Chalk it up to Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid's obsession with the shrunken cardigan for its return to the fashion scene. Though the itty bitty top emerged back in the '90s circa Clueless, it's made a comeback over the past few years. And it's not just the celeb set sporting the cropped knit, influencers are giving the piece their stamp of approval, too. Browse through Instagram and you'll notice a multitude of shrunken cardigans across your feed.
If there's a single indication the top is going to be a must-try this fall, it's courtesy of Jacquemus. The Paris-based line is standing behind a very, very shrunken version of the top with its Grey 'Le Cardigan Alzou' Cardigan, included in its Fall/Winter 2020 collection. And Jacquemus isn't the only brand to put its unique take on the style. Alessandra Rich is releasing new iterations of its Floral Appliqué Cropped Wool Cardigan (a Kendall Jenner favorite), while The Attico is coming out with a feathered style for fall. The consensus: Adding on a shrunken knit to almost any ensemble gives it an instant cool factor.
If you're in need of some ideas to bookmark for fall, TZR spoke to eight influencers on their favorite ways to wear a shrunken cardigan, as well as some labels they love purchasing the trendy piece from.
We only include products that have been independently selected by The Zoe Report's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.
Influencer Tips For The Shrunken Cardigan: Ali Cutler
Ali Tate Cutler has been trying to recreate a Clueless moment with a shrunken cardigan and plaid high-waisted skirt. For fall, she's planning on wearing a pair of high-waisted tailored trousers, while matching the color to her knit. Cutler bought the cardigan shown above from Naadam, and also recommends Shopbop for more options.
Influencer Tips For The Shrunken Cardigan: Coco Bassey
"We've all been at home for a big part of this year, so I've been adapting a lot of my wardrobe to my loungewear," Coco Bassey tells TZR. While she stays comfy indoors, Bassey likes to elevate her sweatpants, shorts, or leggings with a shrunken cardigan. Come fall, the influencer is eager to wear the knit over a slip dress or paired with high-waisted jeans. "The one I've been wearing very often lately is from LoveShackFancy, but I've also picked up a couple from Aritzia recently." She also notes that Etsy is a great source for all things chunky customs knits, plus you'll be supporting small businesses.
Influencer Tips For The Shrunken Cardigan: Brittany Xavier
"Anytime I wear a crop top or shrunken cardigan, I love to balance it out with baggy trousers or denim, especially for fall," Brittany Xavier says. "Mixing texture is key — like soft knitwear with silk pants." If you don't know where to start your browsing, she says to search "cropped cardigan" and opt for a size or two down from your usual side. Pro tip: Xavier has scored some of her favorite shrunken cardigans at vintage stores in the kids section.
Influencer Tips For The Shrunken Cardigan: Tanice Elizabeth
If she's lounging around at home, Tanice Elizabeth pairs her shrunken cardigan with boxer shorts or sweats. For out-of-the-house wear, she suggests jeans or her favorite Bea Pleated Suit Pants In Chocolate from The Frankie Shop. "The high-waisted, tailored look will balance out the shrunken casual knit!" When shopping, Elizabeth always asks the same question before purchasing: "Will this color or style be versatile enough to be worn in multiple ways and across multiple seasons? If the answer is yes, it goes into my basket."
Influencer Tips For The Shrunken Cardigan: Amy Julliette Lefévre
Amy Julliette Lefévre's go-to look is a shrunken cardigan partnered with high-waisted jeans, tying everything together by finishing the look with a small shoulder bag and sandal heels. As temperatures cool, "I'll be wearing a tank top bodysuit under the cardigan, trousers, black boots, and an oversized tote bag," she explains. If you want to replicate Lefévre's look, opt for brands like House of Sunny, For Love and Lemons, and Aritizia.
Influencer Tips For The Shrunken Cardigan: Stephanie Arant
"Styling shrunken cardigans with oversized belted trousers would have to be one of my favorite looks," Los Angeles-based influencer Stephanie Arant tells TZR. Though fall in LA is milder than in other locales, she's still bringing out her chilly weather core pieces. "Effortless styling for me will be key, throwing it on over slinky dresses or paired with some of my favorite denim and a structured boot." One of her must-have cardigans is from Les Coyotes De Paris. "What I love about the Les Coyotes De Paris cardigan is it's really great quality so it can be worn so many ways, and as a little jacket for cooler nights." Finding a piece she knows can be worn a multitude of ways and sits well on the body is of the utmost importance for the style guru.
Influencer Tips For The Shrunken Cardigan: Cassandra DiMicco
"I love how they look with biker shorts or a pair of vintage wash jeans," Cassandra DiMicco says about styling shrunken knitwear. For fall, DiMicco is channeling the '90s by coupling the knit with a pair of loose fitting jeans for a relaxed, model-off-duty look. The influencer suggest scoping out cardigans from Verge Girl, Zara, or Urban Outfitters.
Influencer Tips For The Shrunken Cardigan: Claire Most
As the beginning days of fall are nice in Claire Most's hometown in Portland, she's envisioning her shrunken cardigan outfit to consist of a short-sleeve silhouette paired with a high-waisted pant and a tiny bag. "[Transitioning] to a long sleeve cardigan with a cropped tank underneath will be perfect for fall," she emphasizes. Most says she finds the best cropped cardigans at Aritzia. "I would suggest starting with a neutral color, like off-white for example, so it's easier to pair with your clothes. Feel free to try different styles, long sleeve or short sleeve, because cardigans are really versatile!"