The knitted cardigan has made a comeback with a huge spike in sales for sexy take on the wardrobe staple.
With celebrity fans from Lara Worthington to Bella Hadid, it was Katie Holmes who almost single-handedly brought the button-up knitwear back onto fashion’s radar (the Khaite set she wore sold out within an hour on Net-A-Porter).
Now, demand is surging globally and in Australia, where searches for cardigans are up by 50 per cent, and Australian label With Jean has gone viral on Instagram with an $189 cardigan in high demand.
Searches for cardigans were up 34 per cent month-on-month globally, according to trend forecaster and shopping platform Lyst.
The most in-demand brands were Jacquemus, Bode, JW Anderson, Alanui and Paloma Wool with “patchwork”, “chunky” and “colour block” designs searched for the most, a Lyst spokeswoman told News Corp exclusively.
Searches for long cardigans also increased by more than 20 per cent month-on-month.
In Australia, demand for cardigans went up 50 per cent last month, Lyst revealed.
Searches for matching cardigan and singlet top or bra sets – as seen on Holmes, in Khaite, and Bieber, wearing Jacquemus – was up by 25 per cent, with Acne Studios, Olivia Rubin and Isabel Marant popular among Australian shoppers.
Wearing a $1500-plus Khaite fisherman-style cardigan and matching cashmere bra, Holmes’ outfit went viral in 2019, promoting a surge in internet searches for “Katie Holmes’ cardigan”.
“It was very comfortable and easy,” Holmes previously told Vogue of the outfit, which she had no idea would have such an impact and wore slightly off the shoulder, teamed with jeans, in New York.
Bieber turned heads in a Jacquemus cardi and bra set, while similar styles have been seen on Hadid, who wore hers with nothing underneath.
Luxury site Net-A-Porter’s senior market editor Libby Page said the cardigan trend was born out of COVID lockdown.
“The cardigan trend is a direct result of the new normal we find ourselves in,” Ms Page said.
She added: “The cardigan is cosier than a sweater but also gives an overall sense of being more put together; it’s a perfect item for Zoom”.
“Knitwear in general has increased in popularity over the past year and we see a huge interest from our customers for cardigans.”
On Net-A-Porter, top-sellers include cardigans from Khaite – as seen on Holmes – along with high-end labels Totême, Loulou Studio and Proenza Schouler. “The brand’s black cropped version is currently performing increasingly well among our customers,” Ms Page said.
It’s a case of game, set, match at Revolve, where cardigan-based “sets”, teamed with a bralet, crop top, singlet or tank worn underneath, are a key trend of the season.
“We love a good cardigan moment,” Revolve chief brand officer Raissa Gerona said, speaking to News Corp from her base in Los Angeles.
“The cardigan kind of goes back to a ‘set’ and we found that during the pandemic – first, it was sweats that you were wearing.
“I think people started to get tired of wearing sweats … the cardigan and crop that matches back with it is super cute.”
She added: “This whole ‘set’ situation is continuing to happen. Knits are still really big for us, it’s comfy and chic and you can wear it around the house,” Ms Gerona added, via Zoom.
“It’s elevated from the sweats game that people had a year ago. I do think that’s going to continue.”
As for a muse of the look? She said Bieber’s take on the cardigan trend was flawless. “I really, really love her style,” Ms Gerona said.
“Even when she’s in her ‘pandemic outfit’ – sweats, and stuff, she knows how to make it cool and her own.”
Australian designer With Jean’s “Carie” cardigan has gone viral on Instagram, seen on just about every trendsetting model and social star this season.
With Jean co-founder and director Evangeline Titilas said there had been a “strong sell through” for the Brisbane-based brand’s cardigan in green and orange (priced at $189).
“We are definitely having a strong sell through with these items and have had a really good response,” Ms Titilas said.
Sami Lorking-Tanner, With Jean’s co-founder and director, added: “We’re seeing a lot of girls layer it, wearing it open or closed with nothing underneath”.
“We love how versatile a cardi is and will be an item (and) category we continue to grow,” Ms Lorking-Tanner said.
From splurges to bargains, these are six cardigans you need to know. With Jean’s sleek and sexy ‘Carie’ cardigan ($189) in juicy, and Glassons ribbed cardigan ($29.99).
A short and sweet Song of Style cardigan via Revolve ($236).