Clothed with Grace: How to Wear: A Boyfriend Cardigan

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

How to Wear: A Boyfriend Cardigan

I've pulled today's post from my archives and decided to update some of my tips for you all day. I want to keep it fresh for you all around here, but honestly, I haven't been shopping and I've been wearing a lot of the same maternity outfits over and over again. I love a good boyfriend cardigan, but if you aren't sure of how to wear it, it can overwhelm your shape and make you look bigger than you are.
  • First, when trying a boyfriend cardigan on in the store, try on your "normal" size and then one size smaller.  You might find that the small works better than the medium, etc.  Also, check the length.  For me, having a boyfriend cardigan hit right below the hips is most flattering.  
  • One great way to style a boyfriend cardigan once you've gotten a well fitting one is with a jersey dress like this one I'm wearing in the first picture below.  Boyfriend cardigans are more casual in nature, so wearing it with a jersey dress works great.  If you buy a merino wool boyfriend cardigan, these can be nice with a dress that isn't cotton as well. A belt also helps to accentuate your waist with this combo and keep the cardigan from looking overwhelming too.
  • The second ways to wear a boyfriend cardigan is with skinny jeans.  This is a great combo for casual Friday or for a weekend look.  I think skinny jeans are best because you don't want to create more volume with the outfit by adding a wider leg jean; this outfit can have a tendency to look overwhelming and make you look bigger than you are.  I styled mine below with booties, but you could also easily wear ballet flats or tall boots too. I also feel that tucking in your shirt or wearing a more form fitting shirt is the most flattering with a boyfriend cardigan too, just like with the jeans, an over-sized shirt can make you look bigger than you are.
  • The third way to style a boyfriend cardigan is with a mini-skirt.  Now pencil skirts can be ok with boyfriend cardigans too, just keep in mind the casual nature of this piece, so a cotton skirt is probably best.  Once again tucking your shirt in will be the most flattering for this look and I think booties, boots, or flats look best.  I don't recommend wearing an a-line skirt with a boyfriend cardigan, just like I stated above with over-sized shirts or wider leg jeans, adding more volume is not very flattering.
  • The last way I'm going to show is to wear a boyfriend cardigan with leggings.  I love this with a longer tunic and boots or booties.  You also want to make sure your rear is covered by the tunic and cardigan and that the legging are nice and thick.  Depending on where you work leggings might not be appropriate, if that's the case a nice skinny ankle pant and ballet flats are a great option too.

Combos like this are one of my favorites.   The easy dress and boyfriend cardigan work so well together. I love adding in a great scarf and boots too!

Cardigan: Target same / Dress: Merona similar / Scarf: Boutique similar / Boots: Born similar

I'll be honest, I don't love this outfit as much today as I did last year, but the combo does work. Keeping the jeans skinny with an oversized cardigan helps keep you from looking bigger than you are.  I've tucked my shirt here, but I think untucked is fine too.

Cardigan: Target same / Top: Loft similar / Necklace: Stella and Dot / Jeans: Old Navy similar / Booties: Wanted similar

I've worn boyfriend cardigans and mini-skirts a number of times together before. It can give the look some great casual ease, but still make it totally work appropriate.

Cardigan: Target same / Top: Loft similar / Skirt: Loft / Booties: Wanted similar

I love this combo below: comfy and casual, the perfect combination!

Cardigan: Target same / Chambray: Gap similar / Scarf: Joe Fresh similar / Leggings: Target / Boots: Born similar

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  1. First of all, I love the mustard colour of this cardigan. It's beautiful! Each way you've styled it is so different and awesome. I think my favourite is with that patterned skirt!

  2. These are all great tips to read again! I need to pull out my boyfriend cardigans!

  3. Thank you for sharing your tips, Ginny! I totally agree about your cardigan going past your hips - at least that's where I like mine to hit, too. However, I have a hard time finding them.

  4. Cute all four ways, I have that same cardigan so this gives me more ideas for styling.
    Rachel xo

    Garay Treasures

  5. Lots of great looks and tips! Thanks Ginny!

  6. Checking size first is SO important - it doesn't work the same if the arms are baggy. This mustard color is SUPER cute!

  7. I am glad you are doing a "How to" post again. Even if this is an update of your old one. I need a Mustard Grandpa Cardigan and one in a Hunter Green too.

    Have a great day Ginny!

  8. Love this! It's great to see different ideas on ways that you can style a basic piece. :)
    Unique Geek