Let’s face it, cardigans have had a seriously “uncool” rep lately. They’re too often associated with that hyper-preppy matching cardi and cami set or maybe that terrible elementary school teacher you’d like to forget. But to my surprise, I’ve recently rediscovered the cardigan and all the styling potential they hold. If you just think outside of the cardi-box you can cozy up this season while looking fantastically chic. Apparently, two cardigans do make a right!


The first thing to consider is cut. I’ve always been a sucker for a good boyfriend cardigan -slouchy, oversized and lush. I’ve rocked one over my PJs on Sundays for years. But I’ve felt they’re a little too unstructured for daily wear so I’ve always gravitated towards blazers instead. However, styling a classic body-hugging cardigan with a boyfriend cardi over the top turns the otherwise slouchy style into a tailored and sexy statement maker. Let’s break it down.


First, to achieve the look you’ll need your two cardigans- one to tuck in to a skirt or pants and the other, oversized to wear almost like a coat. I loved the classic cardigan I’m wearing as it has a bit of glitzy twist with those sparkly squares. Normally I wouldn’t pick out polka dots and glitter, but the rosey-mauve color is gorgeous and it’s a great, modern pattern to use for your first layer. Second, for the boyfriend or grandpa cardigan, I chose this two-toned neutral style with lots of soft texture to juxtapose the sleeker, classic version. And I grabbed it in a size up for a really dramatic oversized feel!


I wanted to keep things in the same rust and grey color palette as the cardigans, as well as continue having fun layering patterns and textures. So, I paired the cardis with a striped pencil skirt {stripes and polka dots = easy pattern mixing formula to remember!}, the highest gray wool heels I could find and a very structured car coat. With the magic number of three layers on top and two crazy patterns mixed in with a whole bunch of texture, this outfit became a total game changer! Who knew that I would feel empowered and sexy in an outfit that started off with a preppy cardi? Not I!


what I’m wearing: Mina+Olya coat {similar} // Old Navy boyfriend cardi // Old Navy Sparkle cardi // Marc Jacobs skirt {similar} // Rachel Roy pumps {similar} // Forever 21 cocktail ring {similar} // Aerin Lipstick in Love

It’s safe to say that I’ve added the two-cardigan layering trick into my work-wear arsenal and plan to use it a lot this season. How about you? Does it convince you to want to raid your mother’s closet for cardigans or perhaps get your hands on this uber cozy one? I sure hope so!

original photography for apartment 34 by Aubrie Pick // art direction and styling by erin hiemstra 

This post is sponsored by Old Navy. Check out Old Navy’s latest fashion lineup in store or online at oldnavy.com. Thank you for supporting posts that keep Apartment 34’s doors open.

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  1. Wait. They were uncool? I never got that memo. I literally own 100+ cardigans, including the one pictured.

    1. Apparently I’m just getting the memo Corrin. I haven’t tried a cardi in years and didn’t know what I was missing out on!

    1. They’ve got some great pieces this season–I’m loving the choices!

    1. Thanks! It was fun to try something other than my signature red!

  2. Fantastic look, Erin! Would you share where your skirt and heels are from?

    1. Just added in the post Lori! The skirt is Marc Jacobs and the pumps Rachel Roy – both from a few years back!

  3. Erin – you and Aubrie KILLED this shoot. You know I love a good cardigan (nerd chic baby) and on a side note, your legs go for DAYS!

  4. girl. you NAILED this shoot. and the colors are perfect for you!! also, i’m giving you all my cardigans. 😉 xo

  5. you look gorgeous, and love the looks you put together! particularly the two-toned cardigan, polka dot shirt and striped skirt. i’m currently wearing a three-toned cardigan from madewell that’s quite similar. 🙂

    xo, lily on fillmore

  6. You are so pretty! Love the outfit.I love cardigans…either very fitted 50’s cardigans, or long boyfriend ones like the two toned cardigan. Never tried wearing both together. Looks great!