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 striped cardigan with floral print detail. Wear a simple white cami underneath in order to keep the attention on the cardigan.
This classic length houndstooth cardigan is made of cotton, nylon, and rayon for everyday comfort. It is also offered in several color options.
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 long rayon/polyester cardigan found at Macy’s is offered in several bright and fun colors.
This Chanel-inspired cardigan from Anne Klein features a bold stripe trim along the edge and pockets.
Cardigans have come a long way and have become more stylish over the years. This open-front cardigan from Macy’s looks great on all body types.
The three-quarter sleeves on this open neck cardigan feature a chic pleated design. Because it is made from a soft, lightweight yarn fabric it drapes perfectly. It can be found at Chico’s.
This plus-size cardigan from Lane Bryant is tunic length and is perfect for added coverage with skinny jeans or leggings.
This pretty plus-sized crochet cardigan with lace detail can be found at Avenue.
This comfortable casual lightweight bouclé yarn cocoon cardigan keeps you cozy around the house or out about town.
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.
This pretty and colorful cardigan is woven in a light cotton-mix fabric. Find it at Chico’s.
This lightweight plus-size floral open-front cardigan can be found at Targets. Perfect to dress up or dress down depending on the occasion.
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.