Each fall and spring we need to become more imaginative when creating outfits that can cope with cool mornings and warmer days. Clever layering is often the key. Cardigans were born for this time of year and most women have at least one in their closet, but far from being a grab and go item, the cardigan can also be a real outfit transformer.

So in this time, I want to share my favorite ways to upgrade the humble cardigan into something special. 

T + Scarf

Your standard white tee and denim uniform duo is great for casual days. But add a bright hued cardigan, and complement it with a fabulous scarf and your every day instantly elevates to wow. 

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Back to Front

I admit I learned this trick from Gok Wan and it’s been a favorite ever since. It’s such a creative and unexpected way to wear a cardigan. It adds interest to the back of your ensemble and gives you a perfect canvas in the front for a statement necklace. If you have long hair, be sure to wear it in a sleek ponytail or a classy updo to showcase he back. 

How to Style a Cardigan _Back to Front2

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Belted

Cardigans are typically made of knit fabrics which are not usually associated with a tailored look, however, add a belt and the look instantly upgrades to tailored. An added bonus is that a belt helps to create a womanly hourglass silhouette. Accompany this look with sleek footwear and boxy bags.

How To Style A Cardigan_Belt Up22

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Closed

A cardigan buttoned all the way up or worn completely closed/fastened radiates a more formal/serious style sensibility. This is a perfect look for the office, providing a level of seriousness without looking too bulky or too structured. A buttoned-up cardigan can be used as an alternative to a collared shirt and paired with a pencil skirt or tailored pants.

Since a closed cardigan veers more toward simple style, you can jazz up this piece with bold tops and shorts, statement necklaces, scarves or belts. When wearing closed cardigans, it’s advisable to look for cardigans with interesting visual details like faux pockets, contrast piping, or fancy buttons — this will add more sartorial to your look while maintaining the formality.

How To Style A Cardigan _Closed Formality22

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Open

Wearing an open cardigan conveys a relaxed and friendly demeanor and casual chic appearance. Let the fuss-free and approachable vibe of this look lead you towards pieces that express the same aesthetic. Reach for flowing floral printed tunic tops, relaxed fit denim, simple yet chic flats, and feminine pleated skirts.  

How To Style A cardigan _Open2

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Under

The key to making your cardigan (and wardrobe) work for you is looking for ways to expand the possibilities. One way is to do this is to layer it underneath other garments such a pinafore, sleeveless dress or jacket.

How To Style A Cardigan_Under22

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As a Pop of Color

A bright cardigan is all you need to perk up your style, especially in summer. If you’re a woman who loves black and white, you’ll benefit even more from injecting a pop of color into your clothing rotation. Monochromatic is great, but it can get a little ho-hum, and there’s nothing like hot pink to break your streak of strictly neutral dressing. Color is one of the best ways to have fun with fashion!

How To Style A Cardigan_Color Pop22

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Ann Reinten AICI CIP
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