An open cardigan is a versatile piece of clothing that can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. Here are some tips on how to wear an open cardigan:
- Create long lines: To elongate your silhouette, wear a long open cardigan over a fitted top and slim pants or leggings1.
- Drape to hide a belly: If you want to hide your belly, choose a cardigan that drapes in the front and wear it over a fitted top and high-waisted pants or skirt1.
- Wear a belt: To add definition to your waist, wear a belt over your open cardigan1.
- Opt for a wrap style: A wrap-style cardigan can be worn open or closed and is a great option for layering1.
- Pair with bootcut or flare jeans: An open cardigan looks great with bootcut or flare jeans, which balance out the volume of the cardigan1.
- Wear with a graphic tee and mom jeans: For a casual look, wear your open cardigan with a graphic tee and mom jeans3.
- Try with a scarf: You can also wear an open cardigan with a scarf for added warmth and style2.
- Mix colors and prints: For a bold look, mix colors and prints by wearing a colorful or patterned cardigan with a contrasting top and bottom5.
- Pair with thigh-high boots: A longer cardigan can be paired with thigh-high boots for a chic and cozy look6.
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Choosing the Right Open Cardigan
Consider the Length of the Cardigan
The length of an open cardigan is a key factor to consider, as it can greatly affect the overall look and proportions of your outfit. For shorter individuals, a cropped or hip-length cardigan can create the illusion of length and make them appear taller. On the other hand, taller individuals can opt for longer cardigans, such as knee-length or maxi length, to add drama and elegance to their ensemble.
Choose a Flattering Fit
Selecting a cardigan with a flattering fit is essential for enhancing your body shape. For hourglass figures, a fitted cardigan that cinches at the waist will accentuate their curves beautifully. Pear-shaped individuals can opt for a cardigan that skims over the hips to create a balanced silhouette. Those with an apple-shaped body can look for a cardigan that drapes loosely and gracefully over the midsection. Lastly, individuals with a rectangular body shape can experiment with belted cardigans to create the illusion of a more defined waistline.
Select the Right Fabric
The fabric of an open cardigan can make a significant difference in terms of comfort, durability, and overall appearance. Opt for high-quality fabrics such as cashmere, merino wool, or cotton blends for a soft and luxurious feel. These fabrics also have the advantage of being breathable, ensuring that you stay comfortable throughout the day. Additionally, consider the season and climate when selecting the fabric of your open cardigan. Lightweight fabrics like linen or thin knits are ideal for warmer weather, while thicker fabrics like wool or chunky knits provide warmth during colder months.
Decide on Sleeve Length
The sleeve length of an open cardigan can greatly impact the versatility and functionality of the garment. Choose the sleeve length based on the occasion and your personal preference. If you’re looking for a cardigan that can transition seamlessly from day to night, consider opting for three-quarter sleeves, as they offer a balanced and elegant look. On the other hand, long sleeves provide warmth and coziness during cooler seasons, while short sleeves are perfect for warmer days or for layering over tops with longer sleeves.
Think about Color and Patterns
Color and patterns can add depth and personality to an open cardigan. When selecting a color, consider your skin tone and personal style. Neutral colors like black, gray, and beige are versatile options that can be easily paired with various outfits. Additionally, jewel tones and earthy tones can add richness and vibrancy to your look. Experimenting with patterns can also be a fun way to add visual interest to your cardigan. From classic stripes and polka dots to bold floral prints and geometric designs, the options are endless.
Styling Options for Open Cardigans
Layering with a Basic Tee
One of the simplest yet stylish ways to wear an open cardigan is by layering it over a basic tee. This combination provides a casual and effortless look that can be easily dressed up or down. Opt for a tee in a contrasting color to add a pop of interest, or choose a neutral shade for a more minimalistic and refined outfit. Pair it with your favorite jeans or trousers, and you’re ready to go.
Pairing with a Blouse
For a more polished and sophisticated look, layer your open cardigan over a blouse. This combination is perfect for professional settings, as it exudes professionalism while still maintaining a touch of femininity. Choose a blouse in a lightweight fabric like silk or chiffon to achieve a graceful and elegant look. Complete the ensemble with tailored pants or a skirt, and you’ll be the epitome of chic.
Dressing Up with a Dress
An open cardigan can effortlessly elevate any dress ensemble. Whether you’re wearing a flowy maxi dress or a structured sheath dress, a cardigan can add an extra layer of warmth and style. Opt for a cardigan in a complementary color to create a cohesive and harmonious look. If you’re dressing up for a formal occasion, choose a cardigan with delicate details like lace or beading.
Creating a Casual Look with Jeans
For a laid-back and casual outfit, pair your open cardigan with your favorite pair of jeans. This combination is perfect for running errands, meeting friends for lunch, or simply enjoying a leisurely day off. Opt for a slightly oversized cardigan for a relaxed and comfortable fit. Complete the look with a simple t-shirt or tank top, and you’re ready to embrace the effortless charm of a cardigan and jeans ensemble.
Adding a Belt for Definition
To add a touch of structure and definition to your open cardigan, experiment with belting. This styling option works particularly well for individuals with an hourglass or pear-shaped body type, as it accentuates the waistline and creates an hourglass silhouette. Choose a belt in a complementary color and thickness to match the overall aesthetic of your outfit. Whether you opt for a thin leather belt or a wide statement belt, the addition of a belt can instantly transform your cardigan ensemble into a polished and put-together look.
Experimenting with Different Accessories
Accessories can play a significant role in elevating your open cardigan ensemble. From scarves and statement necklaces to hats and handbags, there are countless options to explore. A colorful scarf can add a pop of color to a neutral cardigan, while a statement necklace can instantly transform a simple cardigan into a focal point of your outfit. Experiment with different accessories to express your personal style and enhance the overall aesthetic of your look.
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Tips for Wearing an Open Cardigan
Ensure Proper Proportions
When wearing an open cardigan, it’s essential to consider proportions. Balance the volume of the cardigan with the rest of your outfit to create a harmonious and flattering look. If you’re wearing a loose and oversized cardigan, opt for more fitted bottoms like skinny jeans or tailored trousers. On the other hand, if you’re wearing a more form-fitting cardigan, you can pair it with looser bottoms like wide-leg pants or flowy skirts.
Play with Proportions
While creating a balanced look is important, don’t be afraid to play with proportions and experiment with different silhouettes. Pairing an oversized cardigan with wide-leg pants can create a fashion-forward and stylish ensemble. Similarly, wearing a fitted cardigan with a full skirt can add a touch of retro-inspired charm to your outfit. Be open to exploring different proportions and find what works best for your personal style and body shape.
Balance Loose and Fitted Pieces
Creating a sense of balance in your outfit is crucial when wearing an open cardigan. If you’re wearing a loose and flowy cardigan, opt for more fitted pieces underneath to create a structured and put-together look. Conversely, if your cardigan is more form-fitting, you can pair it with looser tops or bottoms to add a sense of movement and ease. Play with the contrast between loose and fitted pieces to achieve a balanced and visually appealing ensemble.
Emphasize Your Waistline
To create a more defined silhouette when wearing an open cardigan, consider emphasizing your waistline. This can be achieved through belting, choosing cardigans with a tie or wrap waist, or wearing tops and bottoms that naturally draw attention to the waist. By highlighting the waist, you can create a more flattering and proportionate look, regardless of your body shape.
Experiment with Different Lengths
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different lengths when wearing an open cardigan. Pairing a long cardigan with a mini dress or skirt can create an interesting contrast and add visual interest to your outfit. Similarly, wearing a cropped cardigan with high-waisted bottoms can highlight your waistline and create a youthful and playful look. Be adventurous and try out different lengths to discover unique and flattering combinations.
Consider the Occasion
When styling an open cardigan, consider the occasion and dress accordingly. Pair a more casual and relaxed cardigan with jeans or leggings for a day of running errands or hanging out with friends. Opt for a more polished and sophisticated cardigan for professional settings or formal occasions. By considering the occasion, you can ensure that your cardigan ensemble is appropriate and perfectly suited for the event.
Pay Attention to Neckline
The neckline of your open cardigan can greatly impact the overall look and feel of your outfit. For a flattering and elongating effect, opt for cardigans with V-necklines, as they create a vertical line that draws the eye upwards. If you prefer a more modest look, choose cardigans with higher necklines like crew neck or boat neck. Experiment with different necklines to find the ones that complement your face shape and personal style.
Accessorize with Scarves or Jewelry
Accessorizing can add the finishing touches to your open cardigan ensemble. A colorful scarf can instantly elevate an outfit and provide warmth during cooler seasons. Opt for lightweight scarves in silk or cotton for a breezier feel during the warmer months. Additionally, jewelry can add sparkle and elegance to your cardigan ensemble. From dainty necklaces to statement earrings, choose pieces that complement your cardigan and enhance your overall look.
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Dos and Don’ts of Wearing an Open Cardigan
Do: Wear a Well-Fitting Underlayer
When wearing an open cardigan, it’s important to ensure that your underlayer fits well and complements the overall aesthetic of your outfit. Avoid wearing baggy or ill-fitting tops, as they can create a sloppy and unflattering look. Opt for tops that flatter your body shape and provide a seamless and polished foundation for your cardigan.
Do: Experiment with Different Prints and Colors
Open cardigans provide the perfect canvas for experimenting with different prints and colors. Don’t shy away from vibrant prints or bold patterns, as they can add personality and visual interest to your ensemble. Similarly, don’t limit yourself to neutral colors. Explore the spectrum of hues and embrace colors that make you feel confident and radiant.
Do: Create a Defined Silhouette
To avoid looking shapeless or overwhelmed by the volume of an open cardigan, create a defined silhouette. This can be achieved through belting, wearing cardigans with a structured shape, or pairing your cardigan with more fitted pieces. Emphasizing your waistline and creating a proportionate and balanced look will ensure that you showcase the best aspects of your body shape.
Do: Choose the Right Shoes
Choosing the right shoes is essential for completing your open cardigan ensemble. For a casual and laid-back look, opt for classic flats or sneakers. Ankle boots add a touch of sophistication and can easily transition your outfit from day to night. Heeled booties provide height and elegance, while slip-on loafers exude comfort and effortless style. Consider the occasion and the overall aesthetic of your outfit when selecting the perfect footwear.
Don’t: Overlayer with Bulky Fabrics
Avoid overlayering with bulky fabrics when wearing an open cardigan. This can create an excessively layered and heavy look that can overwhelm your frame. Opt for more lightweight fabrics underneath your cardigan to ensure that the overall outfit is well-balanced and proportionate.
Don’t: Select an Ill-Fitting Cardigan
Choosing the right fit for your open cardigan is crucial for achieving a flattering and put-together look. Avoid selecting cardigans that are too tight or too loose, as they can create an unflattering silhouette and diminish the overall aesthetic of your outfit. Opt for cardigans that skim over your body without clinging too tightly or appearing shapeless.
Don’t: Forget about Balance and Proportions
Maintaining balance and proportions is key when wearing an open cardigan. Avoid pairing excessively loose cardigans with oversized bottoms, as this can create a shapeless and unbalanced ensemble. Similarly, refrain from pairing ultra-fitted cardigans with skin-tight bottoms, as this can create a restrictive and unflattering look. Find the right balance between loose and fitted pieces to create a harmonious and visually appealing outfit.
Don’t: Wear an Open Cardigan as Outerwear
While open cardigans can provide warmth and comfort, they are not meant to be worn as outerwear. Save your cardigans for layering over tops, dresses, or blouses, and opt for a proper coat or jacket when facing colder temperatures. This ensures that your cardigan ensemble remains stylish and appropriate for various occasions.
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Inspiring Outfit Ideas with Open Cardigans
Professional and Polished
For a professional and polished look, pair a fitted open cardigan with tailored pants and a blouse. Opt for neutral tones like black, gray, or navy for a sophisticated and timeless aesthetic. Complete the outfit with classic flats or heeled booties, and accessorize with minimalistic jewelry for an elegant and refined ensemble.
Cozy and Casual
For a cozy and casual look, layer an oversized cardigan over a basic tee and jeans. Choose a cardigan in a soft and comfortable fabric like cashmere or knit, and opt for a neutral or earthy tone. Complete the outfit with ankle boots or sneakers for a laid-back yet stylish ensemble that’s perfect for running errands or lounging at home.
Feminine and Flirty
To achieve a feminine and flirty look, pair a flowy open cardigan with a floral dress. Choose a cardigan in a complementary color to create a cohesive and romantic outfit. Complete the look with heeled sandals or ballet flats, and add delicate accessories like a dainty necklace or earrings for a touch of elegance.
Edgy and Cool
For an edgy and cool ensemble, layer a leather jacket over an open cardigan. This combination adds a touch of edge and creates a unique and fashion-forward look. Pair it with skinny jeans or leather leggings, and complete the outfit with ankle boots or chunky combat boots. Add a statement necklace or a studded belt to elevate the edgy aesthetic even further.
Boho-Chic and Relaxed
To embrace a boho-chic and relaxed vibe, pair a long and flowy open cardigan with a maxi skirt or wide-leg pants. Choose a cardigan with fringe or crochet details for a bohemian touch. Complete the outfit with sandals or wedges and accessorize with layered necklaces or a floppy hat for a free-spirited and easy-going look.
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