Women's Print Cardigans

woman wearing striped cardigan

When it comes to sassy style, few clothes do the job as well as women's print cardigans. Think of them as basics with a twist - they offer a little color and personality, yet still retain the sensible quality of a solid, everyday-appropriate cardigan.

About Cardigans

A cardigan is a no-fail garment that women of all ages love for its versatility. It's the perfect topper for a tank top or shell, it looks great over dresses and it adds a layer of just-right warmth on those days when it's not quite cool enough for a jacket, yet still warrants a little something extra.

Cardigans are available in a number of styles, colors and materials. Basically, there is a cardigan for every season. Women who live in regularly cold climates likely swear by thick, nubby cardigans made from thick knits and wool blends. Then there are those cardigans that wear well year round, usually made of cotton or acrylic. There are even very thin cardigans that are perfect to wear in the thick of summer over sleeveless dresses!

Wearing Women's Print Cardigans

Women who want to add a splash of color or interest to their everyday looks might consider print cardigans. Effortless and so easy to mix and match with your existing wardrobe, a print cardigan can make boring outfits lively, neutral outfits colorful and classic outfits trendy. Even those who tend to shy away from bold looks can find favor in a neutral print. There are so many options available, including:

  • Animal prints: Whether you favor cheetahs and leopards or zebras and snakes, chances are you'll find an animal print cardigan that you love. Animal prints are simply classic, and you can't go wrong wearing one over a black dress or a solid blouse and sleek black pencil skirt and heels. Animal prints also shake up jeans and T-shirts in an instant.
  • Floral prints: The ubiquitous floral print is so timeless that it would be impossible to avoid them in your search for a printed cardigan. There are plenty of types available, from ditsy (miniature) floral artwork to painterly (watercolor) flower prints. You'll also find many classic looks, such as roses and daisies. Flower prints aren't all prim and proper, either. Look for edgy color combinations, contrasting sleeves and unusual details, like fur collars.
  • Ikat prints: The thoroughly modern ikat print is essentially an updated take on abstract artwork. It is at once recognizable, boasting bold color combinations in intriguing zigzag patterns, wavy lines and geometric shapes. This is not a print for the timid, as it tends to steal the show from the rest of the outfit. If you like the print but want to keep it somewhat simple, try a dark, neutral color palette, like cocoa or gray.
  • Mixed prints: Mixed prints are also not for the conservative, namely because they are the very definition of taking a fashion risk. By combining several patterns at once, mixed print cardigans make a statement with their standout colors and undeniably edgy designs. A mixed print cardigan might feature striped arms and an ikat print body, for example, or might be floral in one area and animal printed in another. Experiment a bit to see what works for you.
  • Navajo prints: Navajo prints somehow just scream "winter" in the best way. It's no wonder, then, that they made such a splash in winter 2010, when they made their way to everything from dresses to sweaters. The print incorporates a bevy of opposing colors and combines them all together for an eye-popping palette sure to turn heads. Most Navajo print cardigans are long, chunky and perfect for snowy afternoons spent by the fire.
  • Polka dot prints: Right up there with other playfully printed cardigans, polka dots are perfect for bringing a fun touch to your everyday wardrobe. Though they're typically found in black and white, it's not impossible to find other color combinations. There is something distinctly youthful about a polka dot print, so be cautious about wearing it to professional environments or anywhere you wish to exude a sophisticated presence.
  • Tonal prints: A tonal print cardigan is a great choice if you prefer a more conservative look. Tonal prints incorporate variations of the same color with one another for a very pared down, low-key color palette. You might see dark grey and light grey together, for example, or light blue with dark blue. The effect is usually very understated, so it's great to wear to the office.
  • Tribal prints: Tribal prints seemingly know no expiration date. Even though they're considered "trendy," it just so happens that they're trendy nearly every year - which really makes them classic. The tribal print incorporates numerous colors in its palette, and fashions them into intriguing graphic patterns influenced by African culture. Since they're so bold and make such a statement, it's best to wear them with something minimal so that they really shine.

Making the Choice

Of course, there are so many women's print cardigans to choose from that it may seem daunting when faced with all of them at once. Narrow it down based on your budget and needs, so you'll have an easier time choosing.

For example, if you want a cardigan to wear primarily to work, you know you will probably need to eliminate the extremely bold patterns if your workplace is conservative. If it's for a special event, you know it's a good idea to seek out the more sophisticated, embellished print cardigans. No matter what the occasion, you can count on getting plenty of wear from a print cardigan.

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Women's Print Cardigans