How to Style an Oversized Cardigan | The Ultimate Guide

how to style oversized cardigan

Oversized cardigans have surged in popularity in recent years, emerging as a staple in many wardrobes due to their versatility and comfort. These cozy pieces can be dressed up or down, making them perfect for almost any occasion. Whether you’re curling up on the couch with a book, heading to the office, or going out for a night on the town, an oversized cardigan can add a stylish touch to your outfit.

In this article, we will explore the appeal of oversized cardigans, provide tips on selecting the perfect one, and share multiple ways to style them for both casual and formal occasions. We’ll also offer seasonal styling tips and advice on how to care for these essential items. So whether you’re a longtime fan of oversized cardigans or just considering adding one to your wardrobe, keep reading to discover new ways to make the most of this fashionable item.

Related: Types Of Cardigans

The Appeal of the Oversized Cardigan

The comfort and functionality of oversized cardigans are two of the primary reasons for their immense popularity in recent years.

Oversized cardigans, with their loose fit and soft fabrics, offer unparalleled comfort. They’re like a warm hug you can wear, providing a cozy layer that keeps you snug in cooler temperatures. Whether you’re lounging at home or out on a chilly day, an oversized cardigan is the perfect piece to keep you warm and comfortable.

In terms of functionality, oversized cardigans are highly versatile. They can be worn open or buttoned up, layered over almost any outfit, and dressed up or down depending on the occasion. From casual outings to more formal events, there’s an oversized cardigan style to suit.

The latest trends in oversized cardigans feature everything from chunky knits to lightweight fabrics, solid colors to bold prints, and simple designs to those with embellishments such as jeweled buttons[^1^]. Some oversized cardigans even feature unique design elements such as a chequered oak leaf crest and logo.

Despite their larger size, these cardigans can be styled in a way that avoids adding visual weight or appearing frumpy. By choosing the right pieces to pair with your cardigan, you can create a stylish, balanced look.

[^1^]: (Source: Maje)

Choosing the Right Oversized Cardigan

Selecting the right oversized cardigan involves considering several factors, including size, color, and fabric. Making the right choices in these areas can ensure your cardigan is not only stylish but also comfortable and long-lasting.

A. Selecting the Right Size and Fit

While ‘oversized’ implies a larger fit, it’s important to find a balance. You want your cardigan to be loose and comfortable without overwhelming your frame. When trying on cardigans, look for styles that drape well and don’t restrict movement. The hem should fall below the hips for a flattering silhouette, and the sleeves should be long enough to cozy up in but not so long that they become inconvenient.

B. Picking the Right Color

The right color can enhance your complexion and coordinate well with your existing wardrobe. Neutrals like black, white, gray, and beige are versatile options that can pair with almost anything. However, don’t shy away from colors. A bold red or blue cardigan can add a pop of color to a simple outfit, while pastels can be a great choice for spring and summer. Consider the season and your personal style when choosing a color.

C. Importance of Fabric Choice

Fabric choice can greatly impact the comfort and durability of your cardigan. Natural fibers like wool and cotton are breathable and soft, making them comfortable for everyday wear. Synthetic materials like polyester can add durability and are often more affordable. If warmth is a priority, look for heavier knits or cardigans with a high wool content. On the other hand, lighter fabrics like cotton or linen blends can be a good choice for warmer months or those who prefer a lighter layer.

In conclusion, paying attention to size, color, and fabric can help you choose an oversized cardigan that you’ll love to wear and will last for seasons to come.

Related: How To Style a Cardigan

Styling an Oversized Cardigan for Casual Occasions

Oversized cardigans are a go-to choice for casual, comfortable outfits. Whether you’re running errands, relaxing at home, or meeting friends for coffee, here are some ways to style your cardigan for a chic yet laid-back look.

A. Pairing with Jeans or Leggings

One of the simplest and most stylish ways to wear an oversized cardigan is with a pair of jeans or leggings. This combination balances the volume of the cardigan with a slim-fitting bottom, creating a flattering silhouette. For a relaxed weekend look, try pairing a chunky knit cardigan with skinny jeans and ankle boots. If comfort is your main priority, switch out the jeans for a pair of soft leggings.

B. Layering Over T-Shirts or Tank Tops

Layering is key when it comes to wearing oversized cardigans. A simple t-shirt or tank top makes the perfect base layer. Choose a fitted top to keep your overall look from becoming too bulky. For a pop of color or pattern, opt for a graphic tee or a striped tank.

C. Accessorizing with Scarves and Jewelry

Accessories can add a personal touch to your outfit and make your look more polished. In cooler weather, a scarf can be both a stylish and practical addition. Choose a lightweight scarf for a more subtle look, or make a statement with a bold, chunky knit scarf.

When it comes to jewelry, less is more with oversized cardigans. A long pendant necklace can create a nice visual line and break up the bulk of the cardigan. Alternatively, a pair of statement earrings can draw attention up to your face.

In conclusion, styling an oversized cardigan for casual occasions is all about balance and personal touches. With the right pairings and accessories, you can create a cozy, stylish look that’s perfect for everyday wear.

Styling an Oversized Cardigan for Formal Occasions

While oversized cardigans are often associated with casual outfits, they can also be dressed up for more formal occasions. Here are some tips on how to elevate your cardigan for a sophisticated look.

A. Pairing with Tailored Trousers or Skirts

For a polished outfit, pair your oversized cardigan with tailored trousers or a structured skirt. This combination creates a balance between the relaxed fit of the cardigan and the formality of the bottom piece. Try pairing a neutral-colored cardigan with a pair of black trousers for a sleek, professional look, or with a pencil skirt for a chic ensemble.

B. Layering Over Blouses or Dresses

Layering your cardigan over a blouse or dress can create a sophisticated, layered look. A silk blouse or a fitted dress can provide a nice contrast to the loose fit of the cardigan. Choose a top or dress in a complementary color to your cardigan for a cohesive look.

C. Accessorizing with Belts and Statement Jewelry

Accessories are a great way to add sophistication to your outfit. A belt can be used to cinch in the waist of your cardigan, creating a flattering silhouette and adding a touch of elegance. For jewelry, consider pieces that stand out, such as a statement necklace or a pair of chandelier earrings. These pieces can draw attention and add a touch of glamour to your outfit.

Seasonal Styling Tips for Oversized Cardigans

Different seasons call for different styling approaches. Here are some tips on how to style your oversized cardigan throughout the year:

A. Winter Styling Tips

In winter, oversized cardigans can be a cozy and stylish layering piece. They’re easy to layer on top of a dress or a fitted tee and denim, or as an extra layer with your big winter jacket. Pair your cardigan with dress slacks, tuxedo pants, or tailored wide-leg pants for added structure. For a comfortable look with just enough tailoring, front tuck your sweater into a slim-fit boyfriend or straight-leg distressed jean.

B. Spring/Autumn Styling Tips

For transitional weather, an oversized cardigan is your best bet. Layer it over a basic tank and trousers for a neutral yet chic look. You can also style your cardigan in fresh, new ways, such as looking for preppy twists on basic knits.

C. Summer Styling Tips

In summer, your oversized cardigan can be worn buttoned up, tucked into your skirt or trousers, and pulled out a little at the front for a more polished look. For a casual weekend look that works with trainers, team a floral skirt with a plain or block-colored cardigan worn open over a vest or tee.

[^1^]: (Source: Annchovie)

Caring for Your Oversized Cardigan

Proper care for your oversized cardigan is essential to maintain its shape, quality, and longevity. Here are some tips on how to clean, store, and maintain your cardigan.

A. Cleaning and Storage Tips

  1. Check the Label: Always check the care label before cleaning your cardigan. It provides specific instructions based on the material of the cardigan. Some cardigans may be machine washable, while others may require hand washing or dry cleaning.
  2. Washing: If machine washing is allowed, use a gentle cycle with cold water to prevent shrinkage and damage. For hand washing, use a mild detergent and gently agitate the water with your hands to clean the cardigan. Avoid wringing or twisting the cardigan as it can distort its shape.
  3. Drying: Instead of using a dryer, lay the cardigan flat on a clean towel and roll it up to remove excess water. Unroll the towel and reshape the cardigan on a flat surface to dry. This helps to maintain its shape.
  4. Storage: Store your cardigan in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Fold it instead of hanging to prevent stretching. Consider using mothballs or cedar blocks to keep pests away.

B. Maintaining the Shape and Quality of the Cardigan

  1. Avoid Overwashing: Washing your cardigan too frequently can cause it to lose its shape and color. Try to wash it only when necessary.
  2. Pilling: Over time, your cardigan may start to pill. Use a fabric comb or a pill remover to gently remove these, but avoid pulling them off with your hands as this can cause damage.
  3. Rest: If you wear your cardigan often, give it a day or two to rest in between wears. This allows the fibers to recover and helps to maintain the shape of the cardigan.


In this article, we’ve explored the diverse world of oversized cardigans, a popular and versatile wardrobe staple. We’ve discussed their appeal, touching on their comfort, functionality, and fashion-forward aspect. We’ve offered tips on how to choose the right cardigan, considering factors like size, color, and fabric.

We’ve also provided styling tips for both casual and formal occasions, demonstrating how pairing with different items and accessorizing can drastically change the look of your outfit. And lastly, we’ve given you seasonal styling tips to ensure your cardigan game is strong all year round.

Remember, fashion is all about personal expression. So while these tips and tricks are here to guide you, don’t be afraid to experiment and create your own unique looks with an oversized cardigan. After all, style is about individuality and wearing what makes you feel good!

So go ahead, pull out that oversized cardigan from your closet, or if you don’t have one yet, consider adding it to your collection. You’ll find it’s not just a piece of clothing, but a fashion statement that speaks volumes about your style and personality.


What is an oversized cardigan?

An oversized cardigan is a loose-fitting, typically longer-style cardigan that offers a relaxed, comfortable fit. It’s a versatile piece that can be worn in casual or formal settings, depending on how it’s styled.

How can I style an oversized cardigan for a casual look?

For a casual look, pair your oversized cardigan with jeans or leggings and layer it over a t-shirt or tank top. Accessorize with simple jewelry or a scarf to add a personal touch.

Can I wear an oversized cardigan for a formal occasion?

Absolutely! Pair your cardigan with tailored trousers or a structured skirt and layer it over a blouse or dress. Use accessories like belts and statement jewelry to add sophistication.

How do I choose the right size of an oversized cardigan?

While ‘oversized’ implies a larger fit, it’s important to find a balance. Your cardigan should be loose and comfortable without overwhelming your frame. The hem should fall below the hips and the sleeves should be long enough to cozy up in but not so long that they become inconvenient.

Is there a specific color of oversized cardigan I should choose?

The color of your cardigan depends on your personal style and existing wardrobe. Neutrals like black, white, gray, and beige are versatile and can pair with almost anything. However, don’t shy away from bold colors or pastels, especially if you want to add a pop of color to your outfit.

Can I wear an oversized cardigan in summer?

Yes, an oversized cardigan can be styled for all seasons. In summer, you can wear it buttoned up, tucked into your skirt or trousers, and pulled out a little at the front for a more polished look.

How should I accessorize my oversized cardigan?

Accessories can add a personal touch to your outfit. Consider using a belt to cinch in the waist of your cardigan, creating a flattering silhouette. For jewelry, consider pieces that stand out, such as a statement necklace or a pair of chandelier earrings.

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