The Perfect Cropped Cardigan

Cropped Cardigans retro vintage pinup

Cardigans from MAK, New Look, and MAK

Cardigans are a wardrobe staple in this day and age, but for a pinup it can be hard to find a cardigan that hits the waist at the right point. With swing skirts and dresses in particular, you don’t want a cardigan that swallows your waist and falls too long, masking part of your skirt and ruining the clean, crisp lines of your carefully selected outfit. That’s why a cropped cardigan in particular is the real staple for your average pinup, but finding them can be difficult.


Mak Cropped Cardigans

MAK cardigans are my favourite cropped cardigan brand. They’re a wholesaler brand and their cardigans are available from lots of different vintage style retailers. Each retailer prices them slightly differently and offers a different colour and size range, so below I’ve compiled a list of each stockist I’ve found and the selections those stockists offer.

Doll Me Up
Their name for the product: Tootsie Cropped Cardigan
Colour range: Over 20 colours
Size range: S-L in all colours, additionally 1X-4X in some colours
Cost: $24.99
Availability/shipping: Free US shipping, worldwide shipping offered at multiple affordable price points and speeds. (Example: First Class USPS shipping for a cardigan to the UK is around $8.99.)

Pinup Girl Clothing
Their name for the product: Cropped Cardigan
Colour range: 13 colours
Size range: S-4X on all colours
Cost: $25
Availability/shipping: Free domestic shipping on orders over $100, typical domestic shipping fees otherwise. Free international shipping on orders over $350, otherwise Worldwide flat rate shipping available for $28 globally, or price-per-order Priority Fedex option available.

Their name for the product: Dream of the Crop Cardigan
Colour range: 8 colours
Size range: S-4X across all colours, XS also in some colours.
Cost: $29.99
Availability/shipping: Domestic US shipping options free over $75 orders, or USPS flat rate $4, $8, $14, $21 options for different delivery speeds. International shipping available to over 50 countries, calculated at checkout, using USPS first Class International, USPS Priority, or Fedex (Example: An order of one cardigan delivered to the UK calculated shipping costs of $13.70, $28.89, or $47 depending upon delivery speed method chosen.)

Trashy diva
Their name for the product: Cropped Cardigan
Colour range: 25 colours
Size range: Only S-L
Cost: $28
Availability/shipping: Free domestic shipping on orders over $200, or else flat rate domestic shipping options of $13, $19, $26, $55. International shipping available for $21-85 for Canada or a flat rate fee of $39 for the rest of the world, or free on orders over $400.

Le Bomb Shop
Their name for the product: The Cutest Cropped Cardigan
Colour range: 23 colours
Size range: S-4X
Cost: $24
Availability/shipping: Free domestic US shipping over $50, international shipping available at various prices and speeds. (Example, shipping to the UK for one cardigan offered the options of $13.70 USPS First Class International, $47 for USPS International Priority, as well as faster, guaranteed more expensive options at $56-70.)

Other Cropped Cardigan options

It’s possible to find cropped cardigans other than the above MAK line. Here in the UK I’ve had luck before finding cropped cardigans from New Look in multiple colours, at around £10-15 a cardigan, but they’re not stocked constantly so it requires some regular searching on their website or in stores to check whether it’s a period when they’re making any.

I’ve also found cropped cardigans from Primark in multiple shades, but they were button-free so can only be worn tied in the front or open. I’ve found one or two cropped cardigans at Peacocks too in the past, but once again you’ll have to regularly check in store or online to make sure you’re not missing any that are offered at varying times.

Alternatively, there’s also eBay. When searching for ‘cropped cardigans’ the influx of results is overwhelming and somewhat frustrating, as often the practice of writing as broadly descriptive an item title as possible to increase search result hits mean you find yourself looking at lots of items that aren’t cropped cardigans, but instead are shrugs, boleros and so on.

Still, if you’re on a budget that means ordering MAK cardigans from an above stockist to your country is too pricey, if you can’t get out to scour the shops, or else you simply don’t like the above cardigans much, then searching through eBay will probably be worth it for you. You can find shrugs or boleros, whether sleeved, beaded, collared, lace or whatever else, very cheaply, often for £5 or less delivered, and I have several shades of plain long sleeved shrugs from eBay to add to outfits that need sleeves but don’t need torso coverage.


Some eBay options

Plus, with eBay you can still get lucky and find people selling off new or gently used cropped cardigans much like the MAK kind above from all sorts of brands and stores, so it can be worth 10 minutes of so of scrolling.

I hope that has helped you figure out where you can pick yourself up a cardigan or two if you’ve been struggling to do so!

Have you found MAK cardigans stocked somewhere that’s not listed above? Leave a comment and I’ll add it to the list. Have you had luck finding other cropped cardigans somewhere else?

19 thoughts on “The Perfect Cropped Cardigan

  1. In the UK I’ve found (surprisingly) there to be the occasional bolero or tie-front crop cardi at Debenhams, in their Debenhams Collection. They’re great quality but limited colours. Same with Phase Eight, Coast and Hobbs. I think if there are potential prom dresses nearby i find it more likely to spot the cropped cardi. I have a few from M&S though I don’t think they’re currently stocking crops, they tend to come out towards Autumn, and I’ve found Kaliko to be ok for the infrequent cardi find.

    I’ve got a couple of New Look ones, but I find them a bit thin!

    (I hope it isn’t too obvious that I have about three drawers of knitwear at home…)


  2. I also really like the Sweet Sweater from Heart of Haute! It hits at the waist and has a tie – they always photo them tied in a bow at the front, but I wrap mine around ballet-style and tie in the back. With a full skirt, I can tuck the knot below the waistband so it’s not visible. It’s a lightweight sweater, so better for spring or summer, but they come in some lovely colors and a few prints too.


  3. Thank you so much for the heads up on Le Bomb Shop! They are having a massive sale right now, so my search for more cropped cardigans rapidly turned into a search for many other things as well! 🙂


  4. In your cardigan hunting, have you happened to find other shops selling the non-cropped MAK cardigans? On Modcloth, they are called ‘charter school cardigan’ but are quite expensive. Would love to know if there are alternate retailers.


  5. You are a life saver! I have been searching everywhere for new sources of these beloved MAK cardigans. (Since, alas, ModCloth has only very limited colors and stock; and Pinup Girl, although they have more colors, also tends to be low on stock.) These sweaters are truly a staple, and I’ve not been able to find new spots that sell them. I’d never heard of Le Bomb or Doll Me Up — thanks for spreading the good news! Just placed an order for a kelly green and a lavender with Le Bomb…


  6. Hi, thought it might be of use for you to know that New Look have some cropped cardigans in stock. I bought mine online and had them delivered to my local shop. They are £9.99 and are worth every penny, very soft and lightweight and they have a few different colours.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks for this! I recently discovered these cardigans and ordered from Doll Me Up. I had a feeling they were probably sold by others, went searching, and found your post.

    I’d avoid Doll Me Up. I bought two because I wasn’t sure which color would work best with the sundress I wanted to pair it with. I’m returning one, but they charge a $5.99 restocking fee if your order shipped for free. Pretty ridiculous when the item I’m returning is only $24.99, and I’m paying the return shipping! I’ll order from Trashy Diva if I decide to buy another. Looks like if you return your items to them within 10 days there is no fee. That’s a pretty short window, but oh well. Restocking fees seem bogus to me.

    In any case, the cardigan is just what I was looking for! I love Bernadette’s cropped cardigans on The Big Bang Theory, but they were all custom-made for the actress. Glad I now have my own source for something similar. I wish some more mainstream retailers like Nordstrom or Macy’s would carry these. Trashy Diva has some cute short sleeve cropped cardigans right now too. Not sure what brand, but the fabric content is similar, so I’m guessing they’re probably Mak as well. Wish they made these in cotton too.


  8. Thanks for this post! Just wondering, as I’m in the UK as well, do you ever get slapped with customs charges ordering from these US sites? I’ve heard that anything over £15 is liable, but I’m so keen to try a couple of these cardigans.


  9. I was very glad to find this post!
    I have a MAK sweater that I purchased from Modcloth a couple years ago, and I love it! However, recently when I ordered two more “dream of the crop” cardigans from them, I was VERY disappointed to discover when they arrived that Modcloth has changed vendors and although they didn’t change the name or mention it anywhere I could see on the page, it is a different (albeit similar) sweater that is much shorter and thinner, and doesn’t fit me at all. I was so upset because I am stuck paying return shipping on an item I would not have ordered if it had been truthfully labeled, and also because I didn’t know where else to find my beloved sweater!
    Thank you so much for your research finding these!


  10. I just stumbled upon this post while searching for the colors of MAK cropped cardigan. Great information. I purchased one at a brick and mortar store called Modern Millie’s in Salem, MA and love it. I just ordered a bunch more through JJ Perfection (MAK tag) and Sidecca’s Amazon (Sidecca neck tag but same side tag as store bought and JJ Perfection Amazon ones). I seem to be on a buying binge but they are great cardis and come in so many fun colors. I realize it’s a business decision but I WISH the various sellers would at least use the same color name; Teal, Lake, Capri…. Ack! Thanks for the helpful post.


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