Screen Shot 2013-04-22 at 4.20.36 AM
Courtesy of

Next to the basic white tee and the perfect pair of jeans, a cardigan is a closet essential. Living in Southern California, we all understand how bipolar California weather can be. We leave the house confident in one thing, only to be let down by the weather’s betrayal mid-afternoon. A cardigan is the perfect piece to fight back fashionably. Now that we are finally transitioning from winter to spring, cardigans are here to take the change with us.

Screen Shot 2013-04-22 at 4.20.20 AM
Courtesy of

Cardigans come in a variety of materials and styles to accommodate any fashion taste or weather condition. From the basic, to cropped, to open cardigans and oversized granddad’s, you’ll be sure to look in-cred-i-ble. For the colder times of the year, a chunky knit is the perfect layering piece. Want to look put together all while staying comfortable? This is the cardigan for you. Ladies, you can try out a chunky knit cardigan in the typical route of black leggings and a tunic, topped with a thick scarf and knee-high boots in the fall. Or you can take a more feminine approach in an above-the-knee flared skirt, a pair of thigh-highs and some cute booties. For guys, a shawl collared cardigan like one from Urban Outfitters is most popular. Wear it with a basic shirt underneath to prevent too much distraction. For a more fashionable approach, layer two shirts underneath: a collared shirt and a plain tee.

Screen Shot 2013-04-22 at 4.20.46 AM
Courtesy of

When choosing a cardigan, you can never go wrong with neutrals, but don’t be afraid to pick one out with a bit more personality in its design. For those warmer months of spring and summer, a lightweight cardigan is all you need to pair with some high-waisted shorts and top. If you find yourself wearing solid colors, pair your outfit with a Forever 21 striped or Aztec-inspired cardigan to stand out. Or if you’re wearing an eye-catching printed outfit, such as a floral summer dress, wear a solid colored cardigan to prevent clashing. Gents, a fitted classic cardigan will be best. For the colder summer nights, a lightweight cardigan is perfect to keep you looking casual and impressive.

Screen Shot 2013-04-22 at 3.53.22 AM
Courtesy of

Although a cardigan is typically a laid back piece, it can be utilized for more sophisticated situations. Tired of the boring old, stiff blazer? Give cardigans a try. Whether you’re at the workplace, an interview or even a wedding, a cardigan in right color and fit will keep you looking professional with the right amount of comfort. For these types of scenarios, a dark or neutral colored cardigan is most appropriate. Guys, substitute your business blazer for a v-neck, button up cardigan from J. Crew. Buttoned at the top, try an appropriately colorful dress shirt with a tie tucked beneath the cardigan. Ladies, a cardigan would go best with a business pencil skirt or dress pants. Place the collar of your button up shirt over the cardigan’s neckline to give your look a polished feel.

Unlike the camo jacket, the jean jacket or the faux leather sleeve, cardigans will never go out of style, so make sure to invest in a quality one. Thankfully there are many out there at affordable prices, so there’s no need to break your bank.