The Cardigan: A Spring Summer Staple

Easy to style and wear, the trusty cardigan is the perfect transitional weather and the abundance of half-overcast and half-sunny days we experience during springtime. The ever handy and greatly versatile cardigan is the epitome of a practical garment, whilst simultaneously offering an elegant and flattering addition to your outfit.

One of the biggest benefits of choosing to wear a cardigan is the convenience and freedom it offers throughout the day, particularly when compared to wearing a jacket. The cardigan makes for a great ‘just in case’ piece that you can easily fold up and slide into your work bag when you’re not wearing it. Should you choose to wear a jacket, packing it away into a bag isn’t an option, it needs to be draped over your arm which can be inconvenient.

Alongside its practicality, the cardigan also offers great versatility. We’ve mentioned above that they’re perfect for transitional weather, so the ideal choice for spring and autumn, but they’re also great for cool summer evenings and, of course, enveloping yourself in warmth during the winter. In the same regard, there are few other garments that can slide so easily from formal to casual. Wear with a dress shirt underneath and your outfit is formal enough for the workplace and with a t-shirt underneath you have a great weekend outfit.

The above reasons illustrate why and how the cardigan has repeatedly become a staple for so many throughout the years. In this article we’ve created a rundown of our cardigan offering, highlighting the prominent features of each and comparing them in order to help you think about which pieces would best suit your needs and lifestyle. At Colhay’s, this is something we are keen to focus on. We want each of our customers to fully understand the garments they’re investing in so that they can be confident in their choices, and own long-lasting pieces that can be cherished.

Merino Club Cardigan

Featuring a coloured striped trim and thick, flat ribs, this design is inspired by the sports cardigans worn in the 1960s and 70s. With this in mind, when it comes to styling, this cardigan is ideal for more informal attire. We recommend simply wearing with jeans and a tshirt or, when the weather’s on the warmer side, shorts and tshirt.

Made of 100% merino wool, this is an extremely soft piece which is light and breezy and perfect for spring summer wear. Alongside its supremely soft hand-feel, this natural material is also breathable and so you won’t overheat when wearing it.

Cashmere Shirt Cardigan

This particular cardigan is a mid-weight piece; not too chunky but not overly light either. It’s made from cashmere, so again, is another remarkably soft piece but one that’s a little warmer than our woollen cardigans.

If you’re looking for a cardigan that offers versatility, this is a perfect investment. The collar means it works well as a formal piece. You can easily dress it up, wearing it over a shirt for an understated office outfit. (It’s easy to fold and pack too, very useful for work.)

To dress it down, wear with jeans and tshirt for a stylish casual outfit. A third option with this cardigan is to wear it as a shirt substitute, either with a vest underneath if you’re looking to lessen the need for washing, or straight on the skin.

Cashmere Painter’s Shawl Collar Cardigan

This cashmere piece is more of an all-rounder in terms of weather. It keeps you warm, so is perfect for chilly mornings or evenings in spring, but is also ideal for all day wear in the colder months.

In terms of style, this cardigan has been designed to discreetly emulate the fit and look of men’s tailoring through various features. It’s important to note that these said features aren’t there to replicate the exact look of a tailored jacket, rather they mirror the flattering effects on the body.

You’ll notice the shawl collar. This creates an inverted v-shape on the torso, which is a universally flattering element, working well on all body types. The buttons have been placed quite far down, again in a similar fashion to a tailored jacket. We’ve added carefully placed slanted hidden pockets that add practicality but are in keeping with the minimal look and don’t disrupt the flow of the cardigan. None of these features are glaringly obvious, but come together to create a garment that flatters a wide range of body types.

Superfine Lambswool Tennis Cardigan in Oatmeal

In terms of weight, this piece is lighter than the previous two we’ve listed. It’s much closer to our Merino Club Cardigan in this sense and so is ideal as an extra ‘just in case’ layer in the spring and summer. The moderate thickness of this cardigan means it can be easily and comfortably worn under a jacket.

Secondly, let’s look at styling. With regards to shape and thickness, the cardigan can be easily dressed up or down, much like our Painter’s Cardigan. It’s great for comfortable office wear when worn with a shirt, but works just as well for a weekend brunch, for example.

This is a classic and elegant piece, again with discreet design features (dark brown Italian horn buttons and pockets) that add a little interest but aren’t too overbearing. This is another of our cardigans that creates that ever-flattering and sought after v-shape on the torso.

The wool used is an oatmeal colour and this neutral shade can be matched with ease to many commonly owned styles of trousers or shorts. It’s also important to note that it’s all one colour, making it even easier to integrate with your wardrobe. In comparison to the Merino Club Cardigan, which features three different colours which may require a bit more effort to coordinate with your outfit, this piece is easier to style as is just one colour. If you’re looking for versatility in terms of the range of colours and of the formality of the pieces that you can wear with your cardigan, this is a great option.

Cashmere Silk Resort Shirt in Dark Brown

This is another versatile piece that is designed to be worn as a shirt substitute but can also be worn as a cardigan too. We have seen our customers wear this garment in both ways and they look great either way. Some examples below from our lookbooks:

Worn as a shirt substitute: 

Worn as a cardigan:

We’ve given the shirt a straight hem, rather than the rounded hem you’re likely to find on a dress or casual shirt, which means it doesn’t look out of place as a cardigan and gives you more options in terms of how you wear and style the shirt.

Our Resort Shirts are made from a superbly soft blend of cashmere and silk which is lighter than 100% cashmere and makes it most suitable for spring summer wear. However, having said this, the shirt is thinner than many cardigans and with simply a collar, button up placket and cuffs, has a beautifully unembellished simplicity that lends itself to layering. Should you want to, you could make this piece work for you all year round.

If you’d like more information on our cardigans, or advice on how to style or wear them, we’re more than happy to help. Our lookbook pages are a treasure trove of styling inspiration, but if you’d like more personalised advice, contact us directly.