It's that time of year - where spring LOOKS good, but the weather hasn't caught up. I thought I'd do a round-up of budget friendly cardigans that could work to bring some spring to our wardrobes, but still keep us warm. Now I should say, budget is relative - but I kept all 6 options I tried under $50, hoping they would work for most people. The two at the top of the $10-$50 budget range are the best quality (I'll go in to detail below) and would transition well from the office, to work from home and even the weekends in the coming months. I wore the same pair of leggings and v-neck t-shirt as a base for each picture. I am wearing both in a size XL (26-28). Let's get started with the cardigans!
The first 2 options pictured here are the same piece, but different colors. On the left is the cream color and on the right is black. It also comes in a dark green color. It's very comfortable, almost like a pajama wrap instead of a cardigan. This would be hard to take to the office because the fabric reads pj up close, but would work on camera for work from home meetings or lounging on the weekends at home. It's currently on sale for an extra 30% off, making it just $14. It's the most casual of all the options I ordered to try and is available in sizes XS-4X (note that it's cropped, but hits at my waist on my 5'4", average length torso frame).
This option from Old Navy was my favorite out of all the cardigans I tried this time around. Full disclosure, I have it in 2 other colors from last year and knew ahead of time it would work and I would love it! This green sage color was even better than I had hoped. My only complaint with this particular cardigan is that it never stays in stock on the website! You'll notice I put in the graphic above that full price is $45. I try to always wait for a sale at Old Navy (they have them all the time), but the hazard with that strategy is that really great items - especially in plus sizes, sell out quickly! I paid full price for this cardigan and don't regret it for one second. Now - here's my tip: Old Navy allows you to request a price adjustment anytime in the 14 days after your shipment arrives. If there is something I paid full price for, I continue to watch the website to see if it goes on sale. If it does, I call the 1800 number - do my time hanging out on hold - and then get the credit back to the card I used to pay. I sized up to the 4x (I'm usually in between 3 and 4) and I'm glad I did. It gives me room for layering in the arms and doesn't pull on my butt in my higher size.
This cardigan was nearly a tie for 1st place. The color is divine! The balloon sleeves (but closed at the wrist) are very comfy and great for layering. And the length is good. The only reason it didn't get first place is the side vents go up higher than I'd prefer. I like a good side vent for my hips any day - but these went a bit above my hips and into my mid hip area. From the side, it kept catching my eye when I'd walk by the mirror. I still kept and wore the sweater recently, and would recommend it to just about anyone - just wanted to give you a heads up if you plan to wear it with leggings like I have it styled here. Your butt may show from time to time ;-) It comes in 2 colors, this mint color shown here and a copper brown color, sizes 1x-4x. It's on sale for $49 and you can use code ONEREALMOMMA to save 30% off your first order from Dia&Co!
I had high hopes for this one. I think the pattern is really pretty (love that coral color in the print) and that it's warm and cozy. However, for me at 5'4" it's too long. If I was 5'6" or taller, I think it would work much better! I might have been able to size down in this one to a 3x, and if I had - it could have helped with the length potentially. Also, I was surprised to see there were no pockets because other similar cardigans from walmart usually have pockets. There are multiple prints/colors of this sweater, available in sizes 0x - 4x and it's only $23. It might be worth a look if you're not on the shorter side like I am!
Last but not least is this duster cardigan that's on sale for a steal! It has multiple colors pulled together, giving it a heathered or speckled look. It comes in 4 colors and is available 0x-4x. I'm wearing the "light gray heathered" color - but it reads more tan in person. The sleeves seemed plenty long (I'd likely roll them). This was thinner than the other cardigan options, but still fuzzy and cozy. I did notice there was more static cling when I tried this one on compared to the others. I'm not sure if it was this particular sweater or if it was because I was on my 6th try-on. But something to look out for if you try it. At only $10, it might be a great option to try!
That's it for this try-on. Stay tuned for more try-ons over the next 2 weeks. I have so many options to share with you coming up!