It is believed that the first cardigans were sported by Irish fishermen who relied on these hand knitted heavy woollen garments for protection against the harsh winter. Cardigans open from the front and can be buttoned and zipped up, making it easier to don and remove them as compared to pullovers. Perhaps the fact that cardigans do not mess up the hair while getting in and out of them contributed to their popularity. (Hey, 17th century fishermen too would have wanted to look good!).
Whatever the reasons, cardigans became popular. And soon, special cardigans for women were being designed. Trends shifted from completely functional cardigans to cardigans that were stylish. This meant that cardigans became all season wear. While they are still sported in winter for warmth, you can wear them all year round. Besides wool, cardigans today are made of light cotton, lycra, polyester, rayon and luxurious cashmere. The colors, designs and embellishments on the cardigans are limited only by the designer’s creativity.
It is a fact that nothing defines casual chic or even smart chic; same goes for the cardigans. The super stylish James Bond is never without his cardigan, is he?
James Bond in a cardigan in ‘Casino Royale’. It has been revealed that the British secret agent wore 3 separate cardigans in this movie.
James Bond in a cardigan in ‘Quantum of Solace’.
It is well established that cardigans are here to stay. But what are the style trends for cardigans in 2012? You don’t want to make a fashion mistake by wearing the wrong thing or worse embarrass yourself by wearing a cardigan that was popular last season.
Ladies and gentlemen, presenting to you the top 10 2012 cardigan trends. Sit back and enjoy.
Top 10 Cardigan Trends in 2012 for Men and Women
- Colored Cardigans for Women
2012 is all about bright colors for women. Take advantage of the fact that layering was hot on the ramp this season.
This bright strawberry cardigan brightens up the plain top and jeans and adds a dash of color to your ensemble
Layer up your long tunics and blousons with a bright cardigan and get set for rocking work day or a day around town.
- Patterned, Contrast Cardigans for Preppy Women
In 2012, women can use patterned, contrast cardigans to pull off the preppy style. As you are aware, the preppy look consists of bright colors and bold patterns. Team up your plain, small patterned dress with a contrast color cardigan sporting large patterns.
Bold patterns in the cardigan contrast the mini patterns in the dress to create a preppy look.
Complement the attire with attitude and innate style and you are sure to make heads turn.
- Preppy Cardigans for Men
Men aiming for the preppy look can achieve it quite simply by casually knotting the cardigan around the neck. With summer around the corner, you surely do not need the cardigan for warmth. It is purely a style statement and use it so. Do not be afraid to experiment with colours.
Who says pink is for women. The pink cardigan contrasts with the blue shirt to create a preppy style.
- Cardigan Tops for Women
In 2012, the ramps promoted ‘top length’ cardigans for women. These are cardigans of just the right length to serve as tops over your skirt or trousers. You can opt for these cardigans in a variety of colours and patterns that match best with your trousers and skirts.
Cardigan doubles up as a top. Note the matching accessories on the neck and hands.
Pair it up with the right accessory to complete the look.
- Cardigan Wraps with Belt for Women
Cardigan wraps are back in vogue. The summer trends are moving away from heavy woollen materials naturally. Throw a cardigan wrap over your outfit and hold it in place with big, bold belt for a stylish look.
The belt contributes to the style statement you make with your cardigan.
- Open Cardigans in Shimmery Tones
Fashion editors in the know are confident that this spring, pairing shimmery open cardigans with darkish tops is the way forward. As always, silver remains a favorite for its understated elegance, as compared to the over-the-top shimmer of gold.
Pair this silver cardigan with a dark hued top for best effects.
- Shawl Collar Cardigans for Men for Casual look
2012 sees the return of the shawl collar cardigan for men. Combine it with tee-shirt and jeans to complete your casual chic ensemble. You can opt to leave the cardigan open or buttoned up three-fourths.
Shawl collar cardigan can be used to accentuate a casual look.
This young man wants to start wearing Shawl collar cardigan early.
- Shawl Collar Cardigan for Formal Chic
The nature of the shawl collar complements the formal shirt admirably. This has been put to advantage in men’s fashion trends for 2012. You can safely combine your shawl neck cardigan with the formal work attire and be sure that no fashion faux pas has been committed.
- Plain Makes Way for Pattern
You read that one right. Men no longer have to be restricted to boring plain cardigans. You can show off your fun/adventurous side with bold patterned cardigans. Whether it is stripes or checks, you are on the right track.
You can add checked and striped cardigans (as in figure below) to your wardrobe in 2012
- Any Color Goes in 2012
In 2012, cardigans for men can range from a sober gray or navy blue to bright orange or even green. Go with your instincts and you are sure to get it right.
Bright red cardigan is sure to make a style statement in 2012