Why I Hate Cardigans

It’s WINTER. It’s cold. And apparently it’s time for my annual rant about how I hate cardigans. Why does winter seem to signal the time to drop tools and bloody-well give up all sense of making an effort in the fashion department? I had to tell myself the other day to just pull myself together and buy some new ankle boots and a winter coat. And I was almost tempted to buy a cardigan. It’s the comfort factor isn’t it. I understand why is the cardigan so popular. But it’s not even actually properly warm. It leaves the chest exposed and one vulnerable to catching a death-of-a-cold.

Walking through the shopping centre the other day I decided in particular I really can’t come at those cheap loooong, saggy cardigans that are available everywhere. I’ll concede they have their place. They are absolutely fantastic for those days when you are tired, or for when you are cuddled up on the couch. But not every day. Unless you’re a supermodel they look sloppy and are unflattering and sorry but I don’t like them at all.

Supermodel Wearing a Cardigan Looking Boho Chic & Awesome.

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I’m not saying you have to walk around all prim and proper and dressed up like you have a peg up your ass at all times. I’m purely suggesting that just because you CAN wear a cardigan with everything, doesn’t mean you should necessarily do that.

I mean is my cardi-scorn unfounded? I have written in the past about my problem with the cardigan and I will stand by it:

Search the internet for famous cardiganians and you come up with barely a handful of icons. Kurt Cobain (it was the 20thanniversary of his death last year. RIP Kurt) oft sported a brown cardi. He and my Pop are probably punching on in heaven over that cardi now. Mary Kate Olsen (or is it Ashley) likes to wander around pushing her trolley of rubbish, swaddled and enfolded in swathes of shapeless, front-buttoning wool. Mini-Yoda or bag lady? Your guess is as good as mine. And Kurt from Glee is particularly fond of the cable knit cardigan. But he’s not a real person, so I don’t think that counts.

But actually, I don’t even hate all cardigans. Here’s some I really love. I’m calling these my…..



Top Five Ways To Wear a Cardi

1. retro-glam ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ style, buttoned up with a pencil skirt or ankle grazing trousers

2. belted over a vintage dress with a cute hat for the preppie look

3. boyfriend style over a tailored shirt with the sleeves pushed up a little and the shirt cuff folded back

4. boho-chic with cowboy boots, skinny black jeans and black t-shirt

5. in reverse! I love the idea of buttoning it at the back

If you are stuck for wardrobe inspiration this winter Nikki Parkinson wrote a fantastic post with her top tips on How to Stay Excited About Your Winter Wardrobe and the very fabulous KimbaLikes shows how to wear a jacket, and wear it very well when she Spins The Pin for July. And also how gorgeous is Sonia Styling, she knows how to rock a cardi!

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What do you think about cardigans?
Do you think I am a mega-bitch and a dickhead for naming and shaming the cardi?

Written By

Carolyn is the editorial director of Champagne Cartel and a freelance writer. In her spare time she is a long-distance runner, peanut butter enthusiast, and single mum to three incredible humans.


  • Why thank you very much, ladybug! I am rather a cardigan fan. I like them oversized and long. I like them fitted and cropped. I like them belted. I like them pretending they’re jackets or coats.

    But the bag lady shapeless cardigan look isn’t awesome – although so many people seem to think so!

    As for the winter warmth factor – that’s why I layer cardigans over knits and sleeveless knits. My boosies need the warmth!

  • Hahaha this year I have really ditched the cardigan. I used to live in them (gotta love those basics from big cheap fashion outlets), but now I’m wearing actual jackets. I struggle to wear those trendy, big cardigans without looking dishevelled. I think I just generally hate all extra layers for winter. I am short and always feel overwhelmed by fabric. When I’m ‘off the clock’ style wise (which is most of the time haha) I am into hoodies. Which is probably a whole other issue 😉

  • I had to go to a doctor’s surgery last week (not sick, a colleagues Worker’s Comp appointment that I had to attend). The long cardy was out in full force. They all looked (the cardy, not the people) overwashed, overworn, bedraggled, and shapeless (actually most of that could refer to the people too). That’s the trouble with the cardy – they’re so damn comfortable that you wear them to death! No, I’m not a fan. I’d rather a nice jacket – something with a bit of structure. There are some beautiful ones out there, and some people just look amazing in them (as your pictures show) but I look a bit baglady-like. For slobbing around the house, nothing beats the good, old-fashioned windcheater. x

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