+ Look for Less

10th Commandment: September 10


Nic + Zoe Back of the Chair Cardigan ($108, also in petite)

This post is for my friend Virginia, who like many professional women, is cardi obsessed.  I chose this cardigan to feature for two reasons: 1) the v-neck makes it a good choice for both the well-endowed and the less-gifted, and 2) the gathering around the waist keeps it from being a shapeless sack.  (Yay!)  It also makes belting a cinch.

It comes in six colors.  They also offer it in a bold blue hue or a charcoal melange for $144.

Need something under-$100?  Halogen has this wool-blend crewneck in 14 colors for $59 (also in petite).  Halogen also offers a v-neck cardigan for $46 that comes in several fall hues.

Prefer open cardigans?  Splendid has a chic, voluminous option that comes in six colors.  This ruched sleeve option from MOD.lusive is a good choice for casual Friday.

Plus-size?  Nic + Zoe makes the cardigan in plus, but only in a couple of colors.  Many readers find great cardigans at Land’s End, which judging from the wide selection, is a good place to start.

Tall? Land’s End also has several options.  I’m also a big fan of this breezy J.Jill Sanibel open-cardi.



  1. Rachel C says:

    What is Halogen’s sizing like? At Loft, Banana and JCrew I typically wear a small in cardigans. Am I safe to assume the sizing is similar? I love the zipper detail on the v-neck cardi. It’s just that little something that keeps it from blending in with the other 400 v-neck cardis I own.

    September 10, 2014/Reply
  2. Addie says:

    I LOVE August Silk cardigans from Macys. They don’t pill or lose their shape, the colors choices are awesome and they’re very affordable at less than $40 each. All if my neutral cardigans That I wear constantly are August Silk. They are crew neck however.

    September 10, 2014/Reply
  3. Joules says:

    It looks very nice, and I like the detailing (the cinched waist is great) but I can’t see myself spending over $100 on a cardigan pretty much ever. :/

    Style by Joules

    September 10, 2014/Reply
  4. Anon says:

    I am mystified by the continued recommendation of cardigans in a professional setting. I know the First Lady regularly wears them, but that is a bit different (though I sometimes have doubts even then). Where I come from, if you want to be taken seriously, you wear a jacket. Not necessarily a suit (and certainly not the power shoulders etc of the 80s), nor is it mandatory to be black or look like a man’s suit: and pants are definitley (now) acceptable – but still, a jacket is a jacket….

    September 10, 2014/Reply
    • Belle says:

      Cardis are good for business casual, I wear them on Fridays and Mondays, when things are more relaxed at the capitol. For me they were a jacket substitute for lighter days. I would never ever wear one to a big meeting or a hearing, etc.

      September 10, 2014/Reply
  5. Emily says:

    Has anyone had any luck with Uniqlo cardigans–either cashmere or merino?

    September 10, 2014/Reply
  6. Elena says:

    Thank you for all the options! I just did some closet organizing and realized I am in serious need of some new cardigans.

    The 20-Something Project

    September 10, 2014/Reply
  7. Christina says:

    Does you have a recommendation for a lined cardigan? I wear a cardi almost daily (in office but not imp meetings) as our offices are so cold! But I hate wearing them directly on my skin esply if I’m wearing a sleeveless blouse. I love the idea of a lined cardi (I alomost splurged on a Bailey 44 Silk-Lined Campfire Cardigan at Saks but the silk back turned me off)… Do you have any suggestions on a budget? Ann Taylor had a few this summer but they were short sleeved and I’m not sure they would work in a formal setting.

    September 10, 2014/Reply
  8. Virginia says:

    Well, this is obviously my favorite post you have ever done. Normally I wouldn’t pay more than $60 for a cardigan but because they are such a staple of my wardrobe and will get so much use, I’m definitely ordering it today. And, Belle, I’m going to order it bright blue or purple!

    September 11, 2014/Reply
    • Belle says:

      A COLOR? TWO COLORS? It’s an End of Summer Miracle!

      September 11, 2014/Reply