There are a dozen ways to style a cardigan, and you probably know most of them already. We have five options that we bet you’ve never tried before. The next time you slip into a cardigan, think about wearing it one of these unique ways.
Rather than opting to wear it in the well-known ways, try one of these show-stopping options to style a cardigan instead.
Make a Halter Top
Looking at a cardigan sweater, it’s almost impossible to understand how you can wear it as a halter top. This option works better with a cardi that has a bit of stretch to it. Ideally, it should button or zip, as well. That’s because you’re going to put on your cardigan backward. As you’ll see, that’s a neat way to wear your sweater in and of itself, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Once your cardigan is on backward, slide your arms out of the sleeves, then simply tie them around your neck. Make sure the sleeves are secure. As long as they are, you’re good to go with a new kind of halter—one that will allow you to enjoy sweater weather even if it’s warm outside.
All Tied Up
No matter what your cardigan style—buttoned-up, open-front, or zippered—this tip will work for you. Longer cardigans and kimono cardigans are not well-suited for it, but those are your only real limitations. This styling tip involves tying the tail ends of your cardigan at the waist.
You remember back in the ‘80s and ‘90s when wearing button-downs like this was the big craze, right? It’s the same idea, except that cardigan sweaters are chic and polished. Tying the ends just above your hips will give your outfit a different vibe. It also cinches your waist and gives the illusion of a slimmer figure. Try it with a dress or a close-fitting top and your favorite skinny jeans or shorts. When you wear your tied-up cardigan with a top, however, make sure that the shirt is significantly longer than your sweater.
Flip it Around
Time to flip the script again! Now, you finally get to turn your cardigan around backward. This option has the potential to look dramatic and fierce. You’ll want to try it with a V-neck cardigan that buttons or zips, and you will want to button or zip it securely.
In essence, this transforms your cardigan into a pullover sweater of sorts. However, it will have an eye-catching open back. You can either leave your stunning spine on display or slip a camisole under your cardigan. Either way, the exposed back and the now-high neck in the front create a dynamic dichotomy. Your cardigan is now the mullet of your wardrobe: business in the front, party in the back. Enhance this new style with a dazzling necklace or scarf at your neck.
Do you have a cropped cardigan that you technically love but you’re sick of wearing it with the same old things? While it may help to dress up your older cardigans with new pieces of flashy jewelry, there are other ways to breathe new life into these pieces.
For example, why not flip it upside down? Turn your cardigan literally upside-down and watch the magic happen. Styling your cardi this way works best with short cardigans, crops, and shrugs.
Flip your cardigan upside down. You shouldn’t have any trouble sliding your arms into the sleeves. It will be the same length as before, but all of the details around the shoulders now create the bottom of the cardigan. Try this trick with a ruffled, cropped cardigan and see what you think.
Belted and Bold
Although this tip is relatively simple in terms of design and execution, it packs a punch. It technically works for any style of cardigan, with the exception of crops and shrugs. There’s no denying that it looks best with a longer cardigan, however, such as a duster or a flowing kimono cardigan.
Wrap the cardigan around you—or button or zip it. It works for open-front sweaters, too, so there are few limits. With that done, secure a statement belt around your waist. In addition to slimming your waist, it turns your cardigan into a statement piece all its own. To make the most of this style, choose a pair of envy-inspiring shoes that complement the belt or the sweater.
You have so many cardigans in your closet. Now you can amplify your style savvy with items that you already own. You can also splurge on a new cardigan that will lend itself well to one of these styles. What tip will you try first?
About the Author
Tess DiNapoli is an artist, freelance writer, and content strategist. She has a passion for yoga and often writes about health and wellness, but also enjoys covering the fashion industry and world of fitness.