I love the look and feel of voluminous Summer cardigans. They are loose, cotton-rich, lightweight and extremely comfortable. They are a great little cover-up to have on hand in air-conditioned settings or when it gets chilly at night.

I was sold a few seasons ago when I purchased one in dove grey. It’s become the most used cardigan in my wardrobe because it adds the perfect level of interesting textural interest to an outfit.

Cascading cardigans look super over form fitting AND voluminous tops. They also look fab over structured sheath dresses. The key to wearing this silhouette is to keep your bottoms fitted and structured. Clamdiggers, walk shorts, pencil skirts, skinnies, straight-legs and boot cut pants or jeans work beautifully. But A-line skirts and wide-legged pants won’t work as well. Too much volume in one outfit just isn’t flattering. If you’re petite, keep the length a little shorter to elongate your look. If you’re tall, go as long as just above the knee.

This style of cardigan makes a nice change to the classic fitted cropped variety. It does wonders to camouflage extra bits that we carry around the midsection. It’s also the perfect item to grab on days when you don’t want to define your waistline (a look I’m gravitating towards more frequently just because it’s different). Don’t be afraid of volume – give the cascading cardigan a try if you see one in stores.

Caslon® Open Front CardiganiconAbsolutely Cotton Pointelle Open CardiganiconLush Half Sleeve CardiganiconTarnish Front Tie CardiganiconOne A Open Front Slub Cardiganiconlong-sleeve-open-cardigan

Some cascading cardigans are more structured than others. A style with slack waistline gathering (like the cobalt and fuchsia examples in the middle) are instantly flattering. Styles that are cut a little narrower but sans gathering on the waist (like the emerald and purple examples on the right) are also good. Completely unstructured styles (like the coral and periwinkle blue on the left) also have their place. Start experimenting and let forum member Laura inspire you with her killer cascading cardigan ensemble, complete with white jeans and gladiators.