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cardigans

Why a cardigan should be a staple in your work wardrobe.

Whether you work in a casual, anything-goes setting where jeans are the norm, or somewhere filled with people in suits and dress shoes, you need a good office cardigan. This knitwear staple can be dressed up or down and worn so many ways. And did we mention that they’re warm? If your office AC turns your desk into an arctic research station, make sure there’s always one hanging off the back of your chair.

They’re a great substitute for a blazer

If you want to mix up your look or just spend the day in something a little more comfortable, swap out your blazer for a cardigan. A hip-length one with a belt looks smart and polished, so you’ll still appear professional when you head to a meeting or have coffee with clients. And the feel of something soft and warm against your skin will make getting through the most challenging parts of your day a little easier.

The perfect interview outfit

Dressing for an interview can be intimidating, but a nice cardigan will have you looking sharp and feeling laidback. Try a twinset – which consists of a cardigan and shell – along with a plain black skirt, tights and heels. It’s a simple, chic outfit that won’t distract you or the person who might be your next boss. If you like, swap out the shell for a simple blouse, but either way, keep the jewelry and makeup simple.

It will dress up anything

A nice cardigan can add that special something to any outfit, making you look more put-together in an instant. Elevate skinny jeans, a striped tee and flats with a classic open cardigan made from breathable cotton and everyone will be coming to you for style tips. A plain-colored cardigan can ground a wild print that you might think is a little too crazy on its own, toning things down just enough for the workplace. And something made from cashmere adds instant refinement to whatever you’re wearing.

Good for those in-between seasons

Spring and autumn weather can be unpredictable to say the least. One day will be freezing and the next warm enough for sandals. With a cardigan, you’ll be ready for anything, though. If the day is cooler than expected, slip one on and you’ll warm up in moments. When the sun appears and the temperature climbs, just take off your cardigan and review those briefs in a tee or short-sleeve dress. Either way, this classic layering piece makes staying comfortable a snap.

A lifesaver when you’re pregnant

Getting dressed for work when you’re expecting a visit from the stork is no easy task. But a cardigan will probably fit until your little one arrives – just wear it unbuttoned and let your baby bump go free. And you can wear that cardigan with whatever else fits and feels comfortable, whether it’s a stretchy maternity tee, a pair of jeans with an elastic waist to accommodate your growing belly or a flowing dress.

For the leggings-lovers

The debate rages on as to whether leggings are acceptable office attire, but if you work in a relaxed setting where you feel fine wearing them, reach for a long cardigan. If anything, you need to follow the basic “leggings aren’t pants” rule and keep your rear covered, and a knee-length cardigan worn over a tee that goes past your hips does the trick nicely. Finish your outfit with some ankle boots and if you really want to layer up, an infinity scarf.

Spread a little cheer

If you want to inject a little holiday fun into your wardrobe, but don’t feel comfortable wearing a crazy Christmas sweater covered in bows, sequins and appliques, experiment with colorful cardigans. A red number is great for the yuletide season and Valentine’s Day, while a royal blue cardigan with a silver necklace will add some Hanukkah spirit to your day. In the fall, try some seasonal colors, like rust orange, forest green and goldenrod.

Wear your summer clothes longer

A cardigan can help you get a little more wear out of your summer clothes before you have to put them away. Slip a cardigan over a dress with spaghetti straps and wear some leggings underneath if you’re still chilly. You can also toss one over a tank top and they’re great for making revealing clothes a little more modest if you want to cover up a bit when you’re on the clock.

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