In Product Reviews

Chrysalis Cardi Review: The Convertible Travel Scarf You Can Wear 8+ Ways!

*This post has affiliate links, which means I receive a commission if you choose to purchase through a link I provide—at no extra cost to you. Thank you so much for supporting the work I put into WhereverWriter.com.

Whether it was five weeks in France or five months in South America, I have traveled carry-on only since 2014. So, folks, listen up when I say, “You HAVE to see this!” I found the perfect piece of multiway travel clothing I NEVER want to go on a trip without: the Chrysalis Cardi by Encircled. **Psst for a limited time, you can get $25 off of the Chrysalis Cardi with my code “Wanderer25.” Discount code expires August 25, 2017!**

I’ve just returned from two months of travel, including a five-week train trip through Italy and Eastern Europe, during which I practically lived out of the Chrysalis Cardi. Now that it’s been road tested, I wrote a detailed Chrysalis Cardi review.

What Is the Chrysalis Cardi?

Chrysalis Cardi Review - 4 ways to wear this multiway clothing piece

The Chrysalis Cardi is an ethically-made multiway clothing, which means it is one piece of fabric that can be worn 8+ different ways! This is perfect for minimalists and travelers (and minimalist travelers). The secret to the Cardi’s versatility is the six snaps along the hemlines, which can be used to manipulate the cloth into all sorts of creative fashions. Also, hat tip to my girl Leah at The Sweetest Way. I found out about the Chrysalis Cardi when I saw this gorgeous photo of her wearing the Plum Cardi in Greece.

Me inside Encircled HQ wearing my Charcoal Grey Petite Chrysalis Cardi in Grecian Tunic style

 

How to Wear the Chrysalis Cardi

The Cardi can be worn 8 official ways, but many Cardi owners find creative stylings! Below is a photo from the Encircled site showing some of the many ways you can wear it, from a cardigan, to a scarf, to a dress.

Chrysalis Cardi Review - 8 ways to wear it

 

Chrysalis Cardi Review: Regular vs. Petite

Because I’m just under 5’4″ (I’m 5 feet 3.5 inches tall, to be exact, and weigh about 105 pounds), I couldn’t decide if I should get the Regular or the Petite Chrysalis Cardi—so I got both.

The Petite Chrysalis Cardi (Charcoal Grey) worn as a Grecian Tunic

Chrysalis Cardi Review - Charcoal Gray Petite Cardi

The Regular Chrysalis Cardi (Vintage Lavender) worn as a Grecian Tunic

Chrysalis Cardi Review - Vintage Lavender Regular Cardi

When worn as a dress, the Petite Chrysalis Cardi hits just above my knees, while the Regular covers my knees completely and is more drapey. When worn as a cardigan, the back of the Petite covers my rearend halfway, while the Regular completely covers it. It’s also worth noting that the Charcoal Grey Chrysalis Cardi is made from Modal (Beechwood cellulose), which is softer and thinner-feeling than the Cardi in Vintage Lavender, which is made from Bamboo. Sadly, the Vintage Lavender is no longer in stock, but Encircled says they might bring it back this fall! 

I wear the Regular when I want to dress more conservatively, especially for when I go into churches in Europe since I want something that covers my knees. It does tend to be pretty drapey, but with the tie to cinch around my waist, I think I manage to make it work!

The Chrysalis Cardi – All the Ways and Places I Wore It!

On my flight to Italy, I packed my Chrysalis Cardi Petite in Charcoal Grey in my backpack, and wrapped my Chrysalis Cardi Regular in Vintage Lavender twice around my neck and wore it as an infinity scarf on the plane ride.

Remember: Gray is Petite. Purple is Regular.

As a reversed wrap dress while exploring the canals of Venice, Italy:

Chrysalis Cardi Review - The Petite Chrysalis Cardi in Charcoal Gray in Venice Italy

 

As a double-looped infinity scarf on a train to Padua, Italy:

Chrysalis Cardi Review - Cardi worn as a double looped infinity scarf in Vintage Lavender

 

As a one-shouldered gown at a symphony in Prague, Czech Republic:

Chrysalis Cardi Review - Me in the Regular Cardi in Vintage Lavender as a one-shouldered dress in Prague

 

As a maxi skirt in Padua, Italy:

Chrysalis Cardi Review - Maxi skirt style

NOTE: This is NOT one of the “official” ways to wear it, and it’s actually very tricky. How I did it was I stepped into the loop and wrapped it twice around the smallest part of my waist. Then I snapped the nearest snaps and it was a TIGHT squeeze…so I was worried I would stretch the fabric out. I didn’t end up going out like this because I didn’t want to ruin the fabric.

The better way to wear it is how Kristi (Encircled’s founder) showed me when I visited Encircled HQ. How you do it: Close the snaps like you’re creating the Grecian Tunic version, but then STEP INTO the biggest hole and and wrap it twice around your waist. Then use the TIE that’s included with the Cardi to tie a belt around your waist to hold the skirt up. You don’t need to use snaps for this look.

Chrysalis Cardi Review - How to make it a maxi skirt step 1

As a Grecian tunic dress at the Encircled HQ in Toronto:

Chrysalis Cardi Review - Petite Charcoal Grey Grecian Tunic Encircled HQ

As a Grecian tunic dress in the middle of the desert in Arizona:

 

The Chrysalis Cardi Comes in THREE Sizes

Petite

Recommended for women shorter than 5’4″ and sizes XXS-M or those with a slight build. The Cardi is basically one big fabric loop, so it will technically fit women taller than 5’4″ but the will be shorter.

In the photo below, Isabella is wearing the Petite Chrysalis Cardi in Black in the wrap dress style. She is 5’10” and normally wears a size Small (2-4).

Chrysalis Cardi Review - The Petite Chrysalis Cardi in Black in the Grecian Tunic style
Regular

Recommended for women 5’4″ and taller, sizes 4-14 (S-XXL).

In the photo below, Isabella is wearing the Regular Chrysalis Cardi in Black in the Grecian Tunic style. She is 5’10” and normally wears a size Small (2-4).

Chrysalis Cardi Review - The Regular Chrysalis Cardi in Black in the Grecian Tunic style

 

Maxi

Recommended for women of any height sizes M-XXL or those with a broader frame in the hips or chest.

In the photo below, Jessica is wearing the Maxi Chrysalis Cardi in Black. She is 5’3″ and a size 12-14 (XXL).

Chrysalis Cardi Review - The Maxi Chrysalis Cardi worn in the Grecian Tunic style

 

Here is the Chrysalis Cardi Size Chart, straight from Encircled’s site. It is VERY accurate, so follow it:

Size
Garment Length (Laid Flat)Garment Width (Laid Flat)Bust 

(inches)

Waist 

(inches)

Hip 

(inches)

Height 

Regular

(xs – xxl)

38″39.5″32″-41″25″-34″35″-44″5’2″-6’0″
Petite

(xxs – m)

35″34.5″27″-35″23″-28″30″-38″<5’4″
Maxi

(xl – xxxl)

43″41.5″41″-52″33″-45″44″-56″<6’0″

 

Should I Get the Petite or the Regular Chrysalis Cardi?

Okay this question of Chrysalis Cardi in Regular vs. Petite drove me NUTS! Again, I’m right at the cutoff point since Encircled recommends the Petite for those under 5’4″ and I’m 5 feet 3 and a half.

My advice?

Get the Regular if

  1. You want a dress that covers your knees
  2. You want the Cardi version to cover your bum

Get the Petite if

  1. You want a dress that hits above the knee
  2. You don’t mind the Cardi version being a bit shorter and not covering your rearend

When in doubt, if you can, get both! In fact, you could get both, try them on, and then return whichever didn’t work out (just please be considerate and don’t wear perfumes or deodorant/makeup that could rub off on the clothing). It’s a hassle to return outside Canada because of Customs though, so I wouldn’t be bothered with doing a return.

If you’re STILL stuck on whether you should get the Chrysalis Cardi in Regular or Petite, it really ALL comes down to this: Would you rather your dresses err on the “too short” side or the “too long” side? Personally, I’d rather a dress be too long than too short. I feel more comfortable traveling solo in foreign countries if my clothes border on the conservative side. That’s just me.

How Did My Chrysalis Cardis Hold Up After TWO Months of Travel?

I was worried that the fabric on the Chrysalis Cardi would pill, especially since I’ve been traveling with a backpack and a messenger bag on me with LOTS of walking. I’m happy to say there was little to no pilling where my backpack and bag rubbed the fabric constantly. It still looks GREAT.

I was also worried about the Cardi wrinkling because I had it stuffed into my backpack. However, once I took it out and draped it over the back of a chair or hung it on a hanger, the wrinkles went away on their own! Love me some wrinkle-free travel clothing!

The only issues I’ve had is on the hemline where the snaps are sewn. Some of the thread is starting to come off, as you can see here:

Chrysalis Cardi Review - Some of the threads fraying on the hemline near the snaps

Some of the threads fraying on the hemline near the snaps

But that’s easily fixable with a needle and thread, and I know Encircled sends replacement snaps if you need them.

Keep in mind my Cardis went under BRUTAL treatment as I backpacked through Europe by train. They constantly had a massive 20-pound backpack rubbing up against them, and I wore them almost every day.

How to Wash the Chrysalis Cardi

The care instructions on the Encircled site recommend washing the Chrysalis Cardi via hand wash only in warm water with a laundry detergent that has NO fragrance. I was so afraid of ruining my precious Cardis that I panicked over how to wash it on the road!

I am happy to report that I have washed the Cardi in all of the following ways, and it has NOT been ruined:

  • In cold, warm, and hot water by hand
  • With soap and detergent that had fragrance
  • In a washing machine on the “hand wash” mode, which I only ever found on European washing machines
  • I have never put the Cardi inside a dryer

Why Buy from Encircled?

Words like “sustainable” and “buy local” stopped being something trendy to me and started being an ethical way to live my life. I used to be obsessed with fast fashion (ahem—Forever 21, H&M) because it was cheap and easy to find.

But the truth is, even if you got that skirt for $5—someone is paying a price. It might be someone you never see, like the woman at working under deplorable conditions in a sweatshop in Sri Lanka, but someone is paying.

Additionally, producing synthetic fabrics en masse releases toxic pollution into the environment.

Thanks to ethical clothing brands like Encircled, I don’t have to worry about those things. Encircled makes its ethical clothing in Toronto, and even frequently shows you behind-the-scenes video of its sewing studio. It uses sustainable material that minimizes its impact on the environment.

Encircled’s small team really cares about their customers. I even met the founder, Kristi, in Toronto and she’s amazing!

Chrysalis Cardi Review - Petite Charcoal Grey Grecian Tunic Inside Encircled HQ

Rockin’ my Encircled Chrysalis Cardi inside Encircled HQ with the founder, Kristi. So meta.

Yes, Encircled’s price points are higher than, say, Forever 21’s. That’s because Encircled crafts clothing that lasts, sews everything locally in Toronto, and uses premium eco-friendly material such as Modal (made from Beechwood cellulose, a renewable source!) and Bamboo. I am 100% confident my investment into my beautiful Chrysalis Cardis will pay off big time—they already have! I mean, I wore this thing all over Europe, Canada, and the U.S. It transitioned beautifully from evening wear for a night out at the Vienna State Opera House, to a cozy cardi to lounge in with sweatpants in a monastery in Italy.

Want to change the world? You are changing it with every action you make. Support with your dollars.

What I’ve Bought From Encircled (So Far!)

Get Your Own Chrysalis Cardi TODAY—You Will NOT Regret It!

As you can tell, I am a HUGE fan of the Chrysalis Cardi and Encircled as a whole. This is by far one of the best items I own (I’m a minimalist, so that means a lot!). I think you’ll love your Cardi as much as I love mine.

See ALL the stunning, versatile Chrysalis Cardi colors here

Get it in Charcoal Grey (what I’m wearing!)

**Get $25 off of the Chrysalis Cardi with my code “Wanderer25.” Code expires August 25, 2017!**

Chrysalis Cardi Review - Me in the Petite Cardi in Charcoal Grey

*Please note that while these are affiliate links, Encircled did NOT ask me to write this post, and they did NOT give me any free product. I bought both Cardis and the Flipside Leggings with my own money 💵🙌🏽

Do you have any questions about my Chrysalis Cardi review? If you need help deciding on a Cardi, comment below! I’m happy to help.

Like it? Pin it to Pinterest!

Chrysalis Cardi Review - This Convertible Travel Scarf Can Be Worn 8+ Ways

Chrysalis Cardi Review - This Convertible Travel Scarf Can Be Worn 8+ Ways (1)

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8 Comments

  • Reply
    Chloe
    July 21, 2017 at 10:39 am

    Wow! This is pretty cool! Love all the different ways you could wear this. Super innovative! :)

    xo, Chloe // http://funinthecloset.com/how-to-be-cool-in-summer/

    • Reply
      Wherever Writer
      July 21, 2017 at 3:57 pm

      Thanks, Chloe! Yes, I’m amazed at how Kristi and team created this design. Very innovative indeed!

  • Reply
    Leah
    July 21, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    Don’t you just love it?! The gray looks really nice on you, but so does the lavender! Excellent color choices. I was afraid to get the regular size cardi since I’m so short, but I’m surprised to see it doesn’t look too long on you at all!

    • Reply
      Wherever Writer
      July 21, 2017 at 3:58 pm

      Thanks, Leah! Yes, I love my Cardis and want to buy the Dark Teal next. I think the Petite fits me best, but like the Regular for different kinds of looks, especially the cardigan style since it covers me more. I’m also eyeing their new Revolve Sleeveless Dress. I have to stop looking at their social media or will end up buying everything!! Haha

  • Reply
    Gabby
    July 21, 2017 at 10:59 pm

    Thanks for the review! It’s been helpful I deciding whether I should keep or exchange the Petite. Thanks again!

    • Reply
      Wherever Writer
      July 21, 2017 at 11:40 pm

      You’re welcome, Gabby! Let us know what you decide. It may help someone reading this and trying to decide. :) Thanks for the comment
      -Amy

  • Reply
    Rannie
    August 11, 2017 at 10:09 pm

    Hi Amy, I wonder which colors and length/size of this would you suggest for someone with warmer undertone, 125lb, 5’4″? thank you so much!

    • Reply
      Wherever Writer
      August 12, 2017 at 3:48 pm

      Hey Rannie!

      Thanks for your comment—I LOVE helping people find their perfect Cardi color and size.

      Hm…at 5’4″ you’re RIGHT at the cutoff for Petite. Encircled recommends the Regular Chrysalis Cardi for women 5’4″ and taller. So it really comes down to this: What situations will you be wearing the Cardi in? Do you prefer dresses that are on the shorter side (a few inches above the knee) or ones that cover your knees? If the former, get the Petite. The Petite will probably hit a couple inches above the knee. If the latter, get the Regular. The Regular will probably hit right at your knees. It really depends on body type though.

      Regarding color, the folks at Encircled told me Black is the bestselling color for the Chrysalis Cardi, and it’s a classic color, so it’s a safe bet.

      Personally, I think the purple hues, like the Plum that’s currently in stock, are very flattering on those with darker hair and warm skin tones.

      I hope this helps! If you have any other questions, please ask. :)

      Best,
      Amy

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