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How to wear the cardigan?

I agree with some of you here, “cardigan” does not sound like the most exciting piece of clothing in the wardrobe.

But it is a fashionable way to be warm while remaining stylish.

Because it covers the shoulder, back and arms while revealing the layers underneath.

1. How to choose them?

Just like a sweater/jumper cardigans come in all kinds of fabrics.

From fluffy angora knits to super thind cashmere and silk blend.

Choose them according to the weather and what you are wearing underneath (a thin fabric may reveal the wrinkles for instance).

Good news: whereas chunky sweaters/jumpers look bulky on women who are chubby or muscular on the upper body, cardigans suit all bodytypes no matter what their thickness is. Even best: they are very flattering.

This is because they create vertical slimming lines on the upper body.

For most people the perfect lenght is mid hips or just under the bum. Shorter may make you look square if the cardigan is large. Longer is nice, but more flattering if you are not too petite/short.

If you have more belly than hips, cardigan is the perfect item to blur this zone.

2. How to wear them?

A. The short (and thin) cardigan

Almost always made of a thin fabric, this one looks very well-behaved.

They are exception to what I said just above because they suit overall thin women best (the fabric would stretch on girls with curvy arms/ chest and the thin upper part would contrast with the width of the hips for girls with larger bottoms).

I like to wear them with nothing underneath, like a sweater/jumper in other words.

You can also wear them open on a top (make sure it doesn’t bulk).

But be careful, this type of cardigan may look grannyish because they are not cool . Therefore,  make sure to wear them with modern outfits that have the right amount of loose.

I also do not personally like this sub blogger trend of belting them. Too classic and often not well executed as the cardigan is too tight and makes the belt look useless. (Sometimes it can work… but not often).

Eleonore bridge gilet fin

Eleonore Bridge looking super cute with a thin and rather short cardigan. The trick of rolling the shirt’s sleeves over the cardigan makes the outfit look cool. (Ok she is showing the upper line of her tights, but hey, a little imperfection can happen). You could replace the jean shorts with cigarette pants or a mid tights skirt to make this look office proof.

B. The mid-lenght to long cardigan

Goes from hips lenght to mid-tights lenght. From thin to very chunky. In between is a good choice if you hesitate.

This cardigan flatters every silhouette. If you are short, choose them maximum mid tights.

I think the best way is to wear them opened over the clothes as a cool and warm layer. If you are curvy on top, open is the best option.

You can also close just a button or two.

Anyways lots of cardigans do not even have buttons ^^

They always look nice worn with tight bottoms to equilibrate the silhouette. No matter what your bodytype is.

enfin moi nathalie cardigan

Enfin moi, a Bordeaux based colleague

Shiny green cardigan

Marion, one of my clients was sweet to send me a pic of her looking great in her shiny green cardigan.

Sincerely jules

Sincerely Jules with a mini skirt. 

Cardigan and skirt

Mini skirt in autumn (ok she lives in blogger autumn wonderland – where people never catch a cold – with that T-shirt layer, but still, you can do this with someting warmer instead or add a  scarf. Btw speaking of wonderbloggerland. I am trying to show a bit of myself on social medias. Getting in the game you know … Anyway, to take this picture of myself sunday I gave my trench and big black scarf to one of my friend while the other was shooting me on our third friend’s very photogenic motorbike. I feel I understand bloggers better now ^^)

cardigan styling dutchman

The styling dutchman. Bare legs enter the “tight bottom” category, even when the dress is flowy. Because you get the contrast effect.

Thin or/and tall ladies can also try the risky flowy on flowy boho looking combo. (I said or, meaning a curvy and tall girl can pull it out successfully!).

inside closet Elisabeth cardigan

Elisabeth on Inside closet. The print mix is also amazing.

Lots of the above pictures show the cardigan without layer (remember: bloggers wonderland). But in real life, you can of course add a coat on top of your cardigan which is on top of your shirt.

Cardigan layering the mam s show

The mam’s show

Or wear a sweater/jumper underneath.

layer sweater with cardigan

Or add a scarf


Maddinka, looking cute . (She was one of my favorite bloggers and passed away this summer. First I was not sure if I should post this. And then I thought that was her job and that is what I loved her for. So I included her outfit in the post).

If you go for a mid lenght to long cardigan and have a defined waist, you can belt it to add structure while keeping you warm.

Maja wih cardigan

Maja Wyh

3. Play with the cardigan

The main advantage of the cardigan is that it shows the layer underneath while half hidding it.

Time to try on fun things here.


A printed T-shirt like Typhaine

cardigan doudou inside closet Leslie Lyon

A flower print by Leslie on Inside closet

Eleonore bridge gilet grosse maille

Marin print with moutarde on Eléonore bridge (and eggplant and red: just like me she is not that much into the no more than three colors rule).

mes demoiselles caridgan

Statement necklace by Les demoizelles (and a bubbly color mix!)

eleonore bridge pin gilet 2

Add a brooch like Eleonore Bridge

And you? How do you wear you cardigan?

Bises de Paris,


Cover collage: Eleonore Bridge and Les demoizelles aka cardigan queens

12 Responses to “How to wear the cardigan?”
  1. Kasia says:

    An interesing way to wear a cardigan is wearing the buttons on the back. Works with some V-neck woolen cardis that I have 🙂 But the buttons must be good quality.

  2. Irina says:

    Thank you for the informative post!

  3. Vivian says:

    J’adore votre blog!! Vos conseils sont super, ils m’aident beaucoup. J’aime ce post sur les cardigans, en fait j’en ai acheté quelques-uns tout récemment, de la collaboration entre Uniqlo et Lemaire. Vous avez vu cette collection? J’aime toutes les pièces.

    Vivian (Montreal via Tokyo) xx

  4. susanna says:

    What about this one and this ?
    Do you think they work?
    Thanks for your opinion!

    • Aloïs Guinut says:

      Yes because the belt actually IS useful there. In the first pic the cardigan is slightly loose and it the second pic, the waist would not be defined if she was not using the belt. So good examples of ladies making it work ^^ Although both outfits looks too classic/ polished for my own taste 🙂

  5. Hello, longtime reader here. I really really love your blog and the solid advice that you give!
    Personally I have a hard time finding shorter cardigans that I like, because the buttons are usually wrong. I can’t explain how, but they can make a really nice cardigan look dowdy.

  6. Ariana says:

    I just love your writing style, your explanations, and your reasoning on everything. I especially don’t like belted cardigans either… I’m so excited when you post something new! Thank you for sharing this stuff 🙂

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