How to Dress Up a Cardigan

How to Dress Up a Cardigan

You should always have a few cardigans in your closet. This simple piece of knitwear can be tossed on when you feel a chill or used to add some color and texture to your outfit. Women’s cardigan sweaters are also easy to dress up, so don’t think of them as nothing more than casual wear. But if you want to wear a cardigan out on the town time after time, make sure to wash it on cool and let it air dry to keep it looking bright and beautiful. Here are our top ways to wear a cardigan.

Add a Belt

A hip belt can up your style game in an instant. Wear one over your favorite cardigan and cinch it at your true waist (the smallest part of your midsection) to create the appearance of an hourglass shape. For a thin belt, make sure your cardigan extends for a few inches below it, or it won’t look right. However, if you’re wearing a super wide belt, you can get away with tucking your cardigan into your skirt or pants.

Wear it Alone

Though cardigans are often thought of as the ultimate layering piece, they can look quite sexy when worn alone. Slip into a thin, delicate cardigan with a v-neckline and tuck it into skinny jeans before heading out for the night. Wear a long jacket (worn open, of course) on top and trade your clunky carry-all for a slim clutch. If you like, dust a little blush or highlighter along your décolletage.

With Your LBD

The LBD – little black dress – is a wardrobe staple. But sometimes, you need to jazz things up with a dose of color. So, slip on that frock for a night on the town and top it with a cardigan in bright red, blue, purple, green or another stunning jewel tone. In an instant, your outfit will pop, and you won’t have to worry about blending in with the scenery any longer.

Go With the Flow

Embrace the elegance of a billowing cardigan worn over a loose top, like a roomy silk blouse; let it fall off one shoulder to add a distinctly sensual touch. You’ll be swathed in soft, sensual materials for a sophisticated bohemian-inspired look. However, you’ll need to wear some slim pants, like a pair of sleek leggings or black jeans, to avoid looking like you’re drowning in your outfit. Anything with an overly relaxed or baggy look is a no-no.

Play Around With Textures

A soft, smooth cardigan made from a fine gauge knit is always tasteful and adds a chic twist to your outfit on its own. You can also experiment with textures, though. The contrast between a chunky knit and a satiny dress can instantly elevate an outfit. Something with a crochet look will have the same effect, so try different things to see what works best.

Think About Your Shoes

The right footwear can make or break and outfit and even a designer gown will look shabby if you’re wearing old sneakers. Bring out the best in your cardigan by choosing the perfect shoes to go with it, like dainty ballet flats or the heels that make you feel like a million bucks. Freshly polished leather boots also do the trick, whether they reach to your knees or just your ankles. If you’re going the sandals route, try a delicate strappy pair, but only if you’ve had a pedicure.

Wear the Right Piece Underneath

If you wear an old tee under your cardigan, it’s going to look casual no matter what. Instead, try something that’s seriously stylish, like a silk tank top. A crisp blouse will look nice as well, but don’t be afraid to skip plain white versions in favor of something with an eye-catching pattern. For a night time look, try a dress covered in sequins or one made of lace. There’s no risk of looking too flashy since your cardi will tone things down just enough.

Experiment With Accessories

Jewelry can elevate any outfit, including one centered on a great cardigan. Try a statement necklace covered in faux jewels or wear a few long strands of glittering beads that reach down almost to your navel. Some matching earrings will light up your eyes. You can also push the sleeves of your cardigan up to your elbows and cover your arms in bracelets and bangles. A silk scarf draped around your neck works, too.


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