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I asked 5 Australian creatives how they style a cardigan

IMAGE VIA @CHARLOTTEJENNINGS/INSTAGRAM

WORDS BY IZZY WIGHT

Fashion’s unassuming feminist statement.

As a feminist, fashion writer and general lover of chaos, any clothing item that once generated public male backlash is very appealing. According to The Week, the cardigan – the same garment beloved by grandmas everywhere – was once likened by a 1944 WWII veteran to the “horrors of war”. And people say women are dramatic.

The oversized, generously long and cosy knits were an act of female rebellion against restrictive dress standards, a world away from the girdles and corsets of the early 20th century. Needless to say, the fellas were not happy – because what’s the point in getting dressed when your curves are obscured?


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Thankfully, the social fashion psyche has made leaps and bounds since button-down knitwear apparently made stuffy old men furious (now they have bigger problems, like Cardi B). Cardigans are recognised as the brilliant trans-seasonal staple they are, crafted in a rainbow of cool colours and ranging in sizes from micro-mini to chunky-cool. To celebrate my newfound feminist knowledge, I asked some of my favourite Australian creatives how they style the cardigan.

Emily Watson, designer and founder of Emily Watson

I’m wearing the Nereid Bolero in sunset pink from the AW collection of my resort wear brand, Emily Watson. I styled it with the Tankini set in black from my previous collection and paired it with some white footless tights for a romantic, ice skating, wintery assemblage.

When designing the AW collection, I wanted to bring in a layering piece which could be worn thrown over a tank or a sleeveless dress for extra warmth without detracting from the outfit – more like making it. I love how flattering the slim-fitting sleeves are and the versatility of the ruffle detailing, which can be worn loose or tied in different ways.

@emmmmilywatson

Enoah Giberne, content creator

I am cold 90 per cent of the time – it’s a fact. As a result, I tend to pile on clothes in order to keep warm (I may look bulky but I am cosy!). I came across this little cardigan at a time when temperatures dropped in Sydney. I picked it up from Attik (the brand is Oscar Street). The colour drew me in and the pattern made me buy it!

The Houndstooth (or pied-de-poule, for the fancy) pattern is a timeless symbol of elegance and sophistication. I played with this aspect by adding the preppy pearls and the white headband; the fluffy texture and bright blue colour made it modern. I paired it with a simple black tee, ’90s wide-leg jeans, simple black sneakers and a tiny black bag from Peta and Jain.

@enoahgbn

Kelsey Martinovich, model

This cardigan is from Frisson Knits, hand knitted in NZ. I love a bright colour so I couldn’t resist this orange. It’s a cropped cardigan so I like to style it with baggy blue jeans and just a crop top underneath. Super comfy and loose.

@kelseymartinovich

Charlotte Jennings, founder of Frisson Knits

Winter has returned and everyone needs a great cardigan in their life. I’m wearing a Frisson Knits cardigan. This one is super lightweight, so I can wear it under jackets or by itself on a warmer day.

I’m all about being snuggly and warm – cardigans are the perfect trans-seasonal staple. I’d pair it with a corset at night or a T-shirt and a pair of baggy Levis during the day.

@_frisson_knits

Angie Di Fabrizio, model and content creator

I love building my outfits from the basics up, so I naturally gravitate towards block colour. This black cotton cardigan is a thrifted piece from the Melbourne consignment store Goodbyes. The cardigan plays as a perfect versatile base allowing me to mix, match and layer with so many different outfit elements.

I style mine as a buttoned-up, off the shoulder moment. Tucking the cardigan into my pants accentuates my waist and helps to elevate the warmth factor (win). To finish the look, I’d throw over a black leather jacket before braving the Melbourne winter weather.

@angiedifab

Find more Australian knitwear labels here.

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