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Cardigans

Cardigans are not just for old people. The perfect stylish solution for when it’s too hot for a jumper but too cold to go without, cardigans bring a touch of individuality to any outfit.

The basics

A cardigan is not a jacket or a jumper, but it serves a similar purpose and looks better to boot. Cardigans are different from jackets in that they lack lapels, and are made from less heavy material; and different from sweaters because they open at the front.

Cardigan!

Most cardigans have a V shaped neck leading into buttons. A plunging V neck is a modern take on the humble cardigan, and has the added advantage of revealing the stylish outfit beneath. Cardigans tend to be quite plain and in muted colors, but the more interesting ones have stand-out buttons and vertical stripes along where it buttons up. Patterned cardigans are a bold style statement that should only be attempted when the rest of your outfit is comparatively plain.

Don’t look like an old man

Old people adore cardigans- but you’re not exactly going for the geriatric look. There are quirks to how old men wear cardigans, which you can avoid. Often old people have ill-fitting cardigans which are stretched over their characteristic pot bellies. A cardigan should be slightly loose, and should not be overstretched in any one area. If you notice that your stomach bulges noticeably under your cardigan, try a bigger size or wearing less buttons done up.

The material can also be a giveaway that you’ve escaped from the nursing home. Thick wool, especially if it is in a herringbone knit, is to be avoided if you want to look under seventy.

Buttoned or unbuttoned?

Buttoning up your cardigan or leaving it loose completely changes your outfit. Buttoned up gives a streamlined look, while wearing it unbuttoned is a more relaxed take. A happy medium is wearing the bottom few buttons done up, which works particularly well with deep V-neck cardigans.

The other option when it comes to cardigans is a zip. More casual than a cardigan with buttons, zippered cardigans are also far less stylish. I think if you’re going to wear a cardigan, do it in style and opt for one with buttons.

What to wear it with

A shirt underneath your cardigan is the most fashionable option. It doesn’t matter whether it is short sleeved or long, as your cardigan sleeves will hide it. Only go with a patterned shirt if your cardigan is plain.

Cardigans were just made to be worn with jeans, whether your jeans of choice are classic blue, black or even colored. Slim fitting jeans are best, to balance out the bulk that layering adds to your top half.

As with all garments which were once daggy, the idea is to look like you have a sense of style and know what you’re doing. Cardigan wearers can very easily look like they just threw their outfit together in the dark, if attention isn’t paid to the rest of the outfit. Attire which is too casual, such as T-shirts, track pants or runners, looks terrible when paired with a snazzy cardigan.

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About Natasha Abrahams Natasha Abrahams is a writer and journalism student from Melbourne, Australia. When she is not busy with being a principal writer on Weekendnotes or skipping lectures, she can be found emptying her wallet at the nearest shopping centre. You can read more from Natasha at: http://mensstyleandfashion.com/

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