How the cardigan became cool

From your grandma’s favourite to Katie Holmes’ ‘sexigan’, the cardigan has had quite the transformation. Add one to your wardrobe immediately.

Nonchalance is key when it comes to styling this season’s newly revitalised crop of cardigans. Blame it on Katie Holmes: when the actress stepped out in a matching beige cardigan and bralette last autumn, paired with relaxed denim and little else, she set off a resurgence of the age-old knit.

“This little gem comes and goes so often that investing in one – or several if you’re an avid fan – is never is a bad idea,” says Bicester Village’s personal stylist Guga Filho.

Without a shadow of doubt, it’s confidence that makes someone stylish.

Laura Stanley

Personal shopper

And there are certainly plenty of styles to choose from this season, from ladylike designs, adorned with brooch-like embroidery, and tight-knit neutrals to oversized fluffy numbers and waist-skimming crops.

So what do all of these have in common? Effortless styling. Choose a fresh pastel shade, but borrow a tip from the catwalks and pull it down off the shoulder. Or choose big balloon sleeves and button it loosely in the middle.

The secret is also to wear it over something unexpected – think bare skin (a la an off-duty model) or a T-shirt rather than a blouse. Guga agrees: “Avoid it looking stuffy by pairing it with cropped trousers or culottes, or with an interesting pair of jeans!

“Keep it cool by layering it over a fun T-shirt and with a chunky necklace.”

Keep it cool by layering it over a fun T-shirt and with a chunky necklace.

Guga Filho

Personal shopper

As for the colour? “Neutrals, such as beige, grey and black, are essential foundations to every wardrobe. They allow flexibility with mix and matching and add longevity thanks to their simplicity,” adds fellow Bicester Village stylist Laura Stanley. “Clashing neutrals with a bright colour can look really modern. There’s a risk of looking dowdy when you wear neutrals from head to toe – the key is to match the tone perfectly when you’re wearing one colour.”

Whichever piece you go for, chic nonchalance comes courtesy of you, and you alone. “Without a shadow of doubt, it’s confidence that makes someone stylish,” says Laura. “If you wear an outfit with conviction, you’re on to a winner.”