One of my favorite pieces to wear in the fall and winter months is a long cardigan. This timeless piece is a staple for the seasons of layering, and for good reason – it’s elegant, effortless, and can be styled so many different ways. Whether you’re dressing up for an upscale event, want to stay cozy and comfy at home, or just need an everyday outfit once the weather starts to chill, long cardigans are the perfect touch you’re looking for. If you’ve ever wondered how to wear a long cardigan, today I’m going to show you how!
I love the comfort, functionality, and style of long cardigans. They bring an easy elegance to any look, and add that cozy touch that you’re looking for when the weather begins to chill. As long cardigans have become more and more popular, I’ve loved being able to invest in different styles, weights, and textures of long cardigans to really fill my closet with them for the season. If you’ve been unsure about how to style a long cardigan, I’m here to show you today how I love wearing mine all season long. Keep reading to learn more!
HOW TO WEAR A LONG CARDIGAN
When it comes to fall and winter style, the same advice is often given over and over: layer, layer, layer. But what does it look like to layer an outfit well? How do you style a winter look that you’ll love, and specifically, how do you wear a long cardigan?
Long cardigans are the perfect piece to keep in your closet all season long as they are versatile and work well for a number of different occasions. You can dress them up or down, and when you pay attention to different colors, textures, and lengths, you can keep your looks fresh despite wearing long cardigans frequently.
I have a few go-to tips to teach you all of my favorite ways to style a long cardigan, so keep reading for all of my best fashion advice!
Read THE ROOM
Don’t forget – long cardigans can be dressed up or down! That’s one of my favorite things about wearing them throughout the fall and winter months. There are so many different ways you can incorporate them into your wardrobe.
Oftentimes in the winter, I just want something cozy to wear around the house, and the long cardigan is perfect for that. I pair it with a simple top and yoga pants or leggings and go about my day feeling cozy and comfortable to work, tidy up, take care of my son, and spend time with my husband. You can then take the long cardigan up a notch and wear it to everyday occasions like lunch with a friend or a quick errand run. Just pair the long cardigan with jeans and some form of top for the perfect added touch to any standard outfit.
Finally, I love that long cardigans can also be worn to fancy events or date nights. By pairing a nice long cardigan with my favorite upscale outfit such as a fall or winter dress, skirt, or jumpsuit I can accentuate the lines of my outfit while staying warm and stylish. That’s the thing with long cardigans – you can really style them for every occasion, making them the perfect piece to have in your closet.
PLAY WITH THE Lengths
One of the biggest questions I get when people ask for advice on styling long cardigans is how to properly balance the length. What looks best worn with a long cardigan?
A technique that can be fun is to contrast the long cardigan with the pieces underneath by choosing items of clothing that are shorter or more cropped by nature, such as a crop top or a short skirt. This breaks up the line of the long cardigan, giving your outfit some great visual interest and making it incredibly flattering.
I like to pair a long cardigan with a favorite cropped or tucked in top to give my outfit some definition. I also think that wearing a long cardigan with a short dress or skirt is a great choice. You can then wear tights and cute shoes or boots to keep you warm and to continue to add visual definition to the look.
At the same time, I also love that a long cardigan can accentuate the lines of your body and make you look taller – a big deal when you’re petite like me! By leaning into the length of the long cardigan and wearing pieces that are equally long and slimming, like skinny jeans, you might find that you’re giving yourself the appearance of being taller than you really are. Much like how dancers constantly work to elongate their body and create long lines, a long cardigan can give the same effect.
SHOP LONG CARDIGANS
HAVE Fun WITH TEXTURES
I love how many different styles and textures of long cardigans you can find. The different options available make it easy to style long cardigans for a variety of events throughout the season. From thicker fuzzy fabrics and chunky knits to thinner, more lightweight fabrics, you can choose the cardigan that best suits your occasion. You can then contrast these fabrics with the pieces that you wear underneath – incorporating anything from denim to tweed to faux leather. Play with the options in your closet until you find pieces that compliment and contrast that you love.
EXPERIMENT WITH Color
Nothing sets the mood quite like the right color palette, and as you style your long cardigan, make sure that you’re thinking through the fall and winter color palettes and dressing accordingly. Fall is the season for warm neutrals and cozy colors, while winter may inspire you to lean into cooler colors and jewel tones. I always like to keep a few long cardigans on hand in neutral colors, such as gray, black, and cream, while also having a few in fun seasonal colors that pop, like burnt orange and deep red.
When you’re creating long cardigan outfit ideas, don’t forget that accessories can always make or break a look. By properly accessorizing your long cardigan, you’ll not only make the look pop, but you’ll give yourself even more versatility and be able to create even more outfits centered around the long cardigan. Wide-brimmed hats are the perfect fall accessory, and we all know that winter is beanie season through and through. Scarves are always a great option whether it’s fall or winter, and the right jewelry can make an outfit come alive. And you can’t forget the power of a good purse! Get creative and have fun with it – fashion is all about expressing yourself!
The advice to layer in the colder weather can quickly feel like it’s getting old, but it’s a standard because it’s true – layering is the key to fall and winter fashion. Because of this, it can feel almost intimidating to learn how to layer properly, and when you’re basing an outfit around a piece in which layering is an intrinsic factor such as long cardigan outfits, many people feel like they don’t know what to do. However, it’s all just a matter of learning how to layer wisely and well. All it takes is a bit of practice to hone your eye to the styles you like!
Remember: you want to layer in a way that feels effortless. Not too little – otherwise the look feels boring and you might not be warm enough – but also not too much. You don’t want to feel like a walking, talking marshmallow!
Think about having a few go-to pieces that you know layer well. Thinner tops under the cardigan for warmer days, thicker tops or turtlenecks for the colder weather. Dresses and skirts always pair well with tights, and wearing a cardigan over these pieces is always a great choice. Scarves can go over top of a cardigan, and when winter hits, you’re probably going to want to wear your big coat overtop the cardigan so that you don’t freeze as you go about your day. You can even start adding additional layers, such as a thin top under a dress for warmth and then a long cardigan overtop. But be careful – this is where you can quickly get into the territory of too many layers. Ultimately, you’ll know what you feel good wearing. Find the pieces that you love and enjoy them! You’re always going to feel the most stylish when you’re comfortable and feel your best.
WATCH THE Silhouette
Because long cardigans are such free-flowing pieces, you want to make sure you maintain a balance with the rest of your outfit to create flattering proportions. For example, you might not want to pair a long cardigan with a maxi skirt because the two pieces are both so similar in how they are loose and flowing. Instead, pair your long cardigan with straight leg jeans or a button-down denim skirt to create a contrasting line and a silhouette you will love.