It’s pushing triple-digit heat throughout most of the US right now, but that didn’t stop me from buying a cardigan. Seriously! I wandered into H&M the other day and picked up this sheer summer cardigan for $12.99 — and my mind is reeling with the possibilities for this inexpensive layering piece. Here’s a closer look at the $13 piece and 13 ways to wear it.
No. 1 Over Sleeveless Tops to the Office
The trick to maximizing your fashion budget is buying clothes that you wear a lot. If you live in a seasonal climate, you are challenged with managing a seasonal wardrobe — since the stuff you buy for winter doesn’t get worn in the hotter months.
A light cardigan can help you use the same pieces even when the weather hits both extremes. As an example, I have several sleeveless shell tops that I wear underneath heavier cardigans and blazers in the winter. In the summer months, they usually sit idle in the closet because sleeveless alone is just too casual for the office.
This sheer cardigan solves that. Layer it over your sleeveless tops for a work-appropriate ensemble.
No. 2 Over Shorts at Sunset
Cardigans are like the tofu of fashion — they take on the personality of what you wear with them. A sheer cardigan looks as right with shorts as it does with a summer dress.
No. 3 Over Anything in an Airport or Movie Theater
If you’re prone to getting cold in air-conditioned places, stash this cardi in your over-sized bag and throw it on when you need it. Even better, see No. 6 below.
No. 4 Over a Bralette
The right bralette makes a cute base for a light cardigan. Wear this pair for a day out shopping when the bralette by itself is too much skin.
No. 5 With a Skinny Belt
Add a skinny belt to your cardigan to give your outfit a more structured look.
No. 6 Tied Around Your Waist
Here, Kirsten Dunst keeps her cardi within arm’s reach when traveling.
No. 7 Tied Over Your Shoulders
Not every girl likes to pull in her clothes at the waist or hips. If you want to keep your cardigan handy without tying it at the waist or hips, tie it over your shoulders instead. This is a more formal style choice vs. tying the sweater at the waist, and adds more visual weight to your upper body.
No. 8 With a Tank + Statement Necklace
No. 9 To Create a Slimmer Silhouette
Because this cardigan is lightweight, slightly sheer and straight cut, it’s also flattering. The length creates slimming vertical lines that lengthen your figure.
If this is the effect you’re after, be careful about what you wear under this sweater. A puffy skirt, for example, isn’t the right choice; the cardigan will not hang straight (unless you have very broad shoulders). Instead, keep the whole outfit on the fitted side, and use the cardigan to smooth out any problem areas.
No. 10 Over Your Gym Clothes
Mix things up by reaching for the cardigan over the hoodie as your pre-gym coverup.
No. 11 With a Hat
You’re wearing a hat this summer for sun protection, right? Adding a lightweight cardigan to the mix just works.
No. 12 Over a Swimsuit By the Pool
Why not get creative with your poolside coverup? Add some strappy sandals and you’ll look right at home on your way to the beach club.
No. 13 Instead of a Blazer
Nearly anything that pairs well with a blazer will pair with a lightweight cardigan in the warmer months. Summer dress, shell dress, denim capris? Yes, yes and yes.