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Why can't I wear cardigans?

(27 Posts)
ThinkingOfCake Wed 05-Feb-14 20:34:38

I need work clothes and for the 100th time I've gone shopping and returned with a boring trouser suit.

I need to wear 2 layers as I get hot but the office is usually cold, so I always wear trouser suits with loose short sleeved tops tucked in underneath. That way I can leave the jacket on if it's cold or take it off if it's hot.

I want to wear trousers, short sleeved tops and a cardigan but it always looks awful on me. I can't work out what I'm doing wrong. I've tried long, short, round neck and v neck but they all look wrong with the tops underneath. Please can you show me how to wear a cardigan.

TwittyMcTwitterson Wed 05-Feb-14 20:48:53

What shape/size are you?

ThinkingOfCake Wed 05-Feb-14 20:54:19

Size 12. I'm hourglass shaped from the front but have a tummy, so don't like tight fitting tops.

CMOTDibbler Wed 05-Feb-14 20:55:52

I always look rubbish in cardis with trousers. How about a shift dress and cardi?

notnowbernard Wed 05-Feb-14 20:57:29

I look fat in cardigans too (and I'm not fat, I'm a 12)

For some reason they make me look really busty (matronly?shock) done up and generally fatter and slobbier undone

Watching with interest

TwittyMcTwitterson Wed 05-Feb-14 21:07:05

I like to think that's my shape and I like to think I look ok in cardys. I get pretty much all my clothes from primark or Tesco and I go for the boyfriend style that tucks just under my bum but still nipped in at the waste and a nice ish looking material.

TwittyMcTwitterson Wed 05-Feb-14 21:09:48

I always wear a tight fitted top underneath rather than two baggy layers. I also always wear long tops so no one sees my bum or belly if I move about. Missguided do a value dress for about £7 and I pull it up so it's wrinkled over my stomach hiding any lumps but it holds in my hips as it comes to just under my bum. Xx

princessalbert Wed 05-Feb-14 21:10:33

I like short,, close fitting cardigans. I do think they look best with a slimline, fitted top underneath though. Nothing with bulk.

Financeprincess Wed 05-Feb-14 22:47:53

It's a shape thing, I think. Fitted, round neck cardigans that hit around the waist look smartest, but if you have a big chest (not my problem, sadly) they don't look so good. Also, if you're under provisioned in the bosom department, like me, you can fasten the top button rather than the bottom buttons and the cardigan will hang straight.

If you've been wearing longer length v neck types, I don't think they flatter anybody. They add too much bulk around your middle and look saggy quickly.

vitaminC Thu 06-Feb-14 09:06:36

Make sure they don't end at the widest part of your body (that would be low-hip for me).

If you have an hourglass figure, wearing a belt to define your waist would probably be the best look. I do this one of 2 ways: either a medium or wider belt over a regular-lenght, buttonned-up cardigan, or a narrower belt underneath an open cropped or longer-length cardigan.

Hebburnisaplaceonearth Thu 06-Feb-14 09:33:51

Putting me together blog wears a lot of cardigans, worth looking for inspiration? here

FrugalFashionista Thu 06-Feb-14 09:44:35

I dislike cardigans and am phasing them out of my wardrobe. They instantly make my outfits more frumpy and matronly (Sz 10/12, tall column/slight pear). If you are a classic /formal dresser, you'll feel much better in a suit wink I've softened my jackets over time, my favorite workwear item ever is a cardi weigth chain-trim collarless tweed jacket. Hemline length matters enormously. Cropped cardigans can look good good on me - anything that emphasizes my hip area does not. I also have sleeveless and short-sleeved cashmere tops for wearing under jackets/blazers for warmth.

FrugalFashionista Thu 06-Feb-14 09:50:57

Oh and I've also figured out why cardis don't work on me. I have a very strong vertical orientation (long, narrow face; straight hair, long limbs). The strong vertical line in cardigans emphasizes this verticality. I need horizontal elements to balance me out and sweaters and sweatshirts are much better for that. Jackets only work for me if they have just one button or a hidden closure. Trimmed jackets tend to have a horizontal element (neckline, hemline) that is balancing.

ThinkingOfCake Thu 06-Feb-14 12:28:08

Thanks for all your answers. Sounds like you have the same problem as me notnowbernard. I think the tops I wear underneath aren't really working, but I don't want to wear slim fitting ones.
I might investigate soft blazers in a contrasting colour as they are still a bit structured which suits me.

notnowbernard Thu 06-Feb-14 16:18:05

Yes I've recently bought 2 soft blazers, one in jersey type material. They seem far more flattering on me than any cardigan I've worn.

Am v glad I don't have to do formal work wear, would be a whole new headache wink

LadyVetinari Thu 06-Feb-14 17:08:58

I'm a very "neat" hourglass shape and an 8-10, but can easily look sloppy or overweight in cardigans! My favourite way of wearing them would probably work for you, although my style is very much "smart-casual ex-goth" so you will probably need to tweak to suit your colouring or image:

- Very fitted strappy vest in a dark or muted neutral (I use black, bitter chocolate brown, auberginey purple, very dark green green, dusty lavender or grey);
- Slightly looser, thin, natural fibre, long-sleeved top in a lighter colour (I use cowl or scoop neck tops made of linen or cotton jersey, in burgundy, forest green, a more vibrant purple, or a very dark charcoaly colour);
- Long, floaty, non-fussy waterfall jersey cardigan with a longer back than front and slightly ruched sleeves, in either navy, charcoal or black;
- Layered necklaces with some short and others longer (or just a long, knotted strand of beads if multiple necklaces would be too informal);
- Well fitted slim/straight-leg trousers in a fairly stiff fabric, or a not-too-tight ruched tube skirt;
- Quite heavy/solid footwear to balance out all of the layering.

It sounds quite casual but looks very smart and neat as long as everything tones together well and all of the fabrics are good (and laundered/ironed carefully). I tend to put my hair up and make sure my make-up is quite "groomed but understated" as well, as it again stops it looking too relaxed or informal.

Bonsoir Thu 06-Feb-14 18:17:12

I like cardigans, but not "plain" ones that I find unflattering. I like cardigans in bright colours that are a bit fitted over a dress.

krankykitty Thu 06-Feb-14 22:21:01

I'd love an alternative to cardigans. i find the jersey blazers too bulky and warm to actually be a proper cardi substitute.

vitaminC Fri 07-Feb-14 09:29:36

I've just bought this jacket, which is not as structured or bulky as a blazer and slightly dressier than a cardigan.

I also have similar things - cropped, collarless jackets - for summer in lighter fabrics such as linen/silk blends.

TravelinColour Fri 07-Feb-14 09:49:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Walnut8 Fri 07-Feb-14 09:50:09

jersey blazers with a bit of stretch are brilliant.

Cardigans .... I look much better in them when my boobs are on the small size and I am on the small size (ie not breastfeeding and at least a yr post preg!). Long cardies suit me most of all but aren't dressy enough for work. Can do a short cardie if it is NOT bulky and over a fitted top only.

What about a looseish long-sleeve blouse instead with sheer sleeves ... or elbow length sleeves (v flattering for large norks)?

HelloBoys Fri 07-Feb-14 10:27:07

These sort here are my go-to cardigan - I have purchased a similar type time and time again (can button up) from Zara and I just find they take the chill off and look not as formal or stiff as a jacket.

jersey blazers Oasis have a few of them.

AmethystMoon Fri 07-Feb-14 10:56:26

Yep, you sound like me shape wise. Try a belt, a skinny one, around the middle.

AmethystMoon Fri 07-Feb-14 10:56:56

Oh and leave unbuttoned

CointreauVersial Fri 07-Feb-14 17:16:39

I have loads of cardigans; my go-to work look has always been tailored trousers or slim skirt, with a close fitting top then a hip length cardi over the top. I just button two or three buttons at the centre, leaving the bottom and top open, as I find it defines my shape and gives me a waistline I don't usually have.

Or a looser top and a longline cardi.

I'm a size 10-12 and quite tall.

Having said that, lately I've found I'm wearing them less and less......don't know why.

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