Best Cardigans to Wear in Both Fall and Winter

Staying cozy during the coldest months of the year is a matter of smart outfit execution. You know exactly what you need to feel your best when it’s toasty outside and when you want to curl up and relax at home for the day. While coats and scarves have their place, nothing takes the place of a highly versatile women’s cardigan sweater.

Available in a wide range of styles, colors, and patterns, there are cardigans to suit every wardrobe, every part of your lifestyle, every facet of your day, and every mood that strikes you. You can keep things light and airy or thick and substantial. Whatever your preference, it’s best to keep a collection of styles handy so that you always have something to grab no matter what your day might bring. Here are some of the best cardigans for both fall and winter wear.

Hooded Open Cardigans

Casual is the way to go on those crisp fall days that call for a warming layer but don’t necessarily require you to wear a jacket. A hooded cardigan with an open front is right on-trend, offering you the comfort you expect of a sweater and the style you love. The beauty of this effortless style is that it’s incredibly easy to wear. You can mix and match it with so many different pieces.

Throw a jewel-tone cardigan over a white T-shirt and leggings for an effortless everyday look. School run? Your open-front cardigan is the perfect partner for sweatpants or joggers and a long-sleeve top on those chilly mornings. Cheering your little one on during a big game? This is ideal for a casual look that’s still a little pulled together.

Chunky Shawl Cardigan

Ah, the coziness of it all! So soft and cuddly you might forget you’re not wrapped up in your favorite fleece blanket, a chunky shawl cardigan is destined to be your go-to on the coldest days of the year. It fills a gap, providing a more reliable alternative when it just isn’t the time to break out the papery thin cardigans you might typically wear in the springtime, and when even a medium-weight sweater won’t do.

The shawl cardigan is not just warm and toasty, but also fashionable. With its nubby knit finish, it exudes a sense of festivity that makes it perfect for the final months of the year. It’s also available in a variety of colors ranging from neutral to bright, so you have plenty of options where your outfit choices are concerned. Pair it with jeans when you want to liven up a casual look or wrap it over your comfy stay-at-home attire when you’re just relaxing on the couch. It’s so versatile that you’ll wonder how you did without it.

Cashmere Cardigan

The sheer beauty of a cashmere cardigan is undeniable. Soft and plush to the touch, they look luxurious and add a hint of elegance and polish to your everyday looks. If you generally favor casual styles but wouldn’t mind dressing it up just a touch without sacrificing your comfort, cashmere is certain to meet your needs.

More importantly, the material only improves with time, becoming even softer with the more love it receives. Wear yours with a fit-and-flare skirt and glossy ballet flats to a holiday party, or over a simple T-shirt and wide-leg pants with pumps for a look that’s pulled together without being fussy. Cashmere has a knack for making any outfit look a little better, making it a must for your fall and winter wardrobe.

Zip-Front Cardigan

Most cardigans have buttons that run down the front, but a zip-front style offers you a fresh and contemporary take on the highly traditional style. There are many advantages to wearing this style. They’re incredibly easy to pull on, zip up, and go. Thinner varieties are easy to stash inside your tote bag or toss in the car. And they look great with everything from casual dresses to high-rise jeans.

You’ll also find zip-front cardigans in different styles. Hoodie-style sweaters add a touch of unexpected softness and daintiness to an otherwise sporty, low-key top. Simple styles with clean lines and fuss-free silhouettes can take the place of a casual blazer at the workplace. Chunkier styles are perfect for more casual occasions and outfits. With so many options available, you’ll find it just as easy to make a zip-front style work for you as you do the traditional variety.

There’s no dearth of cardigan styles available. From lengths to materials to details, each element plays a vital role in the sweater’s comfort. Choose from short, hip-length, and long styles — and even coat-length varieties to help you stay warmer on those especially brisk winter days. Where to begin? It’s ultimately about your comfort. Stick with fabrics that feel good and silhouettes that flatter. You can't go wrong.


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