As the leaves turn and the air chills, the cardigan emerges as a staple in every wardrobe. But what exactly is a cardigan, and why has it become a timeless piece in fall fashion? Originating as a knitted garment with an open front, cardigans have evolved from simple comfort wear into a symbol of effortless style and versatility.
This guide delves into the world of cardigans, offering 17 cardigan outfits ideas to inspire your autumnal wardrobe.
What is a Cardigan?
Cardigan sweaters are types of knitted garments that have an open front. Commonly, cardigans are buttoned or zippered, but some designs are simply draped open without any fastenings. This versatile piece of clothing is traditionally made from wool but can also be found in cotton, synthetic fibers, or a blend of materials.
Cardigans' open front is The key feature distinguishing them from other types of sweaters or jumpers. This design makes them ideal for layering, as they can be easily put on or taken off according to the temperature and personal comfort. Cardigans can vary greatly in style—from lightweight, form-fitting pieces that can be worn under a jacket to thick, oversized varieties that serve as outerwear in cooler weather.
Cardigans have been a staple in fashion for both men and women for many years, favored for their blend of comfort, practicality, and style. They can range from casual to formal, making them a versatile addition to almost any outfit. The cardigans' adaptability and ability to suit a wide range of personal styles and occasions make them a beloved wardrobe essential for many.
Cardigan Styles to Explore
Oversized Cardigans: Comfort Meets Fashion
The oversized cardigan is a must-have for those who prioritize comfort without compromising style. These cardigans pair well with leggings or skinny jeans, perfect for a cozy day in or a casual outing. The key is to balance the volume of the cardigan with fitted bottoms.
Cropped Cardigans: A Modern Twist
Cropped cardigans offer a playful and contemporary take on this classic garment. High-waisted skirts or pants are ideal; they highlight the waist and add a youthful touch to any outfit. Experiment with bold colors and patterns to make a statement.
17 Cardigan Outfit Ideas
1. The Classic Button-Up Cardigan with Denim Jeans
A classic button-up cardigan paired with denim jeans offers a timeless and effortless look. Choose a fitted cardigan in a neutral shade like beige, navy, or grey for versatility. Depending on the occasion, this ensemble works well with a plain white tee or a more formal blouse.
Add a pair of ankle boots or loafers to create a casual yet polished outfit, perfect for a weekend outing or a casual day at the office. Accessorize with a simple leather belt and a statement watch to elevate the look. This combination strikes the perfect balance between comfort and style, making it a go-to choice for many.
2. Oversized Cardigan with Slim-fit Trousers
When paired with slim-fit trousers, an oversized cardigan creates a stylish and comfortable outfit. Opt for a chunky knit cardigan in a bold color or pattern to make a statement. Pair it with tailored black or navy trousers to balance the oversized silhouette of the cardigan. This look is ideal for those who prefer a relaxed fit without compromising style. Complete the outfit with a pair of sleek sneakers or ankle boots. This outfit is perfect for a casual day out or a relaxed office environment. Add a minimalistic watch and a tote bag for a modern touch.
3. Belted Cardigan with a Pencil Skirt
A belted cardigan teamed with a pencil skirt offers a chic and sophisticated look. Choose a medium-length cardigan and cinch it at the waist with a stylish belt to define your silhouette. Go for a skirt in a complementary color and a length that hits just at or below the knee for a balanced look. This outfit is perfect for office wear or a formal event. Pair it with heels to elevate the style quotient. Add a statement necklace or earrings to add a touch of glamour. This ensemble is elegant and practical, keeping you warm and comfortable in style.
4. Cropped Cardigan with High-waisted Jeans
A cropped cardigan paired with high-waisted jeans is a modern and youthful combination. Choose a light or brightly colored cropped cardigan and pair it with high-rise jeans for a balanced silhouette. This outfit works well for casual outings or a coffee date. Opt for skinny or straight-leg jeans to complement the shorter length of the cardigan. Complete the look with ankle boots or trendy sneakers. Accessories like a crossbody bag and minimalistic jewelry will add a touch of sophistication to this playful outfit.
5. Layered Look with a Long Cardigan and Scarf
Embrace the layered look by pairing a long cardigan with a cozy scarf. Opt for a cardigan that falls mid-thigh or longer, and layer it over a simple top or blouse. Add a chunky knit scarf for extra warmth and texture. This look is perfect for cooler days and can be paired with either jeans or leggings, depending on your preference. Finish the outfit with knee-high boots or comfortable loafers, and you have a stylish yet practical ensemble for autumn days.
6. Cardigan with a Midi Dress
A soft cardigan paired with a midi dress offers a feminine and elegant look. Choose a lightweight cardigan in a complementary color to your dress. This combination works wonderfully for both casual and semi-formal occasions.
For a more structured look, add a belt around the waist. Opt for sandals or ballet flats to keep the outfit light and suitable for the transitional weather of fall. This ensemble is stylish and offers the flexibility to adjust to changing temperatures throughout the day. Cardigan sweaters for women with miniskirts are a perfect combo!
7. Monochromatic Look with a Matching Cardigan and Trousers
Embrace elegance with a monochromatic outfit comprising a cardigan and trousers in the same color. This look creates a seamless appearance and elongates the figure, making it a fantastic choice for office wear or formal events.
Select a fitted cardigan for this style to enhance your silhouette, and pair it with straight-leg trousers to maintain a sleek line. The uniform color palette lends an air of sophistication and allows for a variety of hues – from deep navy to soft pastels.
Elevate this ensemble with a pair of stylish heels, adding an extra touch of grace. Accessorize minimally to keep the focus on the outfit's simplicity and elegance. A delicate necklace or a classic watch can subtly complement the monochromatic theme, rounding off a refined and contemporary look.
8. Bohemian Style with a Fringed Cardigan
For a look that exudes a free-spirited and artistic vibe, opt for a bohemian style with a fringed cardigan. Choose a cardigan adorned with playful fringes, adding movement and a unique twist to your outfit. Pair this with a simple top tucked into flared jeans, creating a relaxed yet stylish silhouette.
Earthy tones like browns, olives, and rust are ideal for achieving that authentic bohemian feel. This outfit is perfect for those who love to express their individuality through fashion. Complete the look with comfortable ankle boots, suitable for urban adventures and countryside escapades.
Accessorizing is key in bohemian fashion, so don't hesitate to add a wide-brimmed hat or a selection of layered necklaces. This ensemble is not just about style; it's a celebration of creativity and personal expression.
9. Preppy Style with a Cardigan over a Collared Shirt
The combination of a cardigan over a collared shirt is the epitome of preppy style. Layer a lightweight cardigan over a neatly buttoned, crisp shirt. Tucking the shirt into chinos or a smart skirt enhances the outfit's polished look, making it suitable for professional settings or smart casual occasions.
The key to mastering this style is the fit and the fine details. Ensure the cardigan is snug but not too tight, allowing the shirt collar and cuffs to peek out gracefully. As for footwear, classic loafers or elegant ballet flats complement the preppy aesthetic perfectly. Accessorize with a statement watch or a pair of tasteful stud earrings to add a refined touch. This look is not just about fashion; it's about presenting oneself with an air of sophistication and class.
10. Casual Chic with a Cardigan and Shorts
For a relaxed yet fashionable outfit, pair a cardigan with shorts. This combination is perfect for those warmer fall days when you want to stay comfortable without sacrificing style. Choose a mid-length cardigan to balance the shortness of the shorts, creating a visually appealing contrast.
Denim shorts offer a casual look, while tailored shorts can elevate the outfit for more sophisticated occasions. Footwear choices can vary from casual loafers and sandals to trendy sneakers, depending on where you're headed. This outfit is ideal for a variety of casual settings, from a weekend brunch with friends to a leisurely stroll in the park.
Consider adding accessories like a statement belt or a stylish crossbody bag to enhance this chic ensemble. It's a look that effortlessly combines comfort with a touch of elegance.
11. Elegant Evening Wear with a Silk Cardigan
Pair a luxurious silk cardigan with a sophisticated dress for an elegant evening look. The smooth texture of silk elevates the cardigan from a casual garment to a refined piece of evening wear. Choose a dress in a complementary color – a little black dress works wonderfully with a deep-colored silk cardigan.
Add a pair of high heels and a clutch bag to complete this glamorous outfit. This ensemble is perfect for dinner parties or evening events with a smart dress code but not overly formal. Embellish with a statement necklace or drop earrings to add a touch of sparkle. The silk cardigan adds a layer of warmth and adds an extra element of elegance to the outfit.
12. Sporty Chic with a Zippered Cardigan
Combine comfort and style with a sporty chic look featuring a zippered cardigan. This style is great for a casual day out or for running errands. Opt for a fitted zippered cardigan and pair it with joggers or leggings for a cohesive, sporty look.
A pair of stylish sneakers complements the outfit, offering comfort and fashion. Choose a cardigan in a bright color or with interesting details like stripes or a bold zipper to add an energetic vibe to the ensemble. This outfit is practical for active days and trendy enough to make a fashion statement.
13. Layered Winter Look with a Chunky Knit Cardigan
Stay warm and stylish during colder days with a layered look featuring a chunky knit cardigan. The thick texture of the cardigan provides warmth and adds a cozy feel to the outfit. Layer it over a long-sleeve turtleneck and pair it with skinny jeans or leggings.
Add knee-high boots for extra warmth and a stylish touch. This look is perfect for winter outings or casual holiday gatherings. The chunky cardigan serves as the focal point, so keep accessories minimal – a simple beanie or a pair of gloves can complement the outfit without overpowering it.
14. Feminine Flair with a Lace Cardigan
Add a touch of femininity to your outfit with a delicate lace cardigan. This style works beautifully over a simple dress or a top-and-skirt combination. The intricate patterns of the lace add a sophisticated and romantic touch to the ensemble. Choose a cardigan in a soft color like blush pink or cream for a gentle, feminine look. Pair with ballet flats or low heels for a complete outfit ideal for a daytime event or a casual date. Accessorize with dainty jewelry to enhance the delicate nature of the lace.
15. Professional Attire with a Structured Cardigan
For a professional and polished look, opt for a structured cardigan. This style is perfect for office wear or business meetings. Choose a cardigan with a defined shape and pair it with tailored trousers or a pencil skirt. A crisp, white shirt underneath adds a touch of formality. Finish the look with classic pumps and a leather tote for a professional appearance. The structured cardigan offers a smart alternative to traditional blazers, providing both comfort and style in a professional setting.
16. Casual Weekend Wear with a Hooded Cardigan
Embrace a relaxed weekend vibe with a hooded cardigan. This laid-back style is perfect for casual outings or lounging at home. Pair a soft, hooded cardigan with your favorite jeans or leggings for a comfortable yet stylish look. Add a simple t-shirt or tank top underneath, and complete the outfit with sneakers or casual boots. This ensemble is ideal for those days when you want to be comfortable without compromising on style.
17. Vintage Inspired with a Patterned Cardigan
Choose a patterned cardigan with a vintage-inspired design for a touch of retro charm. Think classic patterns like argyle, polka dots, or floral prints. Pair the cardigan with high-waisted trousers or a midi skirt to complete the vintage look. Opt for accessories that complement the retro vibe – a pair of cat-eye sunglasses or a vintage handbag can add authenticity to the outfit. This look is perfect for those who love to incorporate elements of vintage fashion into their modern wardrobe.
How can I style a cardigan for a formal office environment?
Opt for a structured cardigan paired with tailored trousers or a pencil skirt for a formal office setting. Choose neutral colors like black, navy, or grey for a professional look. Layer your cardigan over a crisp button-down shirt or a smart blouse. Finish the ensemble with classic accessories like a leather watch or simple stud earrings, and wear with polished shoes, like loafers or heels.
Can cardigans be styled for evening wear?
Absolutely! For an evening look, select a silk or embellished cardigan to add a touch of elegance. Pair it with a stylish dress or a chic jumpsuit. Darker colors or jewel tones work well for evening wear. Accessorize with statement jewelry and a clutch bag, and don't forget a pair of elegant heels to complete the look.
What are some tips for wearing oversized cardigans?
When wearing an oversized cardigan, balance is key. Pair it with slim-fitting bottoms like skinny jeans or leggings to avoid a bulky look. For a more structured silhouette, belt the cardigan at the waist. Keep the rest of your outfit simple to let the cardigan be the focal point. Finish with ankle boots or sneakers for a casual, stylish look.
How do I choose the right cardigan for my body type?
If you have a petite frame, opt for cropped or fitted cardigans to avoid being overwhelmed by fabric. For taller frames, long or oversized cardigans can work well. If you're curvy, a belted cardigan can accentuate your waist. Ultimately, choose a style you feel comfortable and confident in that complements your body shape.
Are cardigans suitable for all seasons?
Yes, cardigans are incredibly versatile and can be worn in any season. Lightweight, breathable fabrics like cotton or linen are great for spring and summer, while wool or cashmere cardigans provide warmth in autumn and winter. Layering is key to adapting cardigans to different temperatures.
Cardigans are a quintessential wardrobe staple, offering unparalleled versatility and style. From the office to casual outings and even elegant evening events, there's a cardigan outfit to suit every occasion. The key lies in selecting the right style, fabric, and color to complement your aesthetic and the setting.Cardigans offer endless possibilities to enhance your wardrobe, whether you prefer a classic, tailored look or a more relaxed, bohemian style. Embrace the adaptability of cardigans this fall, and enjoy creating a range of looks that are stylish and comfortable and a true expression of your style. To shop an elegant range of cardigans, check out Noflik Shop!