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Item of the week: the cardigan

By Léana Esch



United Colors of Benetton (left); Karl Lagerfeld (middle); Molly Bracken (right)

What it is:

We’ve seen the cardigan slink down the runway the past few seasons, whether it’s as a lightweight layer in the spring and summer collections or as a chunky knit style for the colder months. It was popularised first by Coco Chanel in the 1920s in women’s wardrobes and the trend grew bigger for men with the college culture of the Roaring Twenties and early 1930s. It’s now a staple that’s revisited each season by brands and retailers, whether it be with floral embroideries, faux fur trims or lace embellishments. When it comes to its style, it comes in an array of shapes, from oversized or cropped to extra-long or fitted.

Karl Lagerfeld

Why you’ll want it:

The first chilly autumn days will call for the cardigan - an easy layer you can add on just about everything. Layered over a lace cami, it’ll look both chic and polished for a date night, but you can also pair it with a sleek turtleneck or smart button-down. The cardigan is versatile, practical and adds an elegant touch to a neutral or all-black outfit and that’s what we love about it. Chosen lightweight with a fine gauge, your customer can easily carry it in a tote while a chunkier option is ideal to keep warm on the coldest days. The infinite styles it comes in make for a statement one never tires of.

Molly Bracken

Where we’ve seen it:

At Altuzarra, the cardigan was grazing the floor in a pared-back, nipped-in black style that’s timeless and elegant and would look good with a crisp white shirt or billowy blouse. Frederick Anderson’s version was all about femininity with puff sleeves and cropped in an olive-green colour. Brandon Maxwell showcased a mini version of the cardigan with a pink one tied at the collar and worn over a strapless dress. At Antonio Marras, we’ve seen a refined embroidered cardigan in a deep raspberry shade whereas at Anna Sui, it came as a multicoloured printed version presented with matching shorts.


How to style it:

If you’re looking for a cardigan that’s as elegant as a blazer, look no further than Karl Lagerfeld’s one. It’s trimmed with the brand’s logo and made for a polished look thanks to its more structured style. It’ll look good with a black-and-white look and a pair of leather trousers. Molly Bracken’s cardigan comes in a classic style that’s ideal to layer and in a yellow-meets-brown shade perfect to sport all autumn long. For a timeless design you can cinch at the waist with a statement belt, Street One’s style is the right option. Selected’s version of the cardigan is a good option to pair with tan knee-high boots and black denim while United Colors of Benetton’s will add a touch of colour to any outfit. Pair it with a matching red or yellow top to make it pop.

Street One

Worn buttoned up on its own or layered, the cardigan offers a practical, comfortable and stylish alternative to blazers and jackets. Whether you offer it extra-long, cropped, with a fuzzy handle or a more structured shape, it’ll come in handy in between seasons while adding some style credentials to your wardrobe, too.

United Colors of Benetton

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Item of the Week