Cardigans are traditionally layering pieces that we use for warmth or for covering up. Fashion items come and go, but cardigans have been in our closets for a long time and are not going anywhere anytime soon.
According to Wikipedia:
“The cardigan was named after James Brudenell, 7th Earl of Cardigan, a British Army Major General who led the Charge of the Light Brigade at the Battle of Balaclava during the Crimean War. It is modelled after the knitted wool waistcoat that British officers supposedly wore during the war. The legend of the event and the fame that Lord Cardigan achieved after the war led to the rise of the garment’s popularity – supposedly, Brudenell invented the cardigan after noticing that the tails of his coat had accidentally been burnt off in a fireplace.”
Fashion designers like Coco Chanel took the clothing item and brought it to runways and into fashionable women’s closets and the rest is history.
Cardigans can be dressed up or down depending on how they are worn and accessorized. Michelle Obama wore an elegant short cardigan with pearls when she met Queen Elizabeth. It actually had a lot of people talking and the topic became “sweatergate.” If someone knows how to wear a cardigan, it’s Mrs. Obama!
Here at Sixty & Me we love our cardigans. They are in most of our closets as a staple piece and are often part of our capsule wardrobe.
Personally, I tend to shy away from the brightly printed cardigans, unless that will be my signature piece of clothing in my outfit. Cardigans should complement your outfit rather than overpower it.
Brands and retailers are now offering cardigans in all shapes, fabrics, and colors, and the selections go from super trendy to more traditional looking.
Cardigans can be button-down or open front, long or short, bulky or flowy. They are often made with cashmere, merino wool, cotton blends, synthetic blends, or even linen.
Here I’ve shopped around for some of the best cardigans for older women and have put together a list of various styles, fabrics, and price points.
I love this elegant cardigan in a cotton/modal blend with three-quarter sleeves from Talbots. It’s the perfect cardigan to wear over a sleeveless dress or with your favorite T-shirt and jeans. Gives a very classic Chanel look. Also offered in Plus Size.
I couldn’t resist this beautiful floral print. Wear a simple solid-colored cami underneath in order to keep the attention on the cardigan – because this one demands it.
If you love the comfort of classic cable-knit sweaters in the winter, this one is a wonderful option. It is a synthetic blend that provides coziness and warmth – sure to get you through those chilly evenings.
The classic hip-length, cotton blend cardigan with contrast tipping detail from Talbots easily made my list because of its timeless and stylish features.
Many women are fans of stripes, and a striped cardigan is always a good idea. This open-front style from Talbots has a dropped shoulder and I love the natural color combo – Ivory/Sand Castle.
This chic, open front, golden cardigan is the perfect layer to add a little sparkle to your day or night. Button snap detailing at the sleeve and large pockets give it some extra style and interest.
Anne Klein designs collections with the mature woman in mind. This blush-colored pocketed cardigan caught my eye for its classic and elegant look.
Cardigans have come a long way and have become more stylish over the years. This long cascade front open cardigan from Macy’s looks great on all body types.
This mid-length open-front cardigan at Macy’s has a ribbed hem for added texture. The synthetic blend cardigan is offered in several different colors.
If you’re aiming for a nice, casual look, this shawl-collar, open-front, ribbed cardigan provides exactly that. Offered in soft pink, it is versatile and pairs well with jeans.
A twist on a classic. I like the D-ring tie on this soft cashmere cardigan that adds just enough interest. The style is great if you have a small waist and want to show it.
This super-soft pointelle textured cardigan with pockets is the perfect layer to finish your casual look.
Zip-up cardigans are perfect if you have mobility issues in your hands, like arthritis for example. Buttons may have become difficult to manage and zippers make life easier. This cardigan has a small cable knit design that I love, and it comes in several colors.
Go in style with this chic ombré cardigan. Wear it open or use a belt to accentuate your waist – either way looks great.
This is the classic take on the cardigan. The style pairs great with everything from linen shorts to skirts and jeans – the options are endless. It’s made of lightweight knit fabric and sports ¾ sleeves.
Which cardigan style is your favorite? Do you have a particular style or fabric that you prefer? Tell us in the comments below. Share your favorite cardigan style with the community.