Cardi-again: How to Breathe New Life into Your Old Cardigans

If you're anything like us, you have about a bagillion cardigans in your possession. Long, cropped, printed, solid, nubby-knit, or embellished--these sweaters are the unsung he`roes of your closet. You can wear them to work, layer them under jackets, throw one on over a sundress, and, if you're Kate Middleton, you can even wear one to your wedding (well, the reception). But just like every other article of clothing you own, sometimes you just want to switch it up. Here are four unexpected ways to wear your old knit standby that will have people in awe of your style savvy.

Kirstin Sinclair / Getty ImagesDrape it

This is the easiest update we can think of--you don't even need to put your arms through the tiring effort of using sleeves! Just rest the sweater on your shoulders like Fashion Blogger Tala Samman did this February in London. This is a big hit with street style stars as it gives any outfit an instant, easy dash of relaxed chic. Try with a more eye-catching cardigan--one in a bright color or print or even an interesting texture. Think Grace Kelly meets Anna Dello Russo.

Sew it

Those factory-standard, tiny, plastic buttons are totally snoozeville. If you're handy with a needle and thread, you can give any sweater a quick update by replacing the existing buttons with vintage ones. Embrace the baroque trend without going ba-roke (sorry) and grab some ornate buttons on Etsy or at your local flea market and swap those old babies out for something way more interesting.

Knot it

Think less ‘90s-style waist-tying and more modern and waist-flattering. Rather than buttoning or belting your cardi, simply take the bottom corners (the parts with the buttons and button holes) and tie in a knot. This is best to try with sweaters that, untied, land at the hip, as the goal is to have the knot land at the slimmest part of your mid-section. Try with high-waisted trousers, your favorite patterned button-down, and simple ballet flats.

Pin it

We were inspired by an old Gap ad featuring Sarah Jessica Parker for this update. An easy way to add some pizazz and sparkle to any outfit is to pin your cardigan instead of buttoning. It's also a great way to incorporate all those vintage brooches you have taking up space in your jewelry box that otherwise have no easy daily use (we’re not the only ones with these, right?). To get this look, wrap your sweater like a robe, and use one (or three, or nine) brooches to pin the overlying corner in place, ideally somewhere above your hip. This is another great way to define your midsection, plus the pins will give your ensemble some sparkly embellishment. And who doesn't love sparkly embellishment?

Will this help YOU amplify your style?