It’s officially the season of the sexy cardigan. No, we’re not talking about the buttoned-up-to-the-neck, suffocating cardigan that Catholic school teachers swear by, or mean aunts scold you in. Instead, the sexy cardigan—or simply a “cardi”—is barely buttoned, sensually soft and reveals a cheeky slice of skin. Kaia Gerber nailed the trend today when she touched down in Milan, stepping out in a Danielle Guizio cardigan in a sweet shade of lavender that was fastened by only two middle buttons. She wore the piece with a pair of high-waisted denim jeans, her signature Converse, and a printed scarf tied around her neck.
Gerber is just one of the many people barely able to keep their cardigans on their shoulders this season. Just look to Katie Holmes who earlier this month sent shockwaves across the Internet with her oatmeal Khaite cashmere cardigan and bra set, her cardi falling ever-so-slightly open as she hailed a cab. And she’s not the only one. Among the colorful attendees to New York Fashion Week, model Mica Arganaraz stood out from the crowd wearing an outfit that was oh-so-simple: jeans and a shrunken black cardigan with white buttons the size of dimes. The cardigan was so tiny that it looked like it was originally made for an American Girl doll, but it hit the dip of the waist and made something typically constricting actually very saucy. Plus, last September, Bella Hadid wore one in a homely hue of Dijon mustard—but who even noticed the condiment-inspired color? She notched the top button, revealed some midriff, and stepped out into the paparazzi-flanked world without a care.
Wearing the sexy cardi is, after all, something of an experience: put one on, and you can instantly feel the sensation of wind rushing across your midriff. (Trust me.) And the fabric goes where the wind goes; it just so easily flutters. The sexy cardigan is like the claw clip: The piece is so associated with uptight types—strict moms, stubborn secretaries—but when worn in the right insouciant way, it transforms into something smoldering. Just look to those late ’90s films that paved the way for unbuttoned cardigans. The uniform of high school seductress Rose McGowan in Jawbreaker always had one item left just that little bit unfastened; Cameron Diaz wore one similar to Gerber’s playing the titular character in There’s Something About Mary; while Heather Graham showed off some major midriff in a yellow, fur-trimmed incarnation in the cult hit Bowfinger. In Never Been Kissed, Drew Barrymore's dorktastic character gets adopted into the popular gang. What do they bestow upon her? A cardigan, obviously. In other words, unbutton a little and loosen up—cardi season is back, and it’s here to stay.
Originally Appeared on Vogue