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Maxi Cardigans And Back To School Wardrobe Dilemmas

It's been a while, but welcome back long cardis (or maxi cardigans as they now appear to be known as). Actually they've been around for a bit but I've been in denial - we shouldn't need cardis in summer. It's a perfect alternative to the more formal blazer. I'm so desperately trying to break out of the habit of hacking on a blazer every day and shake it up a little.

So let's think about the advantages of a maxi cardi 

1. Perfect for elongating your torso, adding inches to your height and taking inches from your belly particularly if worn with a column of colour underneath
2. It can be dressed up or down and is so very easy to style
3. Most footwear options can be worn from trainers to stilettos
4. A great transitional piece of clothing taking you from now right through to November and beyond 

And the disadvantages

1. Almost impossible to style under a coat so this option is a no-go in colder weather
2. Looks daft fastened up!
3. Get's trapped in the car door easily
4. You have to be extra careful when going to the toilet for a wee

Pah! The advantages far outweigh the impracticalities so it will be a trend that I partake in this year. In fact, I've already dunked my big toe in. 

Cue: Pinterest inspirations

Yep, love this simplicity of grey jeans, top and trainers. 

And this. With ankle boots in neutral shades. This is very similar to the one that I bought a few weeks ago in navy (which is now in the sale - sob). See below for details.

Not sure I'll be going down this route. It's too traumatic trying to find over the knee boots that don't bag around the ankle. But, I do love it especially the fresh light grey shades and the cardi is divine. 

Totally marvellous, totally me. A column of colour and a leopard print scarf

Ok I haven't gone completely mad here. I had a vision in my head of wearing a shorter skirt (not short-short though) with chunky tights, ankle boots and a long cardi. I tried it on the other day and actually it works ok (even in my advancing years) as everything is covered.

And what's out there on the High Street at the moment?

Well, this is the one I bought recently. A few sizes still left. Honestly it's a gorgeous thin knit with a detailed double layer over the top half. I bought the navy but it's also available in black. Bit naughty really given that I already own 2 long navy cardigans. The daughter gave me a withering look followed by raised eyebrows. Seriously Mum, do you need THREE long blue cardigans??? I tried to explain that the other two don't have a double layer detail. 

And I also snagged this in the sales, a lovely khaki colour again in a thin knit. I'm sure come November I'll be cursing that it's not chunkier. 

I know I really should have got a photo when I wore it today but the weather was vile, I got wet twice taking the dog out and didn't feel up to a third soaking in the interests of providing visuals. Anyway I wore it with cuffed jeans, a cream t-shirt, tan belt and white Adidas Honey Lo trainers. It felt nice!

Moving on...

I'm not wild about the styling of this one, two deep colours together are so difficult to pull off unless you yourself have very dark features and, it's darn difficult to see on pictures. But, chocolate brown (not sludge), a colour we haven't seen much of for a while. Welcome black my little chocolate friend. Great on red heads and anyone with a warm skin tone. Team with camel or cream for a lovely winter look. Bit on the pricey side but it's 100% wool and it has pockets (so that's ok then)!

A different vibe altogether with this cream and black one. I would probably have ordered this had my size been in stock. Grab quick as it won't be around for much longer.

An asymmetric option from River Island. I like the idea of this more than the practicality. The collar would drive me bonkers. 

A far more sensible option and a beautiful specimen at that. I will get around to buying this one day and recreate the above look. It's from Rachel Wears, an independent retailer. Small to Medium fits sizes 8-14 and Medium to Large fits size 16-20

Yes Boden! I love this. You have to do a close up of the gorgeous knit-stitchy thing. I don't think it's knit one, purl one! Three colour ways to choose from, charcoal, chinchilla and navy

A totally cool oversized offering now. I so couldn't pull this one off but that's because I'm not cool! I shall admire from afar. In fact the more I look at it, the more I love.

Gat Rimon Aelle Longline Cardigan £215

I've totally stuck to my brief of looking at neutrals, there are far more interesting options out there but I figure I'd probably get fed up with them pretty quickly. My idea is to reach for the cardi in the morning rather than the blazer. A much more relaxed look but still smart. It's embarrassing when the hubby comes home and asks where I've been and I tell him nowhere. Surely it's normal to clean the loo with your best jacket on!

If the weather carries on as it is, I'll be wearing mine much sooner than I thought. Which of course fills me with glee :-( particularly as the daughter has just bobbed off for a week in Marbella and delights in telling me how hot it is. S'not fair.

And, I can't believe we're nearing the end of the summer hols already. It's touch and go as to whether the son's new blazer will arrive in time. He'll have to wear his old one which thankfully I rescued from the bin. I mean, it didn't actually go into the bin, it was in the bin pile! And don't talk to me about skinny fit black school trousers. There's a lot of 28W, 30L kids out there is all I can say. Marks and Spencer, you've let me down. You know I always buy a few pair of these in August, couldn't you at least have saved me some. Top Man are pants too. I showed the son the uniform shop offerings. I think the word 'hanging' was mentioned (apparently it means minging, I had to look it up). So, I've ended up ordering a couple of packs of these from ASOS (they come in twos).

2 Pack Basic Smart Trousers £30

And just so that our male counterpart understands, not only do ASOS label the photo '2 pack', they also include 2 identical images. Think they've got the message over nice and clear.

Please let them fit because I'm running out of options. And I still have school shoes to negotiate with him. Sensible ones are out of the equation. It's either a trainer look-a-like (the school mafia will have a fit) or something resembling a 1980s male winkle picker which will probably last him though to the end of the first week back. And I thought girls were difficult!

Thank goodness the rest of the uniform has to come from the school shop.

I need a lie down!

13 comments on "Maxi Cardigans And Back To School Wardrobe Dilemmas "
  1. The hanging comment and you having to look it up as made me laugh .... I have all this to come don't I? X

    1. Oh I get the dictionary out several times a day. Their language is all foreign to me. The worse bit is when he swears at me in Spanish - I haven't a clue what he's saying!! x

  2. I live in long cardis from September-April, pretty much! With my menopausal hot flushes, I really struggle to wear a heavy winter coat so these are perfect for me, especially overs thin layers.
    The one with the leopard scarf is my perfect style too, love it! X

  3. Can't believe I haven't worn mine for ages Sarah. I have a gorgeous linen knit one in pewter which I remembered this evening. Of course I had to fish it out of the wardrobe for a try on!! x

  4. I love a maxi cardy especially lighter knit ones. Great for layering and I like to wear mine to work with shorter length dresses. I like that my modesty is kept intact !! H&M did fabulous one a couple of years ago at only £14.99 (not sure if they still have them. But when I found them I bought four - Black, Grey, Navy and Beige. Looking to add a Pink one this yeAr to wear with dark denim or khaki jeans xx

    1. I think H&M do still have similar (though not in pink which sounds fab). Very very much looking forward to wearing mine too x

  5. Oh don't tell me about the M&S trousers, they're the only ones my boy will wear! I'll have to try ASOS too then x

    1. I really never knew how picky teenage boys are. Honestly it tskes him ages to get ready every day. The ASOS ones are on their way. Fingers crossed x

  6. I love a long cardi, they keep your bum and legs warm! I've got a couple to dig out from the back of the wardrobe, they'll have to do. Teenage uniform buying is a nightmare, we've done with that forever - my two are both starting college in September. My son swears at me I German (I think!) good luck with the trousers! X

    1. What hat I would really like now Sue is a chunky long cardi - that would be heaven. Yep same here, I get the swearing in Spanish although I'm getting quite wise to it lol x

    2. Not sure where the hat came from - take it out of the sentence and it makes sense. I need to put my glasses on lol x

  7. Fab post Donna with gorgeous images. I bought one last summer from Zara but recently left it on a plane and it was only it's second time of wearing. Gutted I was! First world problems and all that though. Will now hunt for another one! X

  8. Well this is perfectly timed Donna! I have a long khaki cardi from Boden that I am trying to sell just now as I've never worn it (having paid a small fortune for it - the shame!). I'll have to get it back out and have a play, I might end up kep ping it after all! xx