How to Wear an Oversized Turtleneck Sweater & Not Look Frumpy

I usually gravitate to more fitted clothes, but I like to wear something loose and dramatic every once in a while. This bold, mustard oversized turtleneck sweater caught my eye!

Women's oversized turtleneck sweater with check cropped pants worn by Deborah Boland |Fabulous After 40

Sweaters that are “larger than life” are trendy at the moment. Maybe you have been tempted to buy one but worry it will make you 20 pounds heavier (like a big fuzzy bear), or just sloppy or frumpy?

Deborah Boland kneeling beside giant pumpkins wearing gold oversized knit turtleneck sweater and check cropped pants

Well, I’m not going to kid you; that can happen for sure. A humungous sweater can swallow you up, but on the other hand, it can also make you look incredibly chic. It all boils down to the way you wear it.

Here are some helpful styling tips for how to wear an oversized knit turtleneck sweater.

Mustard Topshop oversized turrtleneck and cropped check pants worn by Deborah Boland | Fabulous After 40

1. Go Skinny on the Bottom

The oversized turtleneck look is all about proportion, and here is the rule: When you wear something big, wide, and loose up top, you should wear something skinny, narrow, and fitted on the bottom. This creates a very flattering, slimming silhouette. That’s why I’m wearing these cute cropped, skinny houndstooth pants.

Never wear a chunky oversized sweater with big wide pants unless you want to look like a thick brick!

Women's oversized turtleneck and cropped check pants outfit | Deborah Boland | Fabulous After 40

2. Be Careful about Going Up or Down a Size

Oversized does not mean buying a sweater one or two sizes up from your regular size. Buy it in the size you would typically wear. Yes, it will feel bigger and looser than usual, but it will be the right size for you.

On the other hand, some of you may be tempted to go down a size from your regular size to get a slimmer fit ( I’ve done this). Don’t! It defeats the purpose and ruins the sophisticated oversized look.

Women's oversized turtleneck sweater with cropped black and white pants | Deborah Boland | Fabulous After 40

3. Tuck in

One way to get a more streamlined look with an oversized knit turtleneck sweater is to do a half tuck. You will have to play around with this to get it how you like it, but basically, just grab a handful of the sweater and tuck it in at the side or the back of your pants or skirt.

This gets some of the fabric off your tummy. It also creates an asymmetrical hemline that looks artsier and is more slimming than having the sweater’s hem going straight across. Don’t fuss with your half tuck. Just a tuck and go- the less perfect, the better.

Black Velvet Gucci Bag worn with Mustard Oversized Sweater

4. Push up sleeves, Add bracelets

You can also push up the sleeves to look a little artsier, plus creating the 3/4 length sleeve look shows some youthful forearm. A bracelet or cuff at the wrist looks cool.

Mustard turtleneck and cropped pants outfit worn by Deborah Boland | Fabulous After 40

5. Heels Help

Any height you can add helps create that long, lean line and take the bulk out of an oversized sweater. I wore black suede booties with a medium skinny heel for a sexy look.

Women's oversized turtleneck sweater

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6. Own the Look!

Most important of all, feel the look, own the look. Confidence is key. Play around in the mirror, strike a pose, and get into the mindset of this bold look. If you find that a women’s oversized turtleneck sweater is still not for you, that’s o.k. too. You need to feel good in whatever you wear and be true to yourself.

To shop this look, click the links above to go to the stores and buy.

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6 thoughts on “How to Wear an Oversized Turtleneck Sweater & Not Look Frumpy

  1. The sweater looks great! My not-totally-related question is: what do you suggest I wear to a baby shower early in December? I am the grandmother-to-be’s sister – definitely over 40!
    I look forward to your reply.

    1. Hi Chrissie, I’m happy you are picking up a few tips. It’s all the little things that add up to a great outfit. Thanks for taking the time to comment. Cheers, Deborah

  2. I always worry that I look like an inverted triangle/ice cream cone if I wear slim shoes with an oversized sweater… that a thing, or stop worrying??

    1. Hi Spacegeek, Do you mean you feel like an ice cream cone wearing slim pants with an oversized sweater? Do you have broad shoulders, to begin with? A bulky, oversized turtleneck sweater will accentuate your shoulders. Perhaps try a more OK oversize sweater or a V or scoop oversize neck sweater to reduce the bulk. If you have regular-size shoulders, don’t worry. Fitted pants or leggings balance the sweater’s largeness (and coziness). Wide pants will make you look chunky all over. I hope that helps!

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