a laundry list of ways to wear the long cardigan

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The long cardigan is one of the biggest and most versatile trends of the season, not to mention an ideal transitional piece for your wardrobe. There are countless looks and ways to wear this fabulous piece – enjoy!

If you’ve got a longer, leaner physique, go for the lengthiest of the lengthy cardigans – one that shoots straight down to the floor. Underneath, toss on some wide legged pants to create a beautiful silhouette. If you’d like to enhance or create an hourglass look, simply wrap a skinny belt around your natural waistline. To bring a shine to the look, incorporate some long, layered necklaces.

long items in this observation:

  • multi-layer necklace @ Banana Republic
  • leather racer tank @ CYANA
  • Michael Kors wide-leg @ Net-a-Porter
  • DV by Dolce Vita ‘olive’ sandal @ Nordstrom
  • Donna Karan cashmere cardigan @ Net-a-Porter
  • peyton belt @ dELiA*s
  • ‘Supadupa’ sunglasses @ Harmony Lane


  • For women who are not as tall, look for a cardigan that falls above the knees. Choose a petite, simple dress that will serve as an under layer and keep the cardigan open. Make the outfit pop, and enhance your figure with a striking belt around the whole ensemble. Toss on some neutral colored heels to lengthen your legs and a patterned neck scarf to add some ‘flava’. Voila! A combo that you probably never dreamed of wearing suddenly makes you look fashionable and fabulous.

    petite items in this observation:

  • Vince oversized cardigan @ Net-a-Porter
  • KW sunglasses @ papaya
  • striped henley dress @ FOREVER21
  • piya @ Steve Madden
  • basketweave belt @ FOREVER21
  • floral silk scarf @ TOPSHOP

  • The next set is for the woman who wants to approach a fun version of this trend, the Gossip Girl, varsity version, if you will. It is a version of the long ‘cardi’ that resembles a school uniform (but in a chic way, not a sleazy way). These pieces are embellished with stripes or faux badges and other details. Probably for the 20 somethings and under, these pieces paired with a long T-shirt and leggings will tip you toward the hipster realm of fashion, which is becoming more and more mainstream these days. If you really want to have fun, get a pleated skirt but, um, don’t wear a backpack with this look!

    preppy hipster chic items in this observation:

  • cassidy 3Q sweater cardigan @ FOREVER21
  • jersey crew t-shirt @ American Apparel
  • wide stripe cardigan @ FOREVER21
  • cotton spandex legging @ American Apparel
  • blair preppy cardigan @ dELiA*s
  • risky business sunglasses @ fredflare

  • If you’d like to tap into a glamorous version of this long cardigan look, choose a piece that is intricately draped. The long cardigans with great detail are best worn with simple accessories, such as opaque tights or skinny jeans and some sexy heels. (Only go for the tights look if the cardigan is knee length or longer)

    glamorous items in this observation:

  • shadow cardigan @ All Saints
  • skinny jean @ TOPSHOP
  • Rick Owens tie-front cardigan @ Net-a-Porter
  • opaque tights @ Nordstrom
  • patent Manolo mary Janes @ Neiman Marcus

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    • http://www.solessence.blogspot.com hillary

      truly flattering looks!

      hillarys last blog post..Feelin’ the Love Friday (customer raves)

    • http://www.solessence.blogspot.com hillary

      truly flattering looks!

      hillarys last blog post..Feelin’ the Love Friday (customer raves)

    • http://www.solessence.blogspot.com hillary

      truly flattering looks!

      hillarys last blog post..Feelin’ the Love Friday (customer raves)

    • http://styleobserver.com Jean V. Pratt

      Beautiful post Maddie! Love all the looks, such a nice range of styles. I like the first and second looks for myself!!

    • http://styleobserver.com Jean V. Pratt

      Beautiful post Maddie! Love all the looks, such a nice range of styles. I like the first and second looks for myself!!

    • http://www.giftgirl.com Jean Vouté Pratt

      Beautiful post Maddie! Love all the looks, such a nice range of styles. I like the first and second looks for myself!!

    • http://thebaggageclaim.blogspot.com Minjae

      I am also a HUGE fan of the first ensemble! Am only 5′ 7″ but think I can still pull it off haha but it would look gorgeous on some tall people I know. :)

      Minjaes last blog post..Shop Treat? Yes, Please!

    • http://thebaggageclaim.blogspot.com Minjae

      I am also a HUGE fan of the first ensemble! Am only 5′ 7″ but think I can still pull it off haha but it would look gorgeous on some tall people I know. :)

      Minjaes last blog post..Shop Treat? Yes, Please!

    • http://thebaggageclaim.blogspot.com Minjae

      I am also a HUGE fan of the first ensemble! Am only 5′ 7″ but think I can still pull it off haha but it would look gorgeous on some tall people I know. :)

      Minjaes last blog post..Shop Treat? Yes, Please!

    • Crystal

      I’m so excited this look is back! I loved wearing long cardigans when they were in fashion 5 years ago — it’s an effortless way to look put together (and warm) without committing to a cold weather coat. Loved this post for the many creative suggestions! Thanks!

    • Crystal

      I’m so excited this look is back! I loved wearing long cardigans when they were in fashion 5 years ago — it’s an effortless way to look put together (and warm) without committing to a cold weather coat. Loved this post for the many creative suggestions! Thanks!

    • Crystal

      I’m so excited this look is back! I loved wearing long cardigans when they were in fashion 5 years ago — it’s an effortless way to look put together (and warm) without committing to a cold weather coat. Loved this post for the many creative suggestions! Thanks!

    • Barchbo

      Love the long cardigan! Am very excited about this for fall (have been visiting that Donna Karan on net-a-porter.com, coincidentally!) Since I am tall, I love the long, sweeping cardi!

      The shoes in the post are so interesting, too. And a leather tank?! Love it.

      (Maddie, I noticed you worked in another All Saints – I love it!)

    • Barchbo

      Love the long cardigan! Am very excited about this for fall (have been visiting that Donna Karan on net-a-porter.com, coincidentally!) Since I am tall, I love the long, sweeping cardi!

      The shoes in the post are so interesting, too. And a leather tank?! Love it.

      (Maddie, I noticed you worked in another All Saints – I love it!)

    • Barchbo

      Love the long cardigan! Am very excited about this for fall (have been visiting that Donna Karan on net-a-porter.com, coincidentally!) Since I am tall, I love the long, sweeping cardi!

      The shoes in the post are so interesting, too. And a leather tank?! Love it.

      (Maddie, I noticed you worked in another All Saints – I love it!)

    • http://laurinandkellytalk.com Laurin

      I have a sweater box full of long cardigans I’m dusting off as we speak.

      Laurins last blog post..White Shirt Wednesday

    • http://laurinandkellytalk.com Laurin

      I have a sweater box full of long cardigans I’m dusting off as we speak.

      Laurins last blog post..White Shirt Wednesday

    • http://laurinandkellytalk.com Laurin

      I have a sweater box full of long cardigans I’m dusting off as we speak.

      Laurins last blog post..White Shirt Wednesday

    • http://www.fashionweeksd.com Heather

      Love the ideas! I noticed the petite section and it reminded me of this designer I met that is going to be showing her line in fashion week san diego. She specializes in clothing for petite women! Check out the website for more info.

    • http://www.fashionweeksd.com Heather

      Love the ideas! I noticed the petite section and it reminded me of this designer I met that is going to be showing her line in fashion week san diego. She specializes in clothing for petite women! Check out the website for more info.

    • http://www.fashionweeksd.com Heather

      Love the ideas! I noticed the petite section and it reminded me of this designer I met that is going to be showing her line in fashion week san diego. She specializes in clothing for petite women! Check out the website for more info.

    • Rosetta

      Madeline,
      I love your post — thanks for remembering to add the cardigan ensemble for the “shorter” woman. We love to be included!!!

    • Rosetta

      Madeline,
      I love your post — thanks for remembering to add the cardigan ensemble for the “shorter” woman. We love to be included!!!

    • Rosetta

      Madeline,
      I love your post — thanks for remembering to add the cardigan ensemble for the “shorter” woman. We love to be included!!!

    • Stephenie Dennard

      The first one is great. But I am looking for a cardigan for everyday wear longer in length but classical. Navy blue only, because I have a look in my head that was sixties but it worked. No sleeves flopping in the water when you wash when playing with children it needs to be buttoned but not with ribbing on the base. I am in my early sixties and don't like synthetics but cashmere is also extravagant for every day wear. No three quarter length sleeves either they make older women look older.
      Have you any suggestions!!! I like the American style of dressing, layering, because of the inevitable flush on occasion.

    • Stephenie Dennard

      The first one is great. But I am looking for a cardigan for everyday wear longer in length but classical. Navy blue only, because I have a look in my head that was sixties but it worked. No sleeves flopping in the water when you wash when playing with children it needs to be buttoned but not with ribbing on the base. I am in my early sixties and don't like synthetics but cashmere is also extravagant for every day wear. No three quarter length sleeves either they make older women look older.
      Have you any suggestions!!! I like the American style of dressing, layering, because of the inevitable flush on occasion.

    • Madeline_Rhodes

      Hi Stephanie! thanks for your comment! I would suggest checking out Eileen Fisher- she makes a lot of beautifully natural and flowing pieces for women specifically in your age group (not to mention 60 is the new 40!).

      Her designs are so graceful and full of life- meant for a real woman who performs real tasks every day – as you mentioned. Good luck! I think you'll like her designs if you liked #1

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      Great Post! Keep up the good work. I have bookmarked your site for future reference.

    • http://www.artfulwears.com manda

      i'm a big fan of the long cardigan trend. may i suggest the long flyaway cardigan by press from a site called artful wears? it's super-chic and totally non-bulky, which i think is the key. ;) i also have a crocheted one from urban outfitters from years ago that i am going to bust out again!

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      very beautiful fashion, if really fits for a model with angel face.

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      these wear cool fashions, casual and can also be used in formal occasions, my style.

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    • http://www.urbanerwear.com/ sohan

      Its really nice design dresses. I like it most.
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    • http://juicycouturedeals.com/juicy-couture-diaper-bags Juicy Couture diaper

      This cardigan style fall for my physique. I'm 5'6″ tall and love dressing like this, though I'm thinner than the usual, like the models.

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      You did a good blog.