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Why the Cardigan is a Perfect Addition to Your Sweater Collection - Undersummers

Why the Cardigan is a Perfect Addition to Your Sweater Collection

Why the Cardigan is a Perfect Addition to Your Sweater Collection

If you're looking for a versatile and stylish addition to your wardrobe, you can't go wrong with a cardigan. This sweater style has been a classic favorite for decades and for good reason. From its origins and evolution to the different ways you can wear it, here's why the cardigan is a perfect addition to your sweater collection.

The History of the Cardigan

The cardigan sweater has a long and interesting history that dates back to the early 1800s. Originally designed for British military officers, the cardigan was named after James Brudenell, the 7th Earl of Cardigan, who led the charge of the Light Brigade during the Crimean War. The cardigan was designed to be a practical and functional garment for the soldiers, as it was easy to wear and allowed for ease of movement in battle. It was also designed to keep the soldiers warm during the cold winter months, as the thick wool provided insulation against harsh weather conditions.

After the war, the cardigan became popular among civilians as well. It was worn by both men and women and was often paired with a collared shirt and tie. The cardigan was particularly popular among golfers, as it provided warmth and flexibility on the golf course.

Origins and Evolution

The earliest cardigans were made from thick wool or cashmere and were often worn as outerwear on chilly days. Over time, the design of the cardigan evolved to become thinner and more lightweight, making it a popular choice for wearers in both warmer and cooler climates. Today, cardigans are made from a variety of materials, including cotton, silk, and synthetic blends.

The cardigan has also undergone several design changes over the years. In the 1920s, cardigans were often adorned with beading and embroidery, making them a popular choice for evening wear. In the 1950s, the cardigan became a staple in the wardrobe of preppy sets and was often worn with a button-down shirt and khaki pants. In the 1970s, the cardigan took on a more bohemian look, with fringed edges and bold patterns.

Famous Cardigan Wearers Throughout History

Over the years, many notable figures have sported the cardigan sweater. From famous musicians like Kurt Cobain to fashion icons like Audrey Hepburn, the cardigan has become a staple in the wardrobes of people from all walks of life. In the 1960s, former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was often seen wearing a cardigan with a pearl necklace, giving the garment a classic and sophisticated look.

Today, the cardigan remains a popular choice for both men and women. It can be worn in a variety of different styles, from the classic button-up cardigan to the more modern open-front cardigan. With its versatility and timeless appeal, the cardigan is sure to remain a wardrobe staple for years to come.

The Versatility of Cardigans

Cardigans are a staple in any wardrobe due to their versatility and functionality. They are a great addition to any outfit and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. Not only are they fashionable, but they are also comfortable and practical.

Dressing Up or Down with a Cardigan

One of the main benefits of a cardigan is its versatility. It can be worn in various ways to suit your needs. For a casual day out, pair a colorful cardigan with jeans and sneakers for a trendy look. Alternatively, for a more formal occasion, wear a sleek black cardigan with dress pants and heels for an elegant and sophisticated look.

Cardigans come in different styles and designs, making it easy to find one that fits your style. You can choose from long, flowing cardigans or cropped cardigans, depending on your preference.

Layering Options for Various Seasons

Cardigans are also great for layering, which makes them a perfect choice for any season. During the colder months, wear a thick knit cardigan over a turtleneck sweater for added warmth. You can also layer a cardigan over a button-down shirt for a chic look.

In the spring and summer, a lightweight cardigan can be worn over a tank top or t-shirt for a stylish and comfortable outfit. It is perfect for those cooler summer nights or for when you need a little extra coverage.

Suitable for Different Body Types

Cardigans come in a variety of styles and designs that can flatter different body types. If you have a curvier figure, look for a cardigan with a belted waist to cinch your shape and highlight your curves. If you're petite, choose a cropped cardigan to create the illusion of longer legs. And if you're tall, go for a long, flowing cardigan that complements your height and elongates your silhouette.

Overall, cardigans are a versatile and practical addition to any wardrobe. They can be styled in various ways to suit any occasion and can flatter any body type. So, whether you're dressing up or down, layering for the season, or looking to flatter your figure, a cardigan is the perfect choice.

Choosing the Right Cardigan for You

Cardigans are a versatile and stylish addition to any wardrobe. They come in a variety of materials, styles, and designs, making it easy to find one that suits your needs and personal taste. In this article, we'll explore some of the factors to consider when selecting a cardigan, including material options, popular styles and designs, and how to select the perfect fit.

Material Options and Their Benefits

When selecting a cardigan, one of the first things to consider is the material that it's made from. Each material has its unique benefits, so it's important to choose one that suits your needs and preferences.

Cotton cardigans are lightweight and breathable, making them ideal for warm weather. They're also easy to care for and can be machine-washed and dried. However, cotton is not as warm as other materials, so it may not be the best choice for colder months.

Wool and cashmere cardigans are more substantial and provide added warmth for colder months. They're also soft and comfortable to wear and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. However, they require special care and should be hand-washed or dry-cleaned to maintain their quality.

Synthetic blends are also an option, providing a combination of breathability and warmth. They're often more affordable than natural materials and can be easier to care for. However, they may not be as soft or comfortable as wool or cashmere.

Popular Cardigan Styles and Designs

Cardigans come in a range of different styles and designs, making it easy to find one that suits your taste. Here are some of the most popular styles:

  • Oversized cardigans are cozy and comfortable and can be worn as a statement piece or layered over other clothing.
  • Cropped cardigans are shorter in length and can be worn with high-waisted pants or skirts for a retro-inspired look.
  • Button-up cardigans are classic and versatile and can be worn open or closed depending on the outfit.
  • Open-front cardigans are casual and easy to wear and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion.

In addition to these styles, many design elements can add visual interest to your cardigan. Pockets, patterns, and embellishments like buttons or embroidery can all make your cardigan stand out.

How to Select the Perfect Fit

When selecting a cardigan, it's important to ensure that it fits properly. A well-fitting cardigan should hug your body without feeling too tight, and should not have any bulges or wrinkles. The length and sleeve length should also be proportional to your height and body type.

When trying on cardigans, don't be afraid to try different sizes and styles to find the perfect fit. It's also a good idea to consider what you'll be wearing underneath the cardigan, as this can affect how it fits and feels.

In conclusion, choosing the right cardigan involves considering a variety of factors, including material options, popular styles and designs, and how to select the perfect fit. By taking the time to explore these factors and trying on different options, you can find a cardigan that's both comfortable and stylish.

Choose the Right Cardigan for Your Style

Styling Tips for Wearing Cardigans

Pairing Cardigans with Different Outfits

There are countless ways to style a cardigan, depending on your style and the occasion. For a casual daytime look, pair a chunky knit cardigan with leggings and ankle boots. For a more formal event, try a fitted cardigan with a pencil skirt and heels. And for a cozy night in, wear a cardigan over pajamas for ultimate comfort.

Accessorizing Your Cardigan Look

Accessories can also help elevate your cardigan look. Add a statement necklace or chunky bracelet to a plain cardigan to dress it up. Or, layer a scarf or hat over a colorful cardigan for added warmth and style. Don't be afraid to get creative and experiment to find the accessories that work best for you.

Mixing and Matching Patterns and Colors

Cardigans provide a great opportunity to mix and match different patterns and colors for a unique and eye-catching outfit. Play around with different combinations, like pairing a striped cardigan with a floral dress, or a solid-colored cardigan with a patterned skirt. Just remember to keep the overall look balanced and cohesive.


In conclusion, the cardigan is a versatile and stylish option that belongs in every sweater collection. From its interesting history and evolution to the different ways you can wear it, there's no shortage of reasons to add a cardigan to your wardrobe. By selecting the right fit, material, and design for your style, and experimenting with different outfit combinations, you can create a variety of stylish and unique looks with this classic wardrobe staple.


Meet our founder: CarrieRae

Undersummers Shortlettes were created CarrieRae's personal need for comfortable thigh protection when she was working as a teacher. In 2011, her thick thighs rubbed and she needed a comfortable solution.  Pants are blazing hot in the Houston spring/summer months, shorts are not acceptable to wear to work, so she was left with capris and dresses.  Her thighs did not support wearing dresses, thigh chafing was too uncomfortable.  The idea of wearing a breezy dress sounded so comfortable to her, that she created the solution to her problem:  The Original Lace Shortlette®️. She wanted something to wear that was a single layer, the legs stayed put, comfy, and most importantly, pretty.

CarrieRae Munson