The ever so practical cardigan (button or zip front sweater) is once again a wardrobe must-have this season.
From work to play the cardigan has evolved into a very contemporary staple that has stepped up its design elements eliciting a more youthful and contemporary presence. Forgot those old frumpy stereotypical flashbacks and take a gander at the many new options available this season!
Designers have tapped into a variety of current trends and given cardigans a whole new attitude. From sporty to sophisticated, the cardigan will not only help you transition into fall’s cooler temperatures but could become your favorite go-to piece through the coming months.
Since the cardigan became a popular clothing staple back in the 1850’s the emphasis has been on the warmth. With a more consumer-friendly attitude of “less is more” the cardigan has morphed into a stylish wardrobe essential that can stand in for a blazer, outer jacket, sweatshirt or simply spark up one’s wardrobe and with a nod to this season’s hottest trends.
Androgyny (the combination of both sexes) is a key statement in dressing this season. Colors, fabrics and nuances that were once allocated to specific gender are the foundation of a trend to bucking social conventions. Defying stereotypical ways of dressing has traditionally been reserved for the younger set but this season it has become an age-defying option due to more open minded attitudes.
The twin set (matching shell and cardigan) that is a mainstay of women’s wear has now evolved into a viable and user-friendly option in men’s wear. Finely knitted and sleek combo’s that hug and enhance one’s natural attributes show off all that hard-earned gym time with a sophisticated and downplayed approach. These pieces can also be worn apart, expanding one’s wardrobing possibilities.
Turtle necks (another hot item back with a vengeance), crew- and V-neck pullovers can be worn under other items as well or on their own. A “twin set” can run the gamut from preppy, grungy, sporty, techno, arty, rural and even sport big city influences. It just takes a little thought on deciding what other pieces to team them up with and of course the image you wish to convey.
Knitting techniques and yarns that depict a “fluffy” and/or somewhat feminine demeanor are also revisited in men’s wear this season. Angora, Velour, Mohair and other lightweight yet bulky yarns have been integrated into many men’s designer collections as an added feature to the androgynous-inspired trend. Typical Alpine influenced knits also feature this added twist from the ski slopes into urban settings without making them or their wearer appear lost or displaced. The metrosexual now has yet another piece of clothing that will run havoc with one’s “gaydar”!
The global mix is still a key trend but a more localized mix utilizing rural and urban influences is also toyed with this season, another slant to breaking down borders. There is also a light hearted, if not whimsical slant, to such hard-core looks as punk or grunge that catapults these looks into very modern and refreshing pieces that broaden their appeal. Bucking the “been there done that” attitude is so much easier this season with the variety of nuances that are breathing new life into a variety of trends one might initially wish to avoid.
It is evident in the detailings as well. Classic button front cardies now have a variety of closures (from toggled to velcroed) that expand on your options. Zip front cardies (like their button front counterparts) also feature a variety of collars, necklines, pocket details, lengths and patterned or blocking affects that broaden their appeal and style.
Colors are also toyed with this season adding a new sense of vibrancy to those typically darker shades usually attributed to the fall and winter seasons. Fluorescents to pastels are color options that can be used to punch up your look or create a whole new slant to expressing yourself this fall and winter. Hot pink, kelly green, yellow and every shade of red or blue are key colors to consider sporting this season. You bound to find a variety of options that flatter your own natural attributes (skin tone, proportions and physique) and accommodate your lifestyle as well.
Black, Navy and dark brown are still quite prevalent and are great complimentary colors to team up with the new brights when the desire to be a tad more subdued is required. Flashy colored, patterned or mix and matched pieced cardigans can be ideal ways to evolve your own sense of style and reflect a lighter side of your personality as well.
Prints and knitting techniques are also important features to consider when selecting a new cardigan to carry you thru this season. Hand-knits to machine created pieces offer a wide variety of options that will flatter your every need. Look for natural fibers for longevity as well as for easy care.
As trends continue to merge and expand on their origins the key factor to keep in mind this season is to have a more light hearted approach as well. The cardigan is indeed the quintessential piece to integrate into your wardrobe that breaks free from conventional thinking and reflects a less rigid demeanor in the process.
Despite the need to bundle up for fall and winter why not embrace the new vibe emulating from cardigans and express yourself with a new sense of flair topped off with a healthy dose of whimsy as well?