Free People Moon River Cardigan Fit Review

Just a quick standalone review for this one because I took a lot of fit pics when deciding on it. As usual, none of these are referral links. I wrote this because reviews are nice to have around.


Description from the FP site:


Style No. 53686564 ; Color Code: 072

Sweet and simple knit cardigan designed in a soft knit fabrication with snap button closure at bottom and wide ribbed bottom band for added shape in a super slouchy silhouette.

  • Exposed seam detail
  • Ribbed sleeve cuffs and bottom hem
  • Open-front style for layering opportunity

Hand Wash Cold


Measurements for size small

  • Bust: 40 in
  • Length: 19.5 in
  • Sleeve Length: 29 in

Additional specs from Zappos:

60% cotton, 38% acrylic, 1% polyamide, 1% elastane.


  • Product measurements were taken using size XS (Women’s 0-2). Please note that measurements may vary by size.
  • Measurements:

    • Length: 19 in
    • Chest Measurement: 36 in
    • Sleeve Length: 29 in


I’m 5’1″ and have a 38″ bust, 29″ waist, 39″ hips and wear a 32DD bra. I’m usually a US size 8. I ordered a Medium and a Small. I suspected the small should fit based on the provided bust measurement, but you never know with FP’s sizing. I ended up keeping the small, which fit more similarly to how the cardigan is styled in the stock photos.

Anyway, I think this is meant to have a relaxed fit look (oversized sleeves) but be cropped. But given the casual nature of the cardigan you could size up or down for either an oversized or fitted look and I think it’d work.

Small on left, medium on right. Sleeves are a tad long on both, but the ones on the medium were oversized to the point where they were starting to look sloppy. The small also (miraculously) comes off as slightly cropped on me, which I think feels more intentional with the slightly oversized sleeves. I think for my ideal fit the sleeves on the small would still be about 2″ shorter, but this definitely is acceptable.

free people moonriver cardigan s m comparison closed

Small on right, medium on left. The lighting here is pretty bad because these are frames extracted from videos, but it works well enough to see the silhouette.

free people moonriver cardigan s m comparison open

I feel like the sleeve length was increased disproportionately from the S to M, but maybe it was just how it sat on me / how it was laid out.

free people moonriver cardigan small and medium

Weird thing about this sweater that I didn’t realize til I saw it in person despite knowing about the “exposed seam detail”: it’s literally a normal sweater that’s just inside-out. They tied off all the yarns on the intended inside of the sweater, but you can see here that it looks a lot more like a normal sweater with the tag on the outside. Since they used snaps instead of buttons, I think these could be reversible if the tags were picked out.

free people moonriver cardigan inside out

There are some yarn ends on the intended inside, but since the sweater is so textured anyway, trim them a bit and I don’t think they’d be noticeable. (Also, I couldn’t get the camera to get all the colors right while focusing – this picture is a little too light)free people moonriver cardigan inside close up

I’m not exactly raving about the quality, though it’s nothing to hate on, especially at the sale prices. Of course, the design is really cute and on trend, it’s very comfortable, and made of a finer weight yarn so the more relaxed fit doesn’t feel bulky. The fabric feels nicer than Old Navy / Target / Forever 21 tier knitwear. But on the small cardigan there was already one part where the yarn was halfway frayed apart on the inside. I’m hoping if I just leave that alone it won’t need a repair for a while. I suspect it’s just a thing with this yarn, because I noticed a little fraying on the stock close-up provided by Nordstrom as well.

free people moonriver cardigan snag

Here is the clearest stock photo I could find (Nordstrom Rack)

Model’s stats for sizing: – Height: 5’8″ – Bust: 34″ – Waist: 24″ – Hips: 34.5″ Model is wearing size S.

I’m excited about the potential of this to actually be the orange cardigan that actually works with multiple pieces in my wardrobe. If you’ve been following the blog for awhile, you’ll notice this isn’t the first orange knitwear I’ve bought. But the other two, despite my attempts, only really fit into one outfit that I would wear regularly.

This one I was really sad to sell, because it was a 100% lambswool frugal eBay purchase and the faux brass buttons were gorgeous. But it was at least 1 size too large, and not in a this-is-designed-to-be-oversized cute way, especially when worn open (I have of course only kept photos of it in WordPress that were the most flattering, so I’m not sure if it really comes off here). A big issue was that I think the v-neck hit in a way that made outfit silhouettes feel really bust-heavy, and not in a cute way.


I did really like it in this outfit, but it took like five million years to arrange the tuck properly, and I have since hemmed those pants into a cropped length, which I felt emphasized the blocky silhouette of the sweater. The v-neck was also just too low to wear by itself to work, and it didn’t have enough utility for me to keep it as loungewear or as a too-practical-to-purge item.


This cardigan from the Something Navy line at Nordstrom I do think is pretty cute. I tried a couple ways of styling it when I first got it back in this blog post, but I’ve found that its chunkiness and shoulder-heavy silhouette combined with my desire to look conventionally attractive and not like an awkward history bounder meant that this best-of-2016-pinterest outfit (I say this lovingly) is basically the only way I wear it:


Though this is a practical and cute enough outfit that I’m actually willing to keep the cardigan just for this. Since I’m keeping it anyway, I ought to start wearing it as loungewear too, now that I think about it. I know the “downgrading” tactic can be contentious, but personally I do enjoy feeling cuter at home. I’m so incredibly picky about clothes that if I only wore 100% my platonic ideal items for each category, then I wouldn’t have enough clothes to cover all the contexts I’d need them for.

Here’s one more outfit ft the FP cardigan, styled in a less lounge-y look.


Given that it’s also a v-neck cardigan with slightly dropped shoulders and a slightly relaxed fit, I was trying to figure out why it seems so much more flattering than the first vintage one I bought. I think the key differences are that (1) the knit on this is thinner and drapier and (2) that the neckline is thin and ends below the bust, which gives the top of an outfit a more vertically oriented visual movement rather than a blocky/horizontal one. I’ve noticed that of my sweaters, the ones I find the most “wearable” are the ones that have a good drape to them and are not too oversized.

I really really want to live that effortlessly-causal-slouchy-sweater-on-a-morning-drinking-whole-leaf-brewed-tea-before-hanging-around-in-The-Met-then-buying-just-a-baguette-carrots-and-fresh-flowers-at-the-farmers-market-while-the-sleeves-you-artfully-pushed-up-never-slide-down aesthetic, but given that I’m 5’1″ and not shaped like the average catalog model, most things that are designed to be worn in an oversized style just end up looking poorly fit on me. It’s not that I think you can only pull that off if you’re 5’11” with a willowy build, it’s that most of the ones you can buy are not designed to sit well on someone of my measurements. Since I don’t have the priorities to learn knitting to the point where I can design and execute my own trendy patterns before they’re not even trendy anymore, it’s one of those fashion elements I should just cut my losses on and not try anymore.

I’m looking forward to wearing this cardigan with a bunch more outfits and living out my pinstagram outfit dreams (seriously, this thing has been everywhere – and specifically for the tucked-in look, I’d even made a Pinterest board for it maybe a year ago?). And here’s hoping that third time’s the charm and it’s the last orange cardigan I feel compelled to buy for a while.

cardigan tuck pinterest board


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