The draped cardigan over the shoulders look is perhaps best known for its utilitarian quality - if it gets a bit chilly, a warm rescue is right there, hanging around your neck. The style is one that I instantly associate with old men, because for as long as I can remember my grandfather has been sporting button down shirts with a cardigans draped over them.
Often in high school I'd dress in this look, joking that I felt like an old man because I hadn't seen any other women wear the style themselves. I always felt like it aged me a bit, which I personally enjoyed because I felt just a teensy bit more maturely dressed than my teenage peers.
After watching Woody Allen's Manhattan for the first time, I became infatuated with Mariel Hemingway's character Tracy. She's a high school student who dates Isaac (played by Allen) - quite the cougar considering he's 42 years old. It's easy to fall for Tracy's charm through her soft-spoken voice and naïveté but she also has a sophistication for her young age that may be entirely due to her clothing. In a scene where Tracy joins Isaac and his friends for a walk, she dons the draped cardigan over the shoulders look. As Bill Cunningham once said, "fashion is the armor to survive the reality of everyday life," so perhaps by outfitting herself in a more mature style, Tracy feels more comfortable with her unusual reality of dating such an older man. Whether or not intentions for maturity went into the styling of this costume, it sure does work because Tracy impeccably blends in with Isaac's crowd of adult friends.