Summer cardigans: how to style 9 of the best knits

Posted by for Fashion

The classic cardigan has had a summer makeover, here’s how to style this season’s key wardrobe staple. 

New knitwear alert! We know what you’re thinking – knitwear for summer? Yes, really. Just because the warmer days are here doesn’t mean knitwear has to be destined for the vacuum bags. In fact, the ‘new in’ sections are filled with one style in particular: the cardigan.

A much-loved favourite by grandpas and Geography teachers, the classic button up got an overhaul for the spring/summer season with Burberry, Celine, Chanel, Fendi and Loewe all delivering desirable versions of the surprise sartorial hit. Street style stars were quick to get on board with the trend, wearing their cardigans with contrasting leather shorts or using it as a layering tool in a head-to-toe tonal look. 

Naturally, the high street got in on the action too when earlier this year Zara’s beige cardigan and crop top combo went viral after paying homage to that Katie Holmes cashmere set

A show goer wears a grey cardigan and leather shorts
This show goer teams her chunky cardigan with leather shorts.
A show goer wears a black and white cardigan with white trousers
A lesson in how to monochrome your cardigan look.

Influencers including We The People Style’s Jessie Bush have also been showing off another way to style the cardigan: wearing it as a top. Button up with nothing else underneath and tuck into jeans or a slip skirt for a nod to the 90s. 

Is this the perfect WFH outfit? We think so. This is why we’ve searched some of our favourite sites to find the very best styles for summer – from & Other Stories’ short sleeved number to Acne Studios’ classic grey beauty. These are the nine cardigans to add to your online baskets, pronto. 

Best summer cardigans 2020

  • & Other Stories

    & Other Stories cardigan
    Best cardigans: & Other Stories

    Polo shirts are key this season – opt for a cardigan style and you’ll tick off two micro trends in one. 

    Wear this one  with a slinky slip skirt and lace up shoes. For a more casual vibe, switch to jeans and kicks. 

    Shop & Other Stories cardigan, £55

  • Topshop

    Topshop white cardigan
    Best cardigans: Topshop

    We love the frill detail on this cardigan as it brings a sweet touch of femininity. Wear yours with slouchy trousers and chunky slides for a simple but effortless look. 

    Shop Topshop white cardigan, £16

  • Olive Clothing

    Olive Clothing cardigan
    Best cardigans: Olive Clothing

    The simple wrap cardi is the perfect WFH style. Throw on with a slip skirt or joggers and voila. 

    Shop Olive Clothing ballet wrap cardigan, £59

  • Zara

    Zara lilac cardigan
    Best cardigans: Zara

    We know Zara is good for a cardigan and the high street hero have got a plethora of colours and styles to cater to all appetites, but this lilac and rhinestone number is the one that caught our eye. As perfect with light denim as it is styled here with a ditsy print skirt. 

    Shop Zara lilac cardigan, £25.99

  • Arket

    Arket cardigan
    Best cardigans: Arket

    Add a pop of colour into your knitwear collection with a lilac cardi. Keep it sleek by wearing it buttoned up as a top with tailored trousers and a chain necklace. It also comes in four other colours.

    Shop Arket alpaca and merino cardigan, £79

  • Mango

    Mango long cardigan
    Best cardigans: Mango

    This Mango cardigan has got a holiday feel to it thanks to its crotchet-like fabric. Wear yours with layers of gold jewellery and denim cut offs for a real beach feel. 

    Shop Mango longline cardigan, £39.99

  • Alexa Chung

    AlexaChung blue cardigan
    Best cardigans: Alexa Chung

    A button down cardigan, but make it extra special. In keeping with the pearl details on this Alexa Chung piece, chuck yours on with a cool-girl pearl necklace. 

    Shop Alexa Chung cardigan, £177

  • Comme Des Garçons Girl

    Comme Des Garçons cardigan
    Best cardigans: Comme Des Garçons Girl

    If you like knitwear that you’ll get wear out of, go for a brand like Comme Des Garçons Girl. Its classic styles in neutral hues will go the distance in your wardrobe. 

    Shop Comme Des Garçons Girl v-neck cardigan, £205

  • Cos

    Cos linen cardigan
    Best cardigans: Cos

    Keep cool this summer in Cos’ loose fit linen cardigan. Chuck this on with a linen mini dress and tan sandals for a pared-back take on seasonal dressing. 

    Shop Cos cardigan, £69

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Opening image: Getty

Images: courtesy of brands

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