The Belted Cardigan: Worthy of a Fashion Comeback? I Think So…

There was a really interesting interview with Katie Grand in The Sunday Times Style magazine, over the weekend. I won’t recite the highlights, as I’m sure most of you have already read the feature anyway, and if not you should be able to find the quotes elsewhere. What I would like to talk about, however, is the belted cardigan: a trend which Katie Grand kicked-off (as Style’s Claudia Croft points out in the profile) and sadly hasn’t been seen for a while.

Belted Cardigan Olivia PalermoOlivia Palermo belts a chunky cardigan at the Montblanc booth during the SIHH in January 2013

My belted cardigan memory is a little bit rusty, and I can’t remember the exact season the look became popular. Sadly the internet isn’t much help here, as the quality runway archives only date back to about 2005/6, but I do remember owning a slightly-questionable pale pink cardigan in my early teens which I used to belt at the waist. I think it had something to do with the first ever Marc by Marc Jacobs collection in Spring/Summer 2001, which featured those iconic elastic waist belts with the fruit-shaped clasps. They weren’t actually worn over cardigans on the runway, but everyone had one of those belts – whether it was an actual Marc by Marc design or a high street copy. Was that the birth of belted cardie obsession? Leave a comment if you can remember – let’s piece this puzzle together…

Belted CardiganBelt a Cardie: Ribbed cardigan by Bottega Veneta | Butterfly belt by Bottega Veneta | Drape cardigan by Etro | Seat belt buckle belt by Topshop | Crew neck cardigan by Uniqlo | Wine red belt by French Connection

Today the only (famous) women who regularly wear a belted cardigan are Olivia Palermo and Michelle Obama. Granted, that’s definitely not a bad selection, but considering the look is so versatile, flattering and feminine you’d think the style would still be a mega-trend.

With the British weather in such a dismal state at the moment I think the belted cardie could actually end up being the summer style saviour. I’m going to start belting my cardigans again… How about you?

Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images for Montblanc
  • Fashion Follows Her

    I think I started wearing the belted cardi trend in the winter of 06′ at the time my boss said ‘I looked like a sack of spuds tied in the middle’- never subtle! By summer 07 everyone was wearing t-shirts with obi belts and in autumn cardigans & jumpers with skinny belts. So I think winter 06′ was the start….