The cold and rainy weather has necessitated warm clothing, which is mostly heavy, bulky and limitedly attractive. Long trench coats and heavy jackets can be traded for cardigans, which are as warm and less bulky.
Cardigans are V-necked, knitted sweaters with an open front and have a zipper or buttons (but fastening them remains optional). The sweaters are a good choice for both women and men. These sweaters can be made out of nearly any kind of material, but if you prefer donning the sweater for added warmth, you will want to choose the more traditional materials like cotton.
Unlike most outfits that come in handy during cold weather, cardigans are meant to fit the wearer and not an extra size bigger. The outfit should fit your frame with a more casual shape – unlike jackets.
Some people prefer to wear them as almost a jacket for their outfit, while others make the cardigan as part of their three piece attire. The sweater can also be worn over a shirt or T-shirt – casually and formally. Formally, it can also be worn over dress pants and a tie for men.
Women’s cardigans are mostly casual or for weekend wear as they do not go well with official wear.
When purchasing a cardigan, men should go for dull colours like grey or black as bright colours are a little too feminine for the sweater. Ladies are free to choose from any available colour or pattern. If the cardigan is to be worn during cold weather, you should get one with an insulating lining to ensure it holds as much warmth as possible.
Eugene Kayonga, a secondhand clothes seller at Nyabugogo market – popularly known as ‘caguwa’ – says that buyers should be keen on the length of their cardigans. “Very long cardigans could easily end up looking like robes and not fit the wearer as they should,” he says, adding that one should go for a cardigan that will go well with the rest of their wardrobe but not matching particular pants or shirts.
“I see it all the time; a client is tempted to go for a cardigan that matches with a particular pair of trousers or shirts but does not go well with the rest of the items in their wardrobe,” he says.
In Kigali, the best variety and quality cardigans go for between Rwf5,000 Rwf12,000 depending on the design.