By now, we know the drill. If you're looking for elegant, understated and easy-to-wear outfit inspiration, French style is hard to beat. Somehow the average Parisian manages to take the items we've long had in our wardrobes (the Breton top, the straight-legged jean and the blazer, for example), and make it feel entirely new by adding a little je ne sais quoi.
Knitwear is no exception, and while it won't be cold enough for a chunky turtleneck much longer, one item we're wearing on repeat is the cardigan. Thanks to the likes of Katie Holmes and Zoë Kravitz, the cardigan is cool again, and French women are ahead of the curve when it comes to making button-down knits feel couture. So, where better to start looking for spring outfit inspiration than the French?
We always look to Franny for style inspo.
I've analysed the street style of Paris' savviest dressers to find the best and most fashionable ways to wear this season's hero knit, the cardigan, and I was not disappointed. Expect to see everything from classic to cropped cardigans paired with jeans, skirts and tailoring and, of course, the best accessories to finish your look. So keep scrolling for five ways to wear a cardigan, courtesy of France's most stylish.
1. THE CONTRAST-TRIM CARDIGAN + LOAFERS
Style Notes: Of course, we could count on Paris to give us a look reminiscent of Chanel's affinity for monochrome. Not only does this cardigan feel dressed up, but it manages to be casual-cool too with the simple addition of a white tee and loafers.
2. THE CROPPED CARDIGAN + JEANS
Style Notes: The '90s and noughties gave us some questionable trends, but the cropped cardigan isn't one of them. The recent Y2K revival has brought the tight, mini cardi back to the runways (especially that risqué Jacquemus number), and as it turns out, it's the perfect piece to wear with ultra-high-waisted jeans.
3. THE BLACK CARDIGAN + PREPPY SHIRT
Style Notes: Aside from the knitted vest, there's no better piece of knitwear that lends itself better to preppy layering. To avoid the outfit from looking too much like a school uniform, swap checks for pinstripes and loafers for knee-high boots.
4. THE FLUFFY CARDIGAN + TAILORED TROUSERS
Style Notes: Any combination of a fluffy knit and fitted trousers will always look good, but head-to-toe tonal dressing is especially effective. Just add statement shoes and an embellished bag, and you've got an outfit for the weekend, for dinner plans, for shopping, for exploring the city…
5. THE PATTERNED CARDIGAN + MINISKIRT + BALLET PUMPS
Style Notes: That's right. The Parisian's favourite accessory to a miniskirt is a bare leg. Perhaps a little optimistic for a British spring, but once the temperature rises, make the most of the mild weather by pairing a printed cardigan with a mini and pumps (perhaps grab a coat just in case.)