What to wear with a maxi cardigan

As I've mentioned recently, I've been in what feels like a year-long wardrobe rut but maybe that's just been a year-long global pandemic. Either way, I decided I needed some new Instagram inspiration and on the recommendation of an IG friend, I started following @frisky-gatos. She's a thirtysomething nurse in Minneapolis, and she dresses with a quirky yet very strong sense of personal style. Her theory is that you should listen to your most primal "lizard brain" and buy the things you absolutely WANT to wear. It seems very simple and even obvious, but I've found over the years that I've always been chasing some ideal of how I should be dressing—in my very specific case, like a "French woman." Faced with a very black-white-and-gray closet that all of a sudden feels very sad to me, I've come to the conclusion that "dressing like a French woman" is boring, and that such stark neutrals are not actually very flattering against my fortysomething skin. So this post marks a turning point for me. I'm going to start dressing for me—for real this time.

I've had my eye on this Free People cardigan for awhile, and I had been contemplating ordering it in black. When my birthday came around, I decided to ask for it in pink because I already have a black maxi cardigan that I love, and because you know what? Pink is fun and it's what my lizard brain wanted. I feel like the color warms up my skin, and the shape itself feels like a cozy little cocoon, thanks to the batwing sleeves. The yarn is actually on the airy side—I can wear it layered now with a long-sleeve top, but I think I'll get even more wear out of it later in the spring and summer. Like most Free People things, it does run large—I'm in an extra small and it's still pretty roomy. And if pink isn't what your lizard brain wants, it also comes in five other colors, including black. 

My lizard brain also loves leopard, something that I've convinced myself (and possibly you) is a neutral, and maybe it is, but really, I think I just want to look like a wild sexy beast. And of all the times I've worn leopard on this blog, I don't think I've paired it with pink before, but let me say, I'm feeling it. Granted, the pattern on this tee is pretty subtle (you last saw it with paperbag pants), but I think it works. This tee is part of Abercrombie & Fitch's "softAF" collection (see what they did there?) and while it's been ages (like 30 years) since I've really shopped there, I think I might be back. I'm a size small, and clearly they've changed their sizes since the '90s, because I'm pretty sure I was a large even when I weighed 117 pounds. 

So, I am wearing black in this outfit, and while I definitely want more color in my closet, I won't be abandoning the neutrals I already own, especially those I love. These Madewell demi-boot jeans are incredibly flattering, and I am at least self-aware enough to know that I'm too vain to ever abandon my collection of black pants. Plus, they're far enough away from my face to not look so harsh. Anyway, I've had these jeans for years; you've seen them several times but I think the most recent was with a trench coat (yep, trying to look French and failing again). The pair I have started out true to size (I'm in my usual 28) but has stretched out a bit over the years, not that I'm mad at that. 

The Gucci loafers I'm wearing here may feel classic—and they are—but they are hands down one of my favorite shoes and my lizard brain freaking loves them. As you can see by the toe scuffs, I wear them all the time and am probably overdue to take them to the cobbler for a good polish, but I can't bear to give them up for an entire week. You last saw them with a fisherman sweater, and as I've noted before, they run very big—I went down a full size to a 38 but now they fit like a buttery-soft glove. And speaking of soft, yes, I'm wearing a crazy scarf in some of these photos (you last saw it in the early days of quarantine), and I know it looks like it has swallowed my neck, but my it makes my lizard brain happy as...a lizard in what it really wants to be wearing. 

OUTFIT DETAILS: Free People Cuddle Up cardigan | Abercrombie & Fitch leopard tee | Madewell Cali Demi-Boot Jeans | Free People Jaden scarf (current version here) | Gucci Brixton loafers  


Anonymous said...

Looking forward to you new fashion direction! Lise

Laura B said...

I am absolutely loving this combination! Those jeans look fantastic on you!

mummabstylish said...

I love a long line cardigan, yours is so pretty. Thanks for sharing. I hope you'll stop by the #chicandstylish #linkup on Thursday. Jacqui x

Lovely said...

Oh yes! I love this outfit! The animal print tee and the cardigan works great!

Life's a shoe said...

I'm loving this maxi cardigan! I really like how you styled it!

Life is a Shoe

The Grey Brunette said...

You look fabulous, Cheryl! It feels so good when you made such a big decision like that, doesn't it? I started thinking the same way a few years ago. I dress purely for me now and it's been quite liberating!
I love the long cardigan, and it's even more gorgeous in pink. I would have gone for that colour too.
P.S Come and link up your posts at the new Neverending Style Link-Up (It's been going a few weeks now, and goes live every Friday).

Shelbee on the Edge said...

Cheryl, this duster cardigan is so gorgeous! I love the color and the back detail. I also am loving your raw hem black denim. Such a great outfit! Thanks for linking!


Mica said...

This is such a beautiful pink cardigan on you! I really like the pink and leopard together, and that scarf looks so cosy! I think it's important to wear things that make us happy - I find it really hard to define my style as I have a lot of pieces that don't fit one standard definition - they just make me happy though! :)

Thanks so much for joining the #WeekdayWearLinkup! Hope that you have a lovely Easter Sunday :)

Away From The Blue