My Style: Shrugs


My Style - Shrug cardigans - why I love them and how I style them

One of my go-to garments is the shrug cardigan.  This short cardigan style is great in summer as it provides shoulder coverage and some upper arm concealing over sleeveless or spaghetti straps, or in cooler times may be a set of long sleeves, but without disturbing the rest of the outfit too much.

Hide your spaghetti and bra straps with a shrug

The curved shape of the hem avoids creating a horizontal across my body (which I’m not keen on having an H shape and not wanting to further visually widen the appearance of my minimal waist).

Floral skirt with a teal shrug

This floral skirt is great as it has lots of colours – above I’ve teamed it with a teal shrug and below with a pink one.

Floral skirt with pink shrug


This black and white shrug is a favourite.  Sure it only offers a little warmth, but I do think it takes a plain outfit in solid colours and gives it a wow (hero) factor.

Hero shrug - my style shrugs

It’s graphic nature makes it easy to also mix with other graphic prints such as stripes.

Black and white pattern mixing with a shrug


Some of my shrugs have long sleeves  and others short.  I have found this red long sleeved one to be a staple in my wardrobe for years as I tend to get cold and like a full length sleeve to stay warm.Long sleeve red shrug with a tunic - how to wear shrugs

This navy shrug is a recent addition to my wardrobe and it’s proving very handy as it’s one of my few neutral shrugs so I can wear it with lots of other colours.

My Style wearing Shrugs and how to style them


The other day I read somewhere “why don’t fashion bloggers show us the back of an outfit” so as this shrug actually has an interesting back detail I thought that I’d share it with you here!

Back of a shrug - how to style shrugs


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  • I have noticed your love of the shrug and you wear them so well. They are not an item I have ever embraced and I am not sure why:) Bought one or two over the years but they languished in the closet. I will be watching closely for inspiration:)

  • I love shrugs on some women, definitely on you Imogen, but not on me. Reason: I am very tall – a large scale X. I have learned over the years that those smallish items look even smaller on me and in turn make me look bigger. I can take that big poncho that would drown a small woman – on me it looks great and dramatic. It belongs there. Have tried shrugs – but like Deborah writes above – they ended up in the bottom drawer. I think proportions are key here.

  • You wear the so very well !
    I had one that I felt accentuated my breasts and belly so I let go.
    However I have a vintage one that I hope I can someday pull off like you have on your looks.

  • Shrugs look great on my X shaped friends, but not on the 0 shapes. I personally am an 8 with broad shoulders, and prefer cropped jackets (very structured pieces) or cardigans, but you wear them very well.

  • I think shrug is not that universal garment. It seems to me that it looks really great on slim breastless girls. As for a woman with curves (like dear Imogen) – I would not be so sure. It could look like a “borrowed from my dauther or youngest sister” garment. And the extra colour in the outfit makes the lady look like patchwork piece. Very far from from elegance and style.

    • I don’t believe I ever claimed it as a universal garment. It’s just a garment that I like – which is why it’s My Style. Obviously our tastes are different and that’s OK.

    • Many women wear shrugs over evening dresses! Cotton/viscose is not the only material shrugs can be made of, many are made of satin and have a sheen and a thicker material will again make it look more elegant I think.

  • I think shrugs are especially great for X or 8 shapes. Wearing a normal cardigan open just doesn’t work for those that need waist definition! And shrugs really suit smaller breasts imo. I absolutely love them.

  • Love a shrug cardie, wearing one today! Love the line from my neck, love them cropped, showing my waist (hourglass).

    Had “another” stylist out a few years ago who didn’t like them, made disparaging remarks & told me to get rid of them. But you know what? They actually really suit me, and none of the clothes she had me buy were in my wardrobe a year later…… Now I have heaps of shrug cardies in lovely colours 🙂

    • Possibly you can – depends on the shape of your shoulders – they can make your shoulders look broader (and many V shapes don’t want this) but if you don’t mind your shoulders looking broader then it’s up to you.

  • I have been wearing shrugs more and I agree, they are so versatile! I love that they add a finished look but do not cover up the whole outfit. They allow me to wear spaghetti straps, an item I do not feel comfortable wearing alone. I find them more polished than a cardigan, but still offering the comfort of a layer. And yes, the rounded hem line does flatter my H shape too! They create a curve, and help me feel less blocky 🙂 I love your tips on how to style them. Shrugs are a big win in my book 🙂

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