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Slouchy Chic: The boyfriend cardigan rears its grunge-y head

July 30, 2010 |  3:04 pm

Stella When it came to cardigans, a new silhouette reigned on fall's runways — a roomy deep V-neck grandpa sweater we're coining the "boyfriend" cardigan.

The oversize cover-up, which boasts a slouchy fit and a hem that hits well below the hip, takes a page from both 1920s flappers and the grunge-y 1990s (remember Kurt Cobain's addiction to thrift-store cardigans?) 

Brands including Stella McCartney, Clements Ribeiro and Maison Martin Margiela rolled out louche boyfriend cardis that were alternately dressy and dressed-down.

Bejeweled pockets made the slinky versions at Clements Ribeiro feel decidedly noir, while Margiela showed a roomy black cardigan belted at the waist that one could imagine wearing with, oh, just about everything.

But Stella McCartney designed what's becoming the prototype for the look — a camel-colored cable-knit number that was worn pants-less by a model, no doubt to punctuate its distinctiveness (see Natalia Vodianova wearing it sans any distractions, above.)

Fortunately, the greatest thing about this trend is that it doesn't necessitate a heavy investment — just a bit of shopping know-how.

Doppelgangers of the Stella McCartney cardigan can be successfully foraged for at local thrift stores (or in gramps' closet). And while mass retailers have yet to spin out a bazillion versions of the boyfriend cardi, we recommend shopping in the guys' section of stores such as H&M, Forever 21 and Urban Outfitters to achieve an authentic garçon look.

--Emili Vesilind

Photo: Stella McCartney's sexy boyfriend cardigan. Credit: Stella McCartney