Bargain Friday’s TPS Report: Frenchi Ribbed Back Open Cardigan

Our daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

7Happy Friday! Today’s TPS item was suggested by reader E, who writes in about this find: “I have a hard time with cardigans because I’m super petite and extremely short-waisted, so I usually look like I’m swimming in them. My (31 yr old) friend found this lightweight one in the junior’s section at Nordstrom, and I had to buy one for myself. I got it in black, but the Olivine could also be work-appropriate, and some of the other colors might be good depending on the rest of the outfit. I love the buttonless ‘lapels,’ cutaway front, longer back, and — this is key and not in the photo — the gathering in the back for a flattering silhouette.”  Love it!  We think any of the many (many!) colors this comes in could work for the office — for example we’d wear the purple with a black tank, gray trousers, and perhaps a set of pearls or something else light-colored — we might also try adding a brooch to one of the lapels.  It’s $39 at Nordstrom.   Frenchi Ribbed Back Open Cardigan (Juniors)

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  1. I really really like this! So much so that I am thinking about buying it (especially since I have a Nordstrom gift card to use!). I think Kat’s styling suggestions are really great an I think it would look really nice with knotted opera-length pearls. I am concerned about the sizing though. Does anyone have any suggestions?

    • A-n0n-lawyer :

      Agreed. I don’t have a Nordstroms, and I love this!

    • My guess would be that Jr’s sizing runs a bit smaller than “misses” — so if you’re not sure, go up a size (I also base this on the writer’s recommendation — it works for her b/c she is petite & usually swimming in tops like this).

      • Go up a size. I just bought some stuff in the Jr’s dept at Nordstrom. I normally wear a Medium (8/10), and I bought some t-shirts in a size large and they fit, but they fit snug. I also bought some really cute capri’s and they *fit*, kind of, meaning they were the right waist size (30), but they were really low cut, especially in the front, so I had to return them. I think age 29 might be the cut-0ff for the junior’s department! But having said that, I will still try to shop there, and I love this cardigan.

      • Agree w/ going up a size — and even though this does not have buttons, be aware that juniors is typically cut for those with smaller busts, so if you are larger chested, this may still not look quite right…

    • Little Lurker :

      See my comment below about sizing!

  2. Chicago K :

    Also interested about sizing…Haven’t shopped the Junior’s section at Nordrstrom since I was in junior high/high school.

    I l0ve this! My only concern is if it’s too lightweight to look work appropriate? I think I am probably going to order this.

    It seems I am wearing a “uniform” this summer of pencil skirt with a tshirt/tank/shell and a cardigan every day. This can help add some color variety at least.

    • There are a lot of reviews about the cardigan being thin online, especially in white. It seems like the darker colors might be the safer bet in terms of sheerness.

      • I don’t have an issue with thin cardigans (save white, which just makes it difficult to wear anything other than white underneath) — it’s the summer. I want thin! I get the concern with sheer in shirts & tees, but you wear a cardigan over something else so if it’s a bit sheer, it’s still not like you’re showing anything inappropriate.

    • I have the same uniform going too! I tried to mix it up this morning with pants and gave up … back to the pencil skirt :-) I try to wear different shoes (love shoes!) to keep things from feeling too monotonous…

      • I tried to mixed it up today too Shayna – I wore jeans for “Jeans Friday” for the first time in weeks (it’s just been way too hot to wear pants!). But I still have on a an invory shell and a brown short sleeved cardigan.

        Question about this “uniform” – I recently purchased some great quality white tshirts from the Brooks Brothers outlet ($11 a piece, can’t beat that!) Do you think people notice if I wear the same style white tshirt under my cardi’s a few times a week? If so, does it qualify as the “same outfit” or a bad/tacky thing to do? I love these tees because they come up high (unlike some of the tanks/shells I own) are such a bright clean white, and have a little bit of a detailing to the front and a bit of a puff to the sleeves. And they HAVE sleeves, unlike so very many options available at the stores I shop at, so i feel ok taking the cardi off while walking or going to lunch.

        • divaliscious11 :


        • As long as you mix up the cardigan I think it’s fine — mostly b/c white is a neutral. White, black, grey, and some variation on nude get a pass when it comes to ‘wearing the same outfit’ — at least in my book! I will have to check out those shirts — I have issues finding shirts with sleeves that aren’t too big (I hate when I have a hard time stuffing everything into my cardigan sleeve — and I really like more fitted cardigans), and necklines that are appropriate! I think you’re fine — the white is just the background to what cardigan you wear :-)

        • I think I got the same white tees! Ruching at the neckline?
          If that’s the one — then yeah, it might be noticed; that’s a distinctive detail.
          If you do do it, I would recommend monday/friday type repetition.
          On an aside — I spill & stain a lot, but love the look of white tees in summer. I went to H&M this week & bought a whole bunch of their white tanks for $5.90. They’re tanks, but made of a good material, hold up in the wash well, have a nice scoop neckline that’s not too high or low, and have thicker straps than typical on tanks. I also got them in a few other nice colors: dusty sea blue, navy, khaki, etc. If you’re wearing a cardigan over them — they’re perfect & they’re simple enough that repetition won’t be noticeable (only hitch with the white ones: as with most white tees, a white bra will show through. nude is better.)

          • @Aims – yep, those are the tshirts! Funny you mentioned H & M, I went in there for the first time ever yesterday, and went straight to the white tanks. I am not sure it was the same as yours, as these were completly see through so I decided to avoid, even though I was tempted to buy since it was 5 bucks. i didn’t see any other colors available either, I was looking for bright colored tanks to wear on weekends with my boho skirts.

            @Shayna – definately check out the shirts if you have a BB or BB outlet near you, I didn’t see them online however. They have a cap sleeve, and fit fine under cardigans. I would imagine if you have smaller arms it could have a bit of extra fabric, but if you readjust, it would sit nicely.

        • Even if someone notices, they’d assume you have five of the same shirt, so it’s fine. I doubt anyone will notice that it’s the same shirt, anyway. People probably do notice you wear white t-shirts a lot.

        • Men wear white or blue button-downs 5 days a week. Most men I know have one or two shirt brands they love and that’s it. I don’t see this as being any different.

        • No.

          Several years ago I bought 4 BB tee shirts to wear under jackets/blazers. I wore them several times a week and feel it’s part of my work uniform. They need to be replaced and BB no longer sells, them…DRAT!

          • I brought them last week at the outlet, so you might want to check one of those? But yes, I didn’t see them online.

            Thanks guys, since I just bought these, I am not wearing them every day YET, but I love them so much I did wear one twice this week already. And well, it was a 4 day week!

          • The tees are outlet only. Its BB’s 346 outlet line. Normally $17, but $11 for the 4th of July sale. They’re really cute. My only complaint was the colors. White & black are fine, but the others (pepto pink, light blue-green, etc.) don’t work to me as tee shirts under a suit — the colors + the super thick cotton texture just renders them too casual for a suit, in my opinion, which was a shame given the great price.

        • I wouldn’t think twice about someone wearing a white tee a couple of times a week. I’d assume it had been washed or was a different shirt, if it registered at all.

          So can anyone recommend good white tees that can be bought online? I just had one delivered from BR (the one with the satin detail around the neck) and it is too see-through! A good white tee that you can’t see your bra through is so difficult to find.

          • I have this one and I looooooove it:


            I recommend going down one size if you want to wear it under a sweater or jacket, as it is cut to have a loose fit. The loose fit is perfect for me with jeans on the weekend though.

          • Thanks SO much. It has turned into a quest lately.

    • I have a different open cardigan from Frenchi that I got at Nordstroms over the winter. It is very soft and easy to wear, and I get compliments on it whenever I wear it. I would buy it again in a heartbeat.

      It is not totally opaque so you wouldn’t want to wear a black cami under a white cardigan or something like that, but it is certainly work appropriate.

      As for sizing, I’m not going to be much help, because I’m 5’3″ and 110, so I wear an XS in pretty much anything. Because there is no closure, I don’t have trouble in the bust area, but it is fairly snug in the arms (it stretches appropriately, though). I guess I would just recommend following the size chart? Sorry I’m not more help!

  3. I just ordered this a couple days ago, in Canyon and Ash — I wear cardigans almost every day, so I’m looking to add more color variety and I think both of these are “interesting neutrals” for me. Here’s hoping they work as well for me as all the commenters on the site, who loved it!

  4. Have people seen these in stock at Nordstrom? Would like to venture to the store rather than attempt sizing online…

  5. Anyone else daunted by choosing between “Feisty” “Heiress” and “Mesmerize”? So many options for purple! I feel like I should pick the one that best describes my personality or something.

    • Haven’t seen the actual colors, but I would totally go with feisty!

    • Which one describes your personality? I’d have to go with “Feisty” for that. Anyone feel like an “Heiress”? 75, perhaps?

    • I think I would go with “Mesmerize”. Sounds kind of awesome.

    • Oh, you’re right. I just checked out all the colors. How are we supposed to choose? Lively and Seaport are pretty, too. Wish someone would decide for me.

  6. Little Lurker :

    Oh, love this!

    I’m a rising senior in college, and the only juniors section I haven’t weaned myself off of is Nordstroms! I’m always impressed by the diversity of items there, especially if you’re willing to wade through all of the kitschy accessories and tie-ins to Twilight garb. ;)

    If you’re on the small-to-petite side, I definitely recommend checking them out. I find that the bottoms are more forgiving than the tops — most juniors either have small chests or want to enhance what they’ve got, so the tops are always snug on me, and not in a nice way. But I have several skirts (and even a cardigan or two) that have lasted several years of washing (and I’m hard on my clothes).

    I don’t have that much stuff from Frenchi, but I really like BP and can also recommend Rubbish, their layering tops line. The shirts are super thin and often see-through in the lighter colors, but they last FOREVER, considering the price and the weight.

    • Little Lurker :

      Oh yes, definitely expect to go a size up anyway on the bottoms; I find that going a size up on the tops generally doesn’t help because of the cut.

      And although I love Internet window shopping, I do recommend you head to the store, if you can. If you have half an hour to spend, you can find a piece there that you’d never expect would look good on your body (nor was it prominently featured).

    • What is a rising senior?

  7. I love this too! I like how it looks like both a cardigan and a blazer. I’m really trying to stop my Nordstrom obsession and not buy more clothes but this looks tempting. I would also like to know if anyone has seen this in the store, I would rather try it on there.

    I’m wearing this Nordstrom cardigan today (from the Halogen line) and really like it. The sizing is true to size, I’m usually an XS in tops and that’s the size that I bought. I will say that the black looks the best, the colored ones look a bit worn in person.

  8. I love the colors and the cut, but I wish it buttoned. Flapping open cardigans really annoy me

  9. There are lots of gems in the Nordstrom juniors section. Mostly casual clothing, but I’ve recently found some interesting embellished tanks that look nice – and entirely work appropriate – with suits too.

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