Cardigan sweater womenswear FW21

The cardigan sweater: A womenswear must this FW21

Key takeaways

  • Typically seen as a mature garment to be worn around the home, the cardigan is making a comeback this Fall/Winter 2021.
  • Cardigans are trending in a range of silhouettes for womenswear, from cropped to full length to oversized.
  • Many designers including JW Anderson and Jacquemus have already adopted the women’s cardigan, with the top fabric forecasted to be ribbed knit and mohair.

The cardigan traditionally has a rather quaint association, bringing to mind our dear grandparents’ wardrobes. Vogue even describes the piece as one “once upon a time neglected by the fashion sphere,” but the cozy knit garment has been making a comeback in fashion for a while now, shedding its outdated association for one that’s more trendy. This Fall/Winter 2021, we predict the humble cardigan will be brought out of many a closet and into the spotlight. 

Danielle Guiziony for the womenswear cardigan sweater

Designer cardigan: The womenswear sweater of the moment

According to the Stylight Gender Fluid Fashion Report, the Gucci maxi cardigan in particular experienced a +37% increase in December 2020 compared to January 2020, a testament to the garment’s speedy resurgence. Countless other brands are creating their version of the cardigan, with cropped, full length, or oversized silhouettes. Brands like Jacquemus, Musier, and Giu Giu are known for their fitted knit cardigans, that add a layer of sex appeal to this preppy sweater.

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JW Anderson’s oversized patchwork crochet cardigan famously took off after becoming a viral sensation on TikTok late last year. Following an appearance by musical artist Harry Styles wearing the sweater on stage, creators on TikTok took it upon themselves to hand-crochet the cardigan at home, recreating the homey JW Anderson cardigan. The sweater was so successful that it is now immortalised in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Fall/Winter 2021 is cardigan season

Heuritech forecast ribbed knit for Fall 2021
Courtesy of Heuritech’s data and fashion experts

No matter its iteration, the cardigan sweater is considered seasonless: it can easily be layered with other garments or worn on its own. And although this garment can be made in any fabric, knitted textiles are by far the most common choice, with ribbed knit or mohair being the most visible. For instance, our trend forecast predicts that in European womenswear this FW21, ribbed knit is forecasted to rise by +13%. If delivered in these fabrics on trending silhouettes, the cardigan indeed holds a positive potential this Fall/Winter 2021.

photo profil de l'auteur, Mélanie Mollard

About the writer: Mélanie Mollard, Fashion Content Writer

Mélanie writes about the fashion industry and its many features through the lens of AI and applied data.

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