans are a wardrobe staple for me. Mostly because I bought a ridiculous number of sleeveless blouses during my first few years out of college, thinking I’d be the uber professional person who wears jackets all the time. Since most of my jackets go unworn, I need something else to cover my arms and prevent me from freezing in the office. Enter cardigans.
Finding the perfect cardigan is hard. Years and years ago, I bought four or five of the exact same cardigan — in different colors — from Ann Taylor. At the time, I thought they fit me really well, and they were on sale, so I bought one in nearly every color. I also stupidly bought a bunch of dry-clean-only cardigans from a different store. I sweat a lot, so I basically got one wear out of each cardigan before needing to take it to the cleaners. Stupid! I’ve gotten smarter about the cleaning instructions for all my clothes. Conveniently, I also don’t sweat as much. So there’s that.
I bought a few of the Eversoft boyfriend cardigans from Gap a few years ago. They were nearly perfect — great length, really soft, non-dry-clean. Unfortunately I wore them ALL THE TIME, so the color has started to fade, especially on the black one. I have a couple black cardigans I bought from Target five or six years ago that I love, but they were clearance purchases. The store hasn’t brought back either of those styles, so I must have been the only person who loved them.
A few weeks ago, I decided I wanted to try wearing flared jeans again. I went to a bunch of stores, which meant I looked at things other than jeans at a bunch of stores too. While in Express, I tried on a few cardigans and loved all of them. In the end, I settled on this ribbed cascading-front cardigan. I bought it in black (below) and white.
The length is perfect — it easily covers my bum if I were wearing leggings. It’s not at all clingy, which is a plus in my book. The arms look tight, and they are, but there is plenty of give — I’m able to wear these cardigans over long-sleeve button down shirts. If you wanted to make it slightly more form-fitting through the body, you could easily belt it.
I was also lucky enough to find a black cardigan that is identical to this oatmeal cardigan I wore here.
I love the oatmeal one and had been kicking myself for not getting it in black. I was able to pick it up for less than $15. I had a coupon on top of that, so it was even cheaper! It’s so cozy and comfortable, yet it’s also lightweight so it’s not too warm. I wore it with an Old Navy t-shirt dress a couple weeks ago — it was perfect.
Speaking of Old Navy, I have quite a few cardigans from there as well. Most of them are boyfriend style, meaning they’re really long and not clingy. I bought several on clearance a few years ago in a variety of colors. I’ve worn all of them (yay!), but I don’t wear them often (I wore the cobalt blue one to a wedding I attended in February). There are very few shirts that work well with them — the shirts have to be really long and relatively shapeless. That sounds cute, I’m sure. To balance out the proportions, they almost always have to be worn with skinny jeans or pants. They work well with some dresses, as long as they’re belted. They aren’t the worst things I’ve ever purchased, but also not the greatest.