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10 Essential Cardigan Sweaters

Get cozy with Must-Have Cardigans.

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The most essential layering piece you can own this fall is the cardigan sweater. From classic, button-front crewneck styles to sporty toggle cardigans, this type of sweater is classic enough that you'll reach for it every year. Want to really make an investment? Opt for high-end cashmere that's pricey, but definitely worth it!

While we all love a cozy cardi, watch proportions for your body type. Petite? Opt for a shorter, more fitted cardigan that doesn't overwhelm your figure. Curvy? Try a cardigan that has an open-front fit so it gives you a strong vertical line.

1. Classic Button-Front Cardigan

button front cardigan
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You can't go wrong with something as basic and timeless as a crewneck, button-front cardigan. Choose from standard neutral colors or insert print or brights into your wardrobe with the cardigan (it's a classy way to go with a wild print like leopard when you choose a timeless silhouette like a cardigan.)
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2. Open-Front Cardigan

Open front cardigan sweater
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Want the easiest layer of all? You can simply pop on the open-front cardigan and go. Look for pretty details like a cascading effect or ruffles for a more feminine look; you can even pair with a same-color camisole or tee for a twinset look that's softer and more flattering than a traditional button-front cardigan.
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3. Toggle Cardigan

Toggle cardigan
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The toggle cardigan adds a sporty element to this basic piece. Opt for chunky knits with bold toggles for menswear look that goes with everything from office-ready pants to skinny jeans.
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4. Print Cardigan

Flower print cardigan
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The classic cardigan is the perfect place to add a bold print. Choose feminine florals or wild animal prints for a look that adds zip to a neutral wardrobe.
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5. Cocoon Cardigan

cocoon cardigan
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Love cardigans but want something soft and pretty? Go with the graceful look of the cocoon cardigan; the curved hem cuts a pretty silhouette.
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6. Cashmere Cardigan

For the ultimate in luxe, try a cashmere cardigan. You'll love the feel and warmth that this upscale fiber gives you. It may be an investment, but cashmere is worth the price! Look for a classic cut -- like an open-front style or classic button-front -- that will always look right, year after year.
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7. Lurex Cardigan

Lurex cardigan sweater
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Add a dressy layer with a cardigan that has Lurex thread in it for metallic sparkle. Perfect for everything from open-front cardigan to button-front classic cardigans.
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8. Fur-Trimmed Cardigan

Fur trim cardigan
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Like a little extra glam in your cold-weather gear? Try a fur-trimmed cardigan for a fun, dressed-up look. While the real stuff will set you back some money, a faux fur cardigan is animal-friendly (and wallet-friendly.) Go with monochromatic looks (silver fox with gray cardigan) or high-contrast (a red sweater with a black fur trim.)
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9. Wrap Cardigan

The wrap or tie waist cardigan
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The wrap cardigan is a great way to create more of an hourglass figure and reign in the bulk of the typical cardigan sweater. It's also the perfect way to carry off longer-length cardigans without looking lost in too much fabric. Opt for lighter-weight knits (like fine cashmeres) in the wrap silhouette and you'll find it's a more flattering look that trying to belt a chunky knit sweater.
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10. Shrug

Shrug
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The perfect layer over tshirts or dresses: the shrug. This fitted little sweater silhouette works nicely on petites and slim frames where bulkier cardigans might look overwhelming. Pair the shrug with a longer tee underneath; the shrug brings all the focus up to the shoulders and bustline (it's a look that works on most body types except for very busty women.)
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