Every woman should have a few cardigans in her closet. A stylish multitasker, they can be used in place of a coat on warm days and worn over summer pieces when the weather is cooling down. They also elevate any outfit in a snap and are a must for surviving a freezing office. Depending on your body type, some cardigan styles are more flattering than others though, so learn what works best on you before buying a new one.
Women with an hourglass figure should focus on emphasizing their tiny waists. Give oversized, loose-fitting cardigans a pass, as they’ll hide your delicious curves. Instead, reach for one with a peplum cut – the flared shape will emphasize your waist nicely. A belted cardigan will have the same effect. Thinner cardigans with a bit of stretch will accommodate your curves nicely, especially when worn buttoned-up with skinny jeans or a body-hugging skirt.
The right cardigan looks amazing on a plus-size frame. Stick to ones made from a thinner knit to avoid adding bulk and consider something with a waterfall cut that diverts attention away from your hips and tummy. Wearing an open cardigan in black or navy over a light-colored top creates the appearance of slimness and anything with a belt will make your waist seem delightfully nipped.
Be careful when picking out a cardigan if you’re petite – a long number that goes down past your hips can make you look even smaller, as can anything with a baggy fit. Go for something with a slim-cut that’s on the shorter side. Even a cropped cardigan might look good, so don’t hesitate to try one on. And choose small prints over big ones, which can also make you seem tinier than you are. Polka dots are a great choice and a cardigan covered in little flowers will look pretty as well, especially with a women’s skirt.
If you have a pear-shaped body, your hips are the fullest part of your frame and wider than your upper half. Stay away from clingy cardigans that stop at your hips – a line running straight across the broadest part of your body won’t look flattering. Instead, go for something that hits above your hip bones. You should also experiment with chunky knits, which can create volume on top and balance things out. Long cardigans that reach toward your knees are also nice on pear-shapes and vertical stripes are always slimming, too.
Women’s sweaters can be tricky if you have a heart-shaped figure, meaning your bust and shoulders are the fullest part of your build. A tight knit can make your chest seem even larger, and something with buttons or a zipper might not fit at all. An open cardigan will look gorgeous, though. You won’t feel like your bust is being smothered and there will be no struggle to make anything fit, as the loose, open cut accommodates your frame perfectly. They look great with both women’s jeans and dresses, so get one in every color you like.
If you have legs that go on for miles, play around with long cardigans – the longer the better, in fact! You can carry off something that goes to your calves without looking overwhelmed, so make the most of your height. A shorter cardigan that stops around your hips can make you seem even lankier, which could be good or bad depending on how you feel, so try one on and see if it works.
Skip any cardigans that have extra definition around the waist if you have an apple-shaped figure, which consists of a fuller bust and tummy without much definition around your middle. Horizontal stripes and prints can also make you seem wider, but something with detailing around the shoulders will distract the eye. You should also look for cardigans that aren’t skin-tight, but also aren’t too baggy – you want something that falls right in the middle. Open cardigans and something in a duster length will look lovely as well.