What Can I Wear BESIDES a Cardigan?

Talula Romilly VEst. Aritzia. Was: $135 Now: $67. 

Talula Romilly VEst. Aritzia. Was: $135 Now: $67. 

I recently had a client tell me that she thinks I hate cardigans. On the contrary, I adore cardigans. Always have. Always will. The problem is that I've been adoring cardigans for going on 25 years now and let's face it, the thrill is gone. 

Here's the thing: when a woman puts together a stunning and thoughtful outfit that communicates her personal style, she is on the verge of achieving pure bliss. She feels confident. She get's more accomplished. She is more willing to take risks in other areas. She is strong. 

Then, she adds the final piece for, "warmth." Her tried and true cardigan. And much of what has just been achieved is lost. Often this cardigan stays at the office, draped over her chair for, dare I say it again, "warmth." As it turns out, it's a bit chilly here. So, inevitably, that (most likely black) cardigan is used on the daily. Elegance. Intention. It's all lost. 

But fear not, a cardigan does not always have this effect. So, if you are sure you are rocking your cardis and keeping things elevated, more power to you. (Successful options are likely hip length or longer and absent of pilling.) If you worry that you maybe possibly could-be someone who needs a little help finding cardigan alternatives, your very own personal stylist for women is stepping in. 

 

3 Alternatives to Cardigans.

Flowing Waistcoat with Drawstring. Zara. $69.

Flowing Waistcoat with Drawstring. Zara. $69.

Vince Leather Vest. Nordstrom. $795. I have this one!

Vince Leather Vest. Nordstrom. $795. I have this one!

Biker Waistcoat. Zara. $99.

Biker Waistcoat. Zara. $99.

Premium Longline Jacket. Topshop. $140.

Premium Longline Jacket. Topshop. $140.

1. A Vest.

Vests can be tricky. Think about the very first time you tried a pair of knee high boots. It's likely they felt over the top. They were too dressy, like you were "trying too hard," and so on. Now, knee high boots are second nature and many of us are counting the days until they come back into fashion. Vests are a similar adventure. If you think you look good and act like you know you look great, you'll likely look pretty incredible. Confidence is the final piece in every outfit. Vests are great with sleeveless tops or long sleeves. Shorter sleeves or cap sleeves will draw more attention to your arms. If that works for you and your body type, go for it. A longer vest paired with a cozy sweater mimics a coat and can still be worn inside. Leather or vegan leather elevates the look and gives it an edge. Shorter vests can also be closed and worn as tops in many cases. Just toss a cami underneath. If you are short waisted, a vest that hits at your hips or lower will elongate your torso (shortening your legs). 

 

Striped Tweed Scoopneck Jacket. J.Crew. $198. Additional 30% off with code: WEEKEND. 

Striped Tweed Scoopneck Jacket. J.Crew. $198. Additional 30% off with code: WEEKEND. 

Crepe Jacket. H&M. Was: $24 Now: $14.

Crepe Jacket. H&M. Was: $24 Now: $14.

ASOS Blazer in Festival Print. ASOS. $90.

ASOS Blazer in Festival Print. ASOS. $90.

Rimona Jacket. Club Monaco. $269.

Rimona Jacket. Club Monaco. $269.

2. A Blazer.

There's no need to pull out your conservative blazer from the suit you own for interviews. We're talking fun blazers with texture and design elements all your own. Try wool, herringbone, plaid or something with elbow patches. It's all about your style and what feels right to you. The right blazer can be worn with jeans, over a dress of any length, with culottes, joggers and the like. If you have broad shoulders (inverted triangle) or lack curves overall (rectangle body shape), opt for jackets that create a lovely hourglass shape for you. Boxy options won't do you any favors. Regardless of your body shape, if you love a good scarf, a tailored jacket or blazer is the ideal canvass. Finally, remember that, yes, you can continue to wear your blazer all day inside and out. 

 

Faux Leather Jacket. the Limited. Was: $139 Now: $69. 

Faux Leather Jacket. the Limited. Was: $139 Now: $69. 

BLANKNESS Private Practice Drape Front Mixed Media Jacket. Nordstrom. $98. 

BLANKNESS Private Practice Drape Front Mixed Media Jacket. Nordstrom. $98. 

Vegan Suede Bomber. Available in grey, cream. Anthropology. $188.

Vegan Suede Bomber. Available in grey, cream. Anthropology. $188.

Mackage Suede Kenya Jacket. Aritzia. $595.

Mackage Suede Kenya Jacket. Aritzia. $595.

3. A Leather, Vegan Leather or Suede Jacket. 

Two years ago it was all about the denim jacket. Then came the resurgence of the leather or vegan leather jacket and that trend is still with us. A heavy weight leather option will feel inappropriate for indoor wear. However, there's a plethora of lightweight options that are ideal over dresses, paired with trousers or skirts. This component of your look really shows off your personal style and can be worn repeatedly throughout the week. You can even layer it over your cardigan for extra warmth. Because the price point is so affordable, you also have the option to pick up multiple vegan leather or leather jackets in a variety of shapes and sizes. As with a blazer, avoid a boxy shape if your shoulders are broad or your frame is straight up and down. Let the length elongate your torso, if you'd like and remember that vegan leather is essentially plastic. The best part of that realization? It's an effective rain jacket. 

You can do it.