I've taken a long break from cardis, only to discover that they don't fit my style anymore. I've been dying for a burgundy topper and when I grabbed a basic high-neck cardigan in this colour, once my absolute staple, I was overjoyed. For about 25 seconds. I can't believe how frumpy I felt wearing it!
It seems like it's time to kiss cardis goodbye for now, but I need a topper of some kind to layer over my short sleeved tops in the autumn. I've bought many great ones this season and it would be such a waste to wear them under pullovers and leave hanging in the wardrobe. So I have two questions, actually: what other types of toppers (except moto jackets and blazers, 'cause they tend to make me feel uncomfortably hot) could I be looking for and are there any cardi styles that feel crisp and modern? I've kept one I got at Mango - textured and open-front in sort of washed navy (found a photo in different colour), and it doesn't give off the frumpy vibe. I can't quite tell why, though.

Visual aids much appreciated!

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