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Every woman should own a cardigan. Cardigans are chic, versatile, and always elegant. Plus, they’re practical. Cardigans have certainly evolved over numerous fashion seasons in terms of shape, color, and design, but this classic wardrobe staple is here to stay. Why? This clever little piece can enhance almost any outfit imaginable.

If you think cardigans are solely for the prim and proper, think again. Sure, cardigans can conjure up images of demure ladies from the 1950s or your high school librarian. But because cardigans come in so many trendy styles, they’re far from boring. Whether you want to spice up a simple, casual outfit or embellish a gorgeous formal dress, a cardigan can perfectly complement your look. Just remember to play with proportion, texture, and print. Here are some creative ways to style cardigans:

Style Cardigans with Skirts

Pair a cardigan with a flared skirt for a timeless, ladylike look. To make this outfit even more feminine, layer the key piece over a loose, dainty blouse. It’s the perfect ensemble for work or play. Give your look a cheery pop of color and experiment with eye-catching shades like bright cherry red or cobalt blue.

Style Cardigans with Dresses

You may not instinctively think to throw on a cardigan over a long, fancy dress. But, this must-have item is charmingly appropriate for formal occasions! Look for a cardigan in an interesting print and contrasting texture to highlight your dress. Pay attention to flattering proportions. Follow this fashion rule: the longer the dress, the shorter the cardigan.

Style Cardigans with Pants

Cardigans and jeans make for a relaxed, yet effortlessly stylish combination. To switch up this casual look, choose a long cardigan in a knit fabric. Embrace a clean color palette to keep your outfit polished, and pair the cardigan with white jeans and sneakers.

Style Cardigans with Shorts

A cardigan paired with shorts is a trickier look to pull off. Because of the higher hemline of the shorts, stick with with an over-sized, baggier style cardigan to ensure your proportions are on point. The result is a soft, but super cool outfit.

Get the Look

What’s your favorite way to wear a cardigan?