Stop My Flyaway Cardigans
May 12, 2016 7:40 AM   Subscribe

I wear cardigans every day, and I want to leave them open in front (whether they have buttons or not). But when I walk, my cardigans blow open, slide off my shoulders and then down my arms. I am constantly pulling them up or even holding them as I walk. What could I do to solve this problem and keep my cardigans in place?

Let's just all take it as a given that 1) I want to wear cardigans and 2) I want to wear them open. So please do not suggest that I button up, because that's not a solution to my problem. And please do not suggest that I try a specific kind cardigan, because this happens with a wide variety of cardigan styles & fabrics. It may be a bug of my particular shoulders, exacerbated by a hefty bosom. (I also cannot carry a shoulder bag without holding onto it, as it will pop off my shoulder.)

This is especially an issue in summer, when I wear cardigans over sleeveless dresses or tanks, and I have no coat to keep it all in place while I walk. I HATE when the cardigan flies off my shoulder and shows off my armpit to the world.

I could use dress tape to keep things in place, but daily dress tape is a lot of dress tape It's expensive and wasteful.

I was thinking of getting something like two unobtrusive tie tacks to use at each shoulder, but I am concerned that they will damage my light knit cardigans with long-term use.

Cardigan clips are a thing that exists. I've seen people wear them on TV, but they always look fussily delicate & affected, and that is definitely not my style. I have a very minimal style. However, if someone here has had success with these, I could consider testing it. But I am more interested in a plainly functional approach if possible.

Thank you in advance for your creative solutions and advice!
posted by aabbbiee to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (23 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
What about a bobby pin, straight side up, anchoring your cardigan to your shirt/dress, etc? Depending on the colour of your cardigan, might blend in...Anyway, that's what I do, but YMMV.
posted by heavenstobetsy at 7:43 AM on May 12, 2016 [4 favorites]

What about a few dress weights, sewed into the hem of your cardigan?
posted by xingcat at 7:47 AM on May 12, 2016 [4 favorites]

A light weight belt.
posted by Aranquis at 7:50 AM on May 12, 2016

If I really didn't want to do up a random button I'd grab a longish thin hair tie and put one end over a button, the rest through the button hole then the the other end over the same button. You could make something out of elastic if your hair ties aren't suitable.

Or I've used a clothes peg to anchor it to the collar of whatever is underneath. Not overly stylish but readily available and to hand and provides a bonus anchor point for my headphone cord.

A belt is probably the more fashionable answer.
posted by shelleycat at 7:59 AM on May 12, 2016

Out-there suggestion: sew tiny magnets into the hem of your cardigan, and then sew thin washers to the waistband of your underwear or hem of your shirts.
posted by AmandaA at 8:04 AM on May 12, 2016 [4 favorites]

What about a bobby pin, straight side up, anchoring your cardigan to your shirt/dress, etc?

Or, even better, a couple safety pins. I have a very lightweight cardigan that I like to wear with a tank that can be VERY revealing - I've used a couple safety pins to anchor it to the straps in just the right place, with no long-term effects on the sweater.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:05 AM on May 12, 2016 [4 favorites]

I would do a take on a lingerie snap, with the ribbon sewn into the shoulder seam of the cardigan and the "male" snap sewn into the inside of the shoulder seam of the dress. You'd have to fuss with placement to get everything to lie right, but you could do it. I'm wearing a cardigan and a tank top right now and mocked something up with a bit of string and some fashion tape in my desk drawer.
posted by crush-onastick at 8:25 AM on May 12, 2016 [3 favorites]

If you google sweater clasps, there are many styles that are more minimalist. Etsy and Pinterest have tons of ideas. Looks to me as if you can make them very easily, here's one. Or have them made.
posted by raisingsand at 8:26 AM on May 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

Could you see a tailor and get something added to the cardigan that would anchor to the shoulder of your dress? I was thinking of something like those snaps I've see on the inside of sleeveless dresses where one side of the snap is on a thread chain and it's meant to go around your bra strap. You could attach something to the inside shoulder seam of the cardigan. It might still blow open but it would stay on your body and shouldn't look weird of it's attached to your dress at the shoulder seam.
posted by oneear at 8:28 AM on May 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

I know that this is somewhat unavoidable, but check that your cardigans fit you properly across the shoulders and upper arms. Since you always wear them open it's tempting to wear something that doesn't really fit. If I wear one that is too long, for example, my butt will cause it to fall off more than a cropped style (ymmv for your body shape of course).
posted by cabingirl at 8:36 AM on May 12, 2016 [2 favorites]

Sweater clips and chains galore on Etsy!
posted by Carol Anne at 8:42 AM on May 12, 2016 [4 favorites]

You could sew a couple of ribbons or laces to the top of the placket area, then tie them together at the length you wanted.
posted by amtho at 8:50 AM on May 12, 2016

I had very good luck wearing cardigan clips when I wore an open shrug while working a trade show (where I was walking around and being more active than normal). There are minimalist versions available: Option 1 or Option 2.
posted by gladly at 9:26 AM on May 12, 2016

How's your posture? I used to have the problem with shoulder bags falling off my shoulders, and now they stay put. I think it's because regular exercise (yoga, weightlifting, etc.) has improved my standing posture considerably.

Not the quickest or easiest solution, though.
posted by Metroid Baby at 9:47 AM on May 12, 2016 [3 favorites]

What about a brooch or pin? Perhaps one on each side?
posted by gentian at 9:51 AM on May 12, 2016

I agree, there are some hideous and fussy cardigan clips out there, but I did find some nice minimalist ones that I think might suit you:

posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 9:52 AM on May 12, 2016

I have a shirt that I love, in part because it has a little loop at the shoulder that attaches to a bra strap. No snaps on the bra itself -- the loop just wraps around the strap and closes itself with a teeny tiny snap.

This would work with spaghetti-strap shirts and possibly tanks, but not anything with more fabric at the shoulder than that.
posted by delight at 10:01 AM on May 12, 2016

If dress tape has worked, but you are concerned about the cost, look at scotch double-sided tape. Less expensive and can be used in many spaces that more expensive dress/fashion tape is used.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 10:37 AM on May 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

I think tie tacks are the way to go- a very small decorative pin through each of the top plackets of the cardigan and right through your top... almost like a small stud earring, that tacks your cardigan top down. If you put the pin through the cardigan near the buttons, on the doubled-over part of the fabric, it shouldn't cause too much damage.

Something with a "lapel pin backing", or a tiny lapel pin magnet. Or a long stickpin where you hide the capped end of the pin between the layers of clothing.

There are so many styles to choose from- almost like they're cufflinks for your cardigan lapels. You could choose ones that blend in or contrast them depending on the outfit. Helpful words to search might be Tie Tack, Lapel Pin, Stickpin, Hat Pin. Some fun aesthetic options:
Heart and Brain Lapel Pins, 1-inch introvert heart, Little black swallows, Swallow stickpin, Painted flowers stickpins, Pretty antique gems in sea colours, Tiny fabric flowers, Little silver stag head, Perfectly plain- Blank Tie Tack pins, Silver Celtic knot, Small crystal gem with magnet backing.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 12:47 PM on May 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

There is a clippy thing I have that is actually designed to address waistband gap in the back of pants. (like this). I use it for this exact purpose but only when I am outside, walking etc.- never all day or as a rule. Only as-needed for the specific flyaway situation.
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 4:16 AM on May 13, 2016

I would put a couple of strategically placed dabs of sugru on the inner seams of the cardies to increase friction. Sugru is machine washable so it's a one act play.
posted by Iteki at 6:25 AM on May 13, 2016

To build on what Metroid Baby said, I carry a ton of tension in my shoulders, and the only time I didn't have a problem with straps/cardigans/etc. sliding down was right after a really deep massage that temporarily got rid of all that stress. My shoulders sloped differently for a few days, and things actually stayed in place!

It's an out-there solution, yes, but if you enjoy massages anyway, this could be an excuse to have them more often.
posted by QuickedWeen at 10:32 AM on May 13, 2016

Maybe you could use collar clips to hold the edges of the collar together?
posted by Polychrome at 7:47 AM on May 17, 2016

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