Styles may come and styles may go quicker than you know. But one fashion style that remains unchanged is the classic button down cardigan or as some call it, the button front cardigan. I wore one in grade school, middle & high school, college and throughout my working career. To this day, one hangs in my closet ready to wear. The one thing that has changed for me is the size, but that is another conversation. LOL!
The cardigan was first worn by James Thomas Brudenell, the seventh Earl of Cardigan, who was a lieutenant general in the British army. In 1854, he led the famous Charge of the Light Brigade at the Battle of Balaclava during the Crimean War while wearing a forerunner of the cardigan, described as a knitted waistcoat. It went on to become quite fashionable after the battle. https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2016/06/the-military-origins-of-the-cardigan/488252/I
In 1883, it was revised and inspired to greater heights by Coco Chanel. The button down cardigan did not become popular in the U.S. until the 1950’s. Our fashions style created it to be worn open or button closed. Some even had a matching pullover sweater and they were worn as a set. The cardigan is popular with both men and women and while the button front is the main feature, styles of cardigans vary. While wearing both open or buttoned is the most popular look, some still choose to tie them around the neck and drape on the shoulders. Does anyone remember the sweater clasp that was popular among women’s fashion years ago? Women would often drape their sweater on their shoulders and use the clasp to keep it closed and in place or wear their sweater open, with the clasp as decoration. This is a part of the fashion choice that we do not see often in today’s style.
Cardigans are also quite affordable and will fit anyone’s budget easily. Thus making it is easy to build a collection of these popular sweater choices in multiple colors, styles and textures. They can adapt to both an appropriate work attire and a casual comfy look for fun and leisure.