Last updated: August 12, 2021

Our method

13Products analysed

17Hours spent

2Evaluated articles

85User reviews

Welcome to the Wellness Guide. Today we are going to talk about the cardigan, a classic and functional piece that will keep you warm and well-dressed in different daily occasions, whether at work, university or leisure time.

You will find models in different fabrics, shades and patterns. The cardigan is versatile and can be worn as a complement to any piece of your wardrobe. If you want to know more about this garment, read on.




The most important facts

  • The cardigan is a democratic piece of clothing, there are models for men, women, children and the elderly.
  • You can find the elongated cardigan - also called maxi cardigan - in different lengths: Above the knee, at calf or ankle height.
  • The cardigan can be made of cotton, cashmere, knit, wool or synthetic knitwear such as viscose. The piece can be plain, coloured, printed or embroidered.

The Best Cardigan: Our Picks

Buying Guide

Are you looking for a versatile piece of clothing that can be worn at different times of the day or night? Then you need to invest in a cardigan, a timeless piece of clothing worn by men and women of different ages.

You can find many different models of cardigan, from traditional to modern models. In this Buying Guide we'll give you some tips on how to wear the darling of the moment.

 Imagem de uma mulher usando um cardigan.

The cardigan is a versatile piece, ideal for the day to day. (Source: Tamara Bellis/ Unsplash.com)

What is a cardigan?

The cardigan - or cardigan, both spellings are correct - is a style of jacket, made of knit or knitted, with or without buttons and collar, worn by both women and men, usually in mild temperatures, especially in spring and autumn.

Did you know that the cardigan appeared in the 19th century, as part of the military uniform worn by British army officers? The garment paid homage to James Thomas Brudenell, the seventh Earl of Cardigan - hence the inspiration for the name of the garment

However, the piece acquired the characteristics it has today when French fashion designer Coco Chanel developed her own model, in lighter fabric, to offer comfort and practicality, and removed the collars.

The popularisation of the cardigan among women took place between the 1920s and 1930s.

What are the advantages of wearing a cardigan?

The cardigan is a light jacket, which can be cool or warm, depending on the fabric used to make the garment - it is cool when made of cotton or knit and warm if made of wool or cashmere.

The warm models are ideal for autumn and winter days, as they provide warmth without adding bulk to the look. Furthermore, the cardigan can be worn under coats or jackets. Ideal for adding colour and texture to a sober look.

The piece can also replace pashminas or stoles worn with party dresses at weddings or graduations. And you can add more sophistication to the cardigan by adding a brooch.

Because it is lightweight and compact, it is easy to carry in your handbag. You can also tie it around your waist, shoulders or neck. Want to know more advantages of the cardigan? Check out the chart below:

Advantages
  • You can find women's, men's and children's models
  • There are options in different models
  • You can choose between a plain, colored or printed piece
  • It is light and compact, perfect to carry in your bag
  • There are options in knit, cotton, knitting, wool and cashmere
Disadvantages
  • On cold days, the piece is not enough to warm the body

How to wear a cardigan in casual combinations?

The cardigan is a very versatile and simple piece to be worn, both in formal looks (we'll give some tips in the next section) - as in casual and stylish combinations.

The cardigan can be basic and go unnoticed in your look or be the stand out piece - in this case choose a model with fabric, colour and texture.

Although it is common to wear the cardigan with another piece underneath, nothing prevents you from wearing it as a blouse. You can go for a daring fit, leaving one shoulder exposed, or create a neckline by opening a few buttons.

Another option is to wear a set of tank top and cardigan. Not only do the pieces work well together, but they can also be worn separately, multiplying the possibilities of use.

Another option to add charm to your outfit with the cardigan is to finish the look with a belt, either a thin, plain and minimalist belt or a thick belt with a large buckle and a Western style.

Tip: To make the look even more modern, you can tie the belt instead of buckling it. Whatever you choose, a belt helps to emphasize your curves and draw your waist.

If you want a tidy, casual look, wear a long cardigan with a short, fitted dress. You can wear this look on formal or casual occasions. Ideally, the cardigan should be as long as the dress, but you can go a little longer.

Another option is to combine the cardigan with shorts in different lengths. For a charming and tidy look, opt for a conventional length shorts, with a basic blouse and a coloured or printed cardigan.

Imagem de uma mulher usando um cardigan.

Combine the printed cardigan with neutral pieces. (Source: Tamara Bellis/ Unsplash.com)

If you want to bet on a modern look, you can use a long cardigan with a jeans, knit or leather skirt. Put on a pair of heeled sandals and you're all set.

A classic option, but modern and fashionista is to combine the cardigan with leggings or jeans. The ideal is that the trousers are tight, to counterbalance the swing of the cardigan - especially the elongated model.

How to wear the cardigan in formal looks?

You can also wear the cardigan in formal looks, to go to work or to some event. The piece goes well with a women's shirt. And if the temperature rises during the day, you can put it over your shoulders or tie it around your waist.

The cardigan can replace the blazer.

The cardigan also matches tailored pieces and, in some cases, can replace the women's blazer. Tip: To put together work looks, give preference to the conventional cardigan, with length at hip height.

How to wear a masculine cardigan?

Although the cardigan is associated with the feminine wardrobe, the piece is also worn by men. The men's cardigan is a classic, versatile and timeless piece.

When worn open, it works as a casual and relaxed jacket, ideal for days with mild temperatures. On warm days, you can wear it draped over the shoulders.

When closed, it can be worn in formal contexts, such as work environment, family reunion or romantic date. In both cases, the cardigan can replace the men's blazer. This piece also works with a shirt and tie.

Imagem de um casal abraçado.

In some cases, the cardigan replaces the blazer. (Source: Rawpixel/ 123RF.com)

On winter days, you can add layers to your outfit. The cardigan can be worn under a blazer or a jacket, or on top of a jumper.

What are the different cardigan styles?

The short cardigan has a traditional pattern and is ideal for formal looks. Tip: Chanel cardigan, a model characterized by having a different colour than the standard on the sleeves, collar and edges of the piece (in the button and pocket areas).

The maxi cardigan is an elongated model and comes in different lengths - it may reach the knees, calves or shins. The piece is cozy, comfortable and with movement. Being open, it helps to lengthen the silhouette and disguise wide hips.

You can find models made in different fabrics and models, depending on your choice, you can use the piece in formal situations and evening events.

It is worth betting on a maxi cardigan with intense tone or print to compose modern and stripped looks. Are you still in doubt about which is the ideal model for you? Then check out the table below:

Cardigan Maxi Cardigan
Length At hip height Above the knees, at the calves or ankles
Ideal for Formal looks Casual looks
Combine with Tailoring pieces Tight pieces

Buying criteria: how to compare cardigan styles

The cardigan is a very versatile piece, both for its wearability and the variety of models you can find in shops. They come in different textures, fabrics, prints and colours, which can leave many women in doubt about which model to buy.

Thinking about it, we prepared some tips on what details you should analyze and compare at the time of purchase:

We will explain each of these criteria, so that no doubts remain.

Length of the garment

One of the characteristics that differentiate the cardigan models is the length of these pieces. The classic model ends at hip height. You can also find a slightly shorter model - up to the navel - known as a cropped cardigan.

The elongated model, called maxi cardigan or elongated cardigan, is a slightly longer piece, which may cover the buttocks, reach the height of the knees, calves or knees. Pieces with this length are ideal for casual and fashionable combinations.

Imagem de uma mulher usando um cardigan alongado.

The elongated cardigan has length above the knees. (Source: Tamara Bellis/ Unsplash.com)

Size and fit

You can find cardigan models in all sizes: S, S, M, L, LG, XL. Besides the size, it is important to evaluate the fit, because it is not because the cardigan is a comfortable piece with a loose fit, that the garment should be loose, with excess fabric.

The ideal is that the shoulder seams end on top of them. If they "fall" into your arms, it means that the piece is too wide. The hem should cover the waist, but not the pockets of the trousers (in the case of the traditional model).

The cardigan helps disguise chubby arms and lengthen the silhouette when worn open (or when it has a V-neck). These features make the cardigan one of the favorite pieces of clothing for men and women who wear large sizes.

Fabric

Another feature that changes between the different cardigan models is the fabric the piece is made of. The models most commonly used in everyday life are made of ribbed knit, viscose or cotton.

For days with low temperatures, in spring or autumn, go for knitwear. Wool and cashmere garments are only recommended for winter, as they get very warm.

Imagem de uma mulher na praia.

Knitting, wool or cashmere garments are ideal for the colder seasons. (Source: Tamara Bellis/ Unsplash.com)

Plain, coloured or printed

You can find plain, coloured or printed cardigan models. The plain models can be in neutral and sober colours like black, nude, gray and navy blue. But there are also options in vibrant colours. The key is to create a balance between the cardigan and the other pieces.

For example, if you are dressed in neutral colours, you can bet on a cardigan in a vibrant colour. If your look is composed of coloured pieces or mix of prints, balance it with a plain and dark cardigan.

The colour of the cardigan can enhance your skin tone.

Wearing a coloured cardigan will take any look off the beaten track, even more so if the colour chosen enhances your skin tone. Tip: Make a personal colouring analysis to be more assertive when choosing pieces with shades that enhance your beauty.

You can also find printed cardigans: floral, striped, polka dots, animal prints or ethnic patterns. A printed pattern adds a touch of style to basic everyday outfits, especially on those days when you're running out of creativity.

Tip: Give preference to printed models with dark backgrounds and discreet designs, so you can make many combinations with the cardigan.

(Image source: Meg B./ Unsplash.com)

Why you can trust me?

Reviews