Must have for fall: the perfect cardigan

According to our most recent (and somewhat unscientific!) poll, the item most of you can’t live without for fall is…. the perfect cardigan! I can’t say I’m surprised because I am a huge fan of cardigans of all sorts.

The cardigan is such a versatile piece — you can shrug it on when you’re cold at the theatre, tie it around your shoulders if you get warm at a tailgate, dress it up with a silk scarf for work or throw it over a cotton sundress for the weekend. A cardigan is a real investment piece, but finding just the right one can be tricky.

One of my favorites is the “boyfriend cardigan.” Worn in the same spirit as this season’s trendy boyfriend blazer or boyfriend jeans, this cardigan reminds me vividly of 1950’s Varsity letter sweaters, brilliant autumn leaves and college football games. An infinitely more chic variation of this trend is Ralph Lauren’s Leather-Patch Wool Cardigan. This piece is made of lightweight merino wool and has adorable oval leather elbow patches. Luxurious in gray or black, this cardigan will set you back $345.

Another great look to snuggle into is the wrap cardigan. Not a cardigan in the strictest sense of the word (no buttons!), this sweater is still a must-have for fall. Anne Taylor’s version, a heavenly blend of cotton, cashmere and silk would be perfect layered with a sexy, lacy cami. This weekend staple is only $95.

But once the weekend is over, you don’t have to put your cardigans away! Some of this season’s longer sweaters even look right for work and can often replace a jacket. Paired with a neutral toned pencil skirt, pumps, and accessories like a twisted pearl choker, these pieces look fresher and more approachable that a stiff and serious jacket. One of the best and most affordable examples that I’ve found is the Applique Trim Cardigan from Twelve by Twelve at Forever 21. Perfect length, great colors and even a super fun jeweled and feathered embellished brooch (another hot trend). Super affordable (buy several colors!) at only $32.

Susan McNeill is a wife, mother, author, entrepreneur and social activist. In addition to Susan Said What?! Susan also writes for Style on a WHIM, It’s how you play the game!, and Success Won’t Wait!


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