I was surprised by the popularity of the long cozy cardigan among my clients at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. Cardigans are popular, but I didn’t think they would be THE hot ticket and far more popular than jackets and coats. My clients vary in height, age, style persona, lifestyle and body type, so it was simply a question of finding the silhouettes that were best suited to each of them. Petites can absolutely wear long, dramatic cardigans if there is sufficient structure in the garment, or if they purchase a petite length.
Here are some reasons why I think they are so popular.
Extreme Cozy Comfort
The soft and stretchy comfort of a cardigan as a layering piece cannot be beat. It beats the softest of knit jackets hands down. It’s an especially comfortable topper choice for driving or working at a computer all day. As cozy as your favourite pajamas, and a step up from sweats. Some cardigans are sufficiently thick and warm to wear as a coat, especially when in mild Winter weather.
Better Suited to a Casual Lifestyle
Cardigans look more casual than most casual jackets because they are softer and less structured. That’s a good thing if you prefer to look ultra casual as a stay-at-home-Mum, gal on the go, or someone who works from home. At home, a cardigan tends to feel more appropriate than a jacket, especially when you’re wearing slippers or house shoes. Good over regular length tops or tunics.
Easier to fit a Large Bust & Broad Shoulder Line
Cardigans are more forgiving over a larger bust and soften a broad shoulder line because the knitted fabric stretches more easily over those parts of the body. Soft fabric is also less bulky than a stiff jacket. Jackets can be harder to fit, add bulk, and often feel too constricting over the bust and shoulders.
Longer Length is Camouflaging
Long cardigans are a great topper to wear over tight bottoms like skinnies and leggings when you’re self-conscious about exposing your midsection and thighs. Long jackets are harder to fit because they don’t mould to the body or drape the same way a knitted cardigan does.
Relaxed Business Casual
Dressy long cardigans do a good job of relaxing a business casual wardrobe when you’re not in the mood for a jacket, or you simply want to change things up. A few of my business casual clients fell in love with this combination, which pairs a dressy cardigan with a matching camisole for a twinset effect. Fab over streamlined wool trousers or a pencil skirt. Adding a pair of trousers in the same colour creates a marvelously understated, chic effect, and provides the perfect backdrop for statement jewellery.
Easy Outfit Drama
Long cardigans create instant outfit drama because of their length and drape. They are especially dramatic when they are voluminous, asymmetrical, cascading, fringed, or boldly patterned. My favourite combination on one of my petite clients who has auburn hair and green eyes was a very sour olive cardigan with a matching dress, which she wore as a tunic over leggings or Ponte pants. The tonal twinset effect looked fresh and modern.
Easy to Carry and Layer
And last, long cardigans are an easy layer to pull on and off if your inner thermostat varies a lot during the day. They are easier than most jackets to carry in a bag, and slide on and off tops more easily too. They layer well over sheath dresses, and are also easier than a structured jacket to layer under a puffer coat.
The long cozy cardigan is as fashionable as it is practical, cozy, comfortable, casual, camouflaging and dramatic. It’s no wonder that the trend is unstoppable. Who else bats for Team long and cozy cardigan for Fall and Winter?