One hundred percent cotton or merino wool, three-quarter or full sleeve, machine or hand-printed, intarsia or embroidered, button up or open, I love printed and embellished cardigans in all their glory. I’m trying to remember back to when I bought my first printed cardigan, and I’m not sure I can. But I do remember jamming from my office downtown to the j.crew at the fashion square in Sherman Oaks on my lunch break when I finally decided to shell out $100 flat on the the last byzantine print cardigan (the orange & navy lovely, above top right) in all of Los Angeles in April of 2007. I own at least 4 printed, and a few embellished ones. At any given time I’m lusting over 3 different sweaters from any combination of anthropologie, j.crew, or H&M. Sometimes even Target! I even saw Jayma Mayes, who plays everyone’s favorite well dressed and OCD guidance counselor Emma Pillsbury on Glee, wearing one in the Madonna episode (♥). There is a blog called what would emma pillsbury wear which is exactly what it sounds like–a blog documenting her wardrobe, and helping you to find pieces this character would wear. (I also found this great shop! It’s a collection of where to buy each Glee character’s wardrobe).
I think I love a print cardigan because of how instantly they make your outfit interesting with seriously minimal thought or effort. You can literally wear any of the above with jeans and a solid top, and you certainly don’t look as boring as “jeans and a t-shirt” sounds. Also, you can pair with a cute high-waisted skirt and get an instant vintage vibe. For as specific as a printed cardigan looks, you really can get plenty of use out of them. They have proven to be a supremely versatile item in my wardrobe!