Ahh, those skinny runway models. They always make wearing long, loose cardigans look like a breeze when for the average midlifer, it’s not quite that easy. Lumps, bumps, and aging shoulders that slope can make a swingy sweater look more like a frumpy old housecoat if you don’t know how to style it right.
If you’ve shied away from wearing long cardigans for this very reason, it’s time to take a second look. Here are 5 reasons to love long cardigans and tips on how to wear them without looking sloppy.
Reasons to Love Long Cardigans…
There are plenty of good reasons to embrace a long cardigan:
- They’re warm and cozy. You’ll want to live in them all winter!
- They’re a great way to deal with a sleeveless top, which I know many of you aren’t big on because you prefer to cover your arms.
- They give an outfit more presence. They are not as commanding as a jacket, but since they are semi-structured, they do give you some power, albeit in a gentler way.
- Long cardigans are also perfect for traveling. When you are on a plane, train, or in the car, you want something light, warm, and comfy, and a long cardigan is it!
- If you steer clear of long cardigans because, in your mind, an oversize knit = ten pounds heavier, then know this: there’s are ways to wear a long cardigan that can actually be very slimming.
How to Wear a Long Cardigan with Jeans
Warm, wooly cardigans add an extra layer and bulky, but the right pants can counteract this look. Wide-leg pants or baggy jeans are worn with a long cardigan to make you look boxy and frumpy. Bootcut jeans that are slim in the thighs with a small flare at the hem can look great if you want more of a boho vibe, but even then, you need to wear heels to get the look right.
Slim, straight-leg jeans are fine, but the easiest and chicest look is to wear skinny jeans. A long cardigan over skinny jeans is slimming and modern.
Leggings are also an excellent choice and very slimming with a long, sweeping cardigan. And if you want to look edgy, make them faux leather leggings.
How to Wear a Long Cardigan With a Dress
A thin, fitted dress or a shirt dress looks fabulous with a long cardigan, making it look less dressy and cozier. A long cardigan with a summer sundress is a great way to transition into fall and get more mileage out of your wardrobe.
More Styling Tips for Wearing Long Cardigans…
1. Avoid Anything Thick Underneath
Besides the fact that you’ll boil in a thick or heavy top, you will also look like a mama bear! Stick with a fitted stretchy tee-shirt with a V or scoop neckline, a very thin knit, or a pretty, silky blouse or crisp shirt.
2. Layer A Long Cardigan Over a Column of Color
This trick is especially useful for large gals who don’t want extra bulk or a petite gal worried about being swallowed up by a long cardigan. By wearing one dark color top to bottom, including your booties, and layering a plain or print cardigan on top in a lighter or brighter color, you create a color illusion that makes your body look long and lean.
The eye can’t help but go up and down that long dark vertical line down the middle. All one color as a base is also a great way to show off your long cardigan and let it take center stage. This trick works with dark pants+, a dark top, or an all-dark (i.e., black) dress.
3. Wear Heels With Long Cardigan Outfits
Flat riding boots or mules look fantastic with skinny jeans and a long cardigan, but if you are concerned that a flat heel will make you look short and stumpy, try an ankle bootie with a heel. It doesn’t have to be sky-high.
Even a couple of inches will help balance the length and weight of a long cardigan and make you look tall and lean. This is a nice look for work.
4. Belt a Long Cardigan
Push up the sleeves, grab a belt, and wrap it around your waist to show off your curves. The heavier the knit, the thicker/chunkier the belt should be. This can be a very cool girl look with the right long cardigan on the right gal.
Long Cardigans Trending Right Now
Cashmere Cardigans– Classic, fine, and always elegant
Grandad Cardigans – slightly rounded, oversized and a chunkier knit. Often ribbed.
Colorblock Cardigans – These are great for a fun, casual look
Waterfall Cardigans – These long cardigans are usually quite thin and drape and flow, flattering your figure.
Cableknit Cardigans – Classic, chunky, and always gorgeous.
Animal Print Cardigans – Super trendy, very popular, a great way to make your wardrobe roar!
My favorite? This Leather Cuff Wool Cardigan!