My New Favorite Outfit: Building A Wardrobe: Cardigans

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Building A Wardrobe: Cardigans

Yesterday I started my Building A Wardrobe Series by sharing with you Essential Blazers and Jackets, and for the second day of the series I'll be sharing with you my thoughts on cardigan essentials.  Cardigans are great for laying and can be worn both to dress an outfit up, as well as easily worn with a casual outfit as well.  Here are my tips for building essential cardigans into your wardrobe:

  • Must have colors include black, gray, and tan.  In my experience, it's worth it to by quality pieces, as you will probably wear these the most.  There are a lot of inexpensive options out there, say at Target or Old Navy, however, they inexpensive options don't seem to last or wear as well and pill much sooner.  I've been most happy with the quality of cardigans I've purchased from Loft, Banana Republic, The Limited, and J.Crew.
  • Consider the type of cardigan that fits your style best.  Traditional lengths will probably be the most versatile, but I love a good boyfriend cardigan and think they can be dressed up for worn casually depending on how you chose to style them. 
  • When purchasing, pay attention to how to wash the item, if it's dry clean only, it will limited how often you can wear the piece. I've used Dryel, and in-home dry cleaning product, for over a decade and have been happy with the results, however I still spend the money to get pieces professionally dry cleaned at least once a year and this definitely adds to the overall cost of owning a piece of clothing.
  • I've also included some additional options for you to consider purchasing.  These include purchasing a few cardigans in bright colors, as well as a leopard or other print option.  In my opinion you won't wear these as often, so purchasing a less expensive option, like this or this makes sense to me.
  • Regardless of what you chose to buy, wash these pieces inside out to help protect the them in the washer.
Here's a visual of my recommendations for cardigan purchases:

Building A Wardrobe

Today I'm wearing a bright cardigan, which is a fun addition to any outfit. It helps define my shape and pull the overall look together too.

I'm crazy about today's combo. I score this skirt for $4, new with tags, from thredUP (use this link to get $10 off your first order). I wasn't sure about a top, but tried the polka dots and love it.  I might freeze today with bare legs, but this just didn't look right with tights.  Hurry up, spring!

Cardigan: NY and Co. similar
Shirt: F21 same
Skirt: Merona similar via thredUP (use this link to get $10 off your first order)
Necklace: Mariposa Medley c/o similar
Bracelets: chloe + isabel  c/o same
Watch: Wristology same c/o Get 25% off
Heels: Target same


  1. This cardigan is great and fun with the ruffles. I love it paired with the skirt!

  2. What a wonderful idea for your church to do! I love the idea that you are donating clothing as well and you get to refresh your wardrobe. I love your new skirt and how your paired it with lace.

  3. The ruffle on the cardigan makes it extra special! I used to only wear cardigans in neutrals till I started I'm expanded into bright colors :)

    The Tiny Heart
    Ad Space Giveaway!

  4. I totally agree with investing a little more in a quality cardigan! My J.Crew ones have lasted for years! And I love the one you're wearing with the ruffles!

  5. What a great idea!!!

    The amount of cardigans I have is staggering... But they are all the same style. I love the ruffle detail on yours. Time to expand my horizons!


  6. Love this idea of the cardigans!!!
    That skirt is just tooo cute!!! Love this look on you! :D

  7. That skirt is fabulous! I absolutely agree about cardigans. Some might say I have too many, but they are total closet staples, so I think it's just fine!

  8. You're preaching to the choir when it comes to cardigans. I have so many, I've lost count. Basics are so important and then i love adding some colour with cardigans as well. Great post Ginny. Thank you for linking up. Great outfit today.


  9. Cardigans are definitely a work wardrobe staple, and these are great picks! =)

    I hope you are having a great week!


  10. I do enjoy a good cardi
    Currently looking for a great lime green one

  11. I could seriously wear a cardigan every day - summer, winter, whenever! Great options! Susan

  12. This is a beautiful skirt!! As a teacher, of course I have a ton of cardigans. For a while I stopped buying them because I really did have a lot. But now I'm finding that a few are starting to pill, mostly from ON and one from Loft Outlet. So I'm on the search to replace them in similar colors.

  13. Great skirt! I love the idea of the clothes swap and so nice that they give a portion to a woman's shelter. Cardigans are my second favourite thing (other than the blazers!) such an essential in my wardrobe. Also love that you can wear them year round as well.


  14. Yep. I pretty much have a cardigan in every color of the rainbow! I am (usually) always cold so if it is under 80 degrees outside, I wear a cardigan to work. The clothing swap at church sounds like a most fabulous event!

  15. I definitely agree with your list, but I'd also put on one with fun details, just like the one you're wearing today! I used to have a cardigan with a hood, and I wore that so much in undergrad. I really like your outfit :)

  16. Great tips!! I have become a big fan of cardigans lately too. They're just so great for adding a layer of color, pattern, and warmth!

  17. I am the queen of cardigans. They don't feel as restrictive as jackets to me. This is another great outfit! Love the cardigan and the skirt!

  18. A Nifty little series. I like that Skirt a lot. I agree 100% about Cardigans and Blazers. I own a lot of the two and I think they definitely pull an Outfit together. I would add a White & a Red Cardigan for must haves. Also a White Blazer for sure.

    Hope your son enjoyed his Halloween. It was Vivian's first. =)

  19. I have a bunch of printed cardigans, but I am really lacking in the basics. I need a new black one, tan, navy, green.... they are such a good alternative to a blazer when you just want to feel extra comfy and cozy.
    Chic on the Cheap

  20. Such a lovely look!

    xx Mounia

  21. Great post and love all the styles shown!

  22. Ooh, I love the detailing on the cardigan you're wearing today! Very pretty :) I actually love my Target cardigans and have been pleased with how well they hold up! I wear cardigans all the time and think they're such a great staple :)