Okay, so I am being a little over dramatic. But, don’t you feel your cardigan truly is a lifesaver when you need one?
It’s summertime – that means record breaking heat outdoors and, subsequently, air conditioners a blazin’ full force indoors. A soft, cozy and lightweight cardigan sweater protects us from office chills. We can easily take it off on our walk to lunch and cover up again inside any cold restaurant.
Easy access to a summer cardigan at the office can serve you well in last minute meetings with clients or board members too. Simply layer your go-to ‘office’ cardigan over your sleeveless sheath dress for those more formal engagements.
It will also come in handy when you leave the office for the subway after sundown because of a near miss deadline!
The perfect summer office cardigan looks like it is part of your work outfit and not just a grab and go piece. Here are some style strategies to help you stash the right one at the office or in your tote bag, keeping you fashionably prepared at all times:
- Material: Cardigans made with thin cotton, cashmere, jersey or linen blends are lightweight, yet still protect our skin.
- Color: Select a complimentary color that will enhance the outfits you regularly wear to work. Light gray, tan, black, navy, white, yellow, or pale blue (see JCrew cardi above) are just a few colors that complement most summer wardrobes.
- Length: Whether you opt for a classic, contemporary or trendy design for your ‘office’ cardigan, the length should flatter your figure as well as complement your daily outfits. Make sure your entire outfit stands out, not just the cardigan.
- Fit: Be sure your cardigan allows you to move your arms freely. If you wear lots of sleeveless tops during the summer then you can choose a more fitted cardigan. If you prefer short, three-quarter, or enjoy rolling up long sleeves then you may need to go up one size to find the perfect fit for your office cardigan. Another fit tip is to pay close attention to shoulder seams on the backside. Make sure the seams are directly on the outside tip of the shoulder and there is no pulling or bunching – a common occurrence with thin knit sweaters.
- Details: Dark buttons, busy patterns, extra sheer or open knits, slouchy pockets are examples of design details that may not work best for your go-to office cardigan. Opt for minimal design details.
- Versatility: An effective at-office cardigan performs seamlessly well with your favored summer work dresses, skirts, trousers, and jeans. Choose one that sustains your formidable work style quotient.
Let me know what issues and/or assets having a cardigan in your wardrobe gives you!
Top image credit: JCrew Cashmere V-neck Cardigan $158, available at JCrew.