Who among us, over fifties, does not own at least one long cardigan?
I decided to purchase a fine-knit black cardi for the winter but I needed to be sure I could wear it to make several outfits, depending on my day.
As I just have a few clothes with me right now – I’m not in my French home this winter – I’ve pulled together five looks that avoid looking frumpy, using what I have in my closet. I’m thinking you probably have similar items too.
As we all know, the long cardi is not only the comfy friend but also the fastest way to add full-on frump to your wardrobe. So that’s why deciding on a style is important.
I bought this cardi one size larger than my regular size because it has to hang dead straight down the back. I simply have too much to hide round there to have a clingy fine layer on my back and rear.
I hope these quick photos give you a few ideas for styling your own long cardi.
1. Relaxed evening outfit
A good place to start when you’re styling a new item is to see how it looks when there’s just one basic color.
I had a look through the clothes I’ve got with me for my stay in the UK over the next few months and came up with this combo.
I’ve got the black fine-knit long straight cardigan with pockets over a black cotton turtle neck (polo neck) tee shirt and black velvet elastic-waist straight pants and black loafers.
For me the number one reason anyone wears a cardigan that falls below the thigh is to camouflage a large middle.
This black outfit conceals my big tummy quite well. That means I can really relax if I’m out for the evening. Flat shoes help at my age, but this outfit would look good with a heel if you can still wear them.
Choose your boldest jewelry to highlight your face and you’re ready in minutes.
2. Smart day outfit
Staying with the black velvet pants, I’ve added a cream silk shirt. Silk and velvet work well together for day or evening.
If you hate having a centre tuck or a belt at the waist, the long cardigan effectively slices off the sides of your mid-section so there’s no need to highlight your centre if you don’t wish to.
The pale color draws the eye up to your top third detracting from your hips. Hurray! You’ll get the same effect with a brightly-patterned shirt. Or, if thinking of an evening look, you could go for a shiny or sparkly top.
3. Lunch in town outfit
More casual than a jacket, but fulfilling the same function, a long cardigan can look smart if you use tone on tone for your outfit. So, rather than looking like you threw on a warm cover-up, you look as if you’ve put some thought into your style.
The white linen top left from my summer capsule wardrobe, brightens up the top of my outfit so the focus is on the face. Add a necklace and/or earrings to double up on this.
Meanwhile the long cardi gives a well-proportioned look with its 50/50 division between dark upper and checked lower halves.
4. Coffee with the girls outfit
Do you remember when we used to drape a long scarf down the open edges of cardigans and jackets?
If you’re meeting up with ‘girls’ of a similar age to yourself this vintage look can be fun.
The long fine-knit cardi had its heyday in the eighties and nineties. I’ve added a Gucci bag I bought back then and found a vintage-look ‘silk’ scarf for 60 cents in a charity shop to put the look together,
5. Casual shopping outfit
My last outfit makes the most of the essentially casual look of a cardi with pockets.
I’m wearing traditional straight jeans and leather trainers. I’ve added a striped boat-neck top for a contemporary easy-to-wear outfit.
The tee shirt is fitted, so can only be worn (by me anyway) as a layer to add interest down the front. Fortunately the long dark cardi camouflages the ‘excess adipose’ which this tee shirt highlights at the sides!
However, it’s important not to wrap the cardi too closesly around yourself, otherwise those rolls get noticed again. So if open is too cold, go for a wool scarf or add thermals beneath your top.
Links to the long cardigan and turtle neck top I bought
Tap on an image below to get sizes and details from the retailer. These are affiliate links and if you purchase I usually get a small commission at no cost to you. Thanks for your support!
This post is one of an occasional series of ‘one new item, 5 new outfits’ articles.
Take a look at some others: