Cardigans have long been an essential item in any women’s closet, but these pieces have gotten longer and longer over the past few years. Rather than being a one-hit wonder in the fashion world, long cardigans are growing to be a lasting trend. We hope they remain popular for a while, as they provide dozens of of cute outfit options.
We’ll get to those in a second, but first, what is a long sweater or cardigan? Does it stop at the waist, hips, or lower? Technically, the hem of a long cardigan falls anywhere between your hip and knees, while a maxi cardigan ends between your knees and the ground. For the purposes of this post, however, we’ll refer to both as “long cardigans,” as the two can be styled in similar ways.
Long cardigans have multiple benefits, such as:
- They work with a variety of hemlines, from miniskirts to maxis.
- They draw the eyes vertically, making you appear tall and slim.
Most importantly, however, long sweater coats and cardigans are perfect for layering. They’re a great transitional piece, carrying you through fall, winter and spring.
With that in mind, let’s look at some long cardigan outfit ideas that will keep you cute and cozy:
Over a summer dress or maxi skirt
Breezy dresses and skirts are totally cute and comfy, but they can’t keep you warm when the temperature starts to drop. Luckily, you’ve got a long cardigan to save the day. Throw your long sweater duster and an infinity scarf over your summer favorites to make them toasty enough for winter.
Layered under light jackets
Who says jean and faux-leather jackets aren’t warm enough for December and January? Keep them front and center in your wardrobe by wearing them over a long cardigan. This way, you can still show off your favorite casual outerwear even though it’s chilly outside.
With skinny jeans, a cami and a belt
Love skinny jeans but find them too body-conscious? A long cardigan is just skimming enough to flatter your figure but loose enough to keep you from feeling exposed. Wear a cami underneath, and cinch an eye-catching belt at the narrowest part of your waist to illuminate your curves.
Over skinny jeans and knee-high boots
If looking long and lean is your goal, wear your cardigan with a pair of knee-high boots. Both create dramatic length that will leave you feeling like a model.
Thick knit and a printed top
A thick-knit cardigan is nicely casual and cozy, and choosing one in a single, neutral color (or even an off-neutral like blush pink) makes it easy to coordinate this piece with every outfit in your closet. Try adding a blouse with a unique print underneath for a bit of flair.
Over a patterned button-down with cuffed sleeves
This look is both professional and relaxed, easily transitioning between work and weekends. Find a button-down shirt with a pattern you love, wear a cardigan on top, then cuff the sleeves of the shirt over those of the sweater. This way, you get a nice trinity of color and pattern while the neutral cover up adds a wintry calmness to your look.
With leggings and a tunic
“Maxi cardigans come off as casual, while shorter ones are more professional.”
Leggings are practically a requirement in winter, and wearing them with a tunic and cardigan makes them work appropriate. When choosing open sweaters to wear with leggings to the office, length is key. Maxi cardigans come off as casual, while shorter ones are more professional.
Covering a high-waist long pencil skirt
Again, this look is classy without being overly body-hugging, making it an appropriate choice for the office. Wear a black cardigan and neutral shirt with a pencil skirt in a bold color like fuchsia or emerald.
With bold accessories
As with just about any piece of clothing, you can use a neutral cardigan to act as a base for statement accessories. Try a simple layered outfit with gemstone earrings, fur-trimmed gloves or oversize sunglasses.
Finding the perfect plus-size cardigan
Buying a cardigan that fits your body is no longer a struggle. These days, there are as many plus-size cardigans as well as missy-size cardigans to choose from as there are ways to wear them. You have your choice between loose, fitted, thick, sheer, draped and everything in between. All that matters is that you feel comfortable in your skin.