7 Fun Cardigan Outfits to Help Make It Through Winter
Cardigans are a saving grace when the weather forces us to pack away our summer clothes for good. In some areas, the beginning of winter feels like the start of a long, cold trek without exciting fashion items. When you're wearing sweaters for months on end, it can get bland rather quickly. You need some fun fashion staples to get you through, and with a little bit of creativity, cardigans can be just the item you.
The two major cardigan categories include patterned and solid options. Though this may seem like a narrow selection, you can mix and match within these categories to keep your wardrobe fresh. Let's explore how to style cardigans this winter to keep your outfits lively when the weather gets dull.
Winter Patterned Cardigans
As you browse the racks this winter, you'll likely notice some common trends among printed cardigans. Some of the best patterns to check out this season include:
- Stripes: Striped cardigans have endless pattern possibilities. A cardigan's stripes could be thick, thin or a combination of different thicknesses. These patterns may have repeating, tri-color stripes or a unique color for each stripe. A striped cardigan's style and color make it a statement piece that needs very few accessories to shine.
- Leopard print: Classic leopard print combines gorgeous neutral tones like black, tan and brown with eye-catching spots. Though a life-like animal print has lots of outfit potential, there are also fun color variations you can try. Some leopard print cardigans deviate from the classic color scheme for a pop-art take on animal print. You can pick the style you prefer or try out both to make the most of this pattern.
- Polka dots: Polka dots are a timeless and feminine pattern option. Some polka dot patterns use many tiny dots, and others use fewer large dots. Either way, the opportunity for style and color combinations are never-ending!
- Camouflage: Camouflage patterns typically have an earth tone color scheme and pattern. Whether you love a classic camo or want to try out fun color variations, you can channel this look with your cardigans.
Tips for Styling Patterned Cardigans
A patterned cardigan has enough color and visual interest to be the focal point of an outfit. When styling these pieces, it's helpful to choose items that will work with the pattern without stealing its spotlight. Some tips for building patterned cardigan looks include:
- Layer with solid colored shirts: One way to make sure your cardigan gets the spotlight is to wear solid colored layers underneath. The most versatile layering colors include white, black, gray and tan. Short sleeve or long sleeve shirts in these colors match a wide range of cardigans, but any solid colored shirt could work — especially if the shirt color is used somewhere in the cardigan pattern.
- Consider the whole outfit: In addition to choosing a neutral layering top, it can be helpful to select neutral pants and shoes when wearing a patterned cardigan. Many patterned cardigans incorporate bright colors and prints that stand out. Streamlining the rest of your outfit can help avoid busyness and give your cardigan maximum impact.
- Accessorize with care: Patterned cardigans are perfect for those simple gold or silver pieces you have in your collection. These metals add a fun element to your look without overpowering the cardigan. You can also match your accessories to a key color in the cardigan pattern. If you go this route, pick jewelry that brings out a pattern color that isn't the main focus of the cardigan. This can help avoid a monotone look and establish a clear accent color.
Winter Solid Cardigans
At first glance, solid cardigans may seem less fun than their patterned counterparts. However, a solid cardigan has different strengths that give ample space to highlight a color or cut you love. They also function as versatile pieces to pair with your favorite patterned blouses and dresses.
Color is a central element to solid cardigans. Though there's potential to sport the entire color spectrum if you please, there are also some recurring winter shades you'll find on the racks. Winter wardrobe colors tend to incorporate a variety of deep jewel tones, including:
- Emerald green
- Navy blue
- Rust orange
In addition to these colors, you can always find solid cardigans in the classic black and gray tones.
Solid cardigans are also great for showing off unique style elements and silhouettes, including the following:
- Long cardigans: These cardigans either fall above the knee, below the knee or to the mid-calf.
- Oversized cardigans: This style is typically on the thicker side and uses loose, draped fabric for an ultra-comfy feel.
- Unique sleeves: Some solid cardigans use bell sleeves or ruffle details to add a bit of flair to the garment.
- Extra details: You may notice buttons or built-in belt details on solid cardigans. Whether or not you choose to use these features, they add a little personality to your look.
Tips for Styling Solid Cardigans
Think of a solid cardigan as a blank canvas that you can accessorize with jewelry and fun colors. The following are some tips to make the most of your solid cardigans when styling:
- Layer with patterned shirts: Just like you'd pair patterned cardigans with solid base layers, a solid cardigan works nicely with a patterned base layer. If you have patterned tops that work well with or include the color of your solid cardigan, don't be afraid to pair these items together!
- Go sleek or bold: Solid cardigans offer great versatility when you're trying out different looks. Pairing a solid cardigan with a solid base layer and pants creates an extremely refined appearance. But you can also make your outfit bold by styling a solid cardigan with patterned base layers, brightly colored booties and exciting accent jewelry.
- Add interest with accessories and colors: Solid cardigans are naturally more subdued than patterned pieces. You can use this subtlety to your advantage, but you may also want to branch out from the laid-back look. Adding neck and hair scarves, bright jewelry and colorful shoes can provide the statement piece your outfit may be missing.
Fun Ways to Style Cardigans This Winter
Now that we've covered the many color and style possibilities for winter cardigans, let's take a look at some practical outfit ideas to put them into action.
1. Cardigan With Skinny Jeans
Learning how to wear a cardigan with jeans is foundational to a fun winter wardrobe line-up. The key is to build your outfit around the type of cardigan you're wearing:
- Patterned cardigans: To craft your outfit, start with a snug base layer top that matches your cardigan pattern colors. Then, select a skinny jean. A medium or dark wash complements most winter colors, so consider these washes first. Top off your outfit with a bootie or sneaker, depending on whether you want a fancy or casual look.
- Solid cardigans: Depending on the look you want, pair your cardigan with a solid or patterned base layer. Then, select a jean wash that provides the right amount of contrast against your cardigan color. A dark wash paired with a dark cardigan color could give your outfit a monotone look. On the other hand, a light cardigan with a light wash can create an overall pale look. A medium wash can provide the balance you need and match a variety of cardigans. To finish off your look, accent with jewelry or fun shoes.
2. Long Cardigan With Black Pants
Another important winter fashion lesson is learning how to style a long cardigan. The main thing to remember for these pieces is that they draw the eye vertically from top to bottom. A great way to accent this feature is by pairing your long cardigans with black pants and a black base layer.
One benefit of pairing this look with a patterned cardigan is that it helps showcase necklaces without creating excess busyness. When wearing this look with a solid cardigan, you can accent with some brown or colored shoes and add accessories for little pops of color.
3. Cardigan With a Turtleneck
Pairing a cardigan with a turtleneck is a fun twist on the classic cardigan and scarf combo — without all the bulk. Whether you prefer a long sleeve turtleneck or a turtleneck dress, this style is super simple and classy.
When selecting your cardigan, opt for one with a thin- to medium-weight fabric. This will keep you cool and help prevent you from feeling smothered. Try to avoid cardigans with excess fabric around the neck, as they'll compete with the turtleneck. Apply the principles we've discussed to pair patterns and solid colors together seamlessly.
Because the cardigan and turtleneck duo draws attention to your face, you could also add a fun pair of earrings into the mix and pull your hair up for an elegant look.
4. Oversized Cardigan With a Dress
Layering a cardigan over a dress is a great way to get more use out of some of your spring and fall items. An oversized cardigan adds the perfect winter vibe to those dresses that may have a more summery look on their own.
Here are some tips to perfect this outfit combo:
- Choose an oversized cardigan with a length that is similar to your dress's hemline or a little longer.
- Pick a dress that is somewhat formfitting to avoid unnecessary bulk.
- Pair your cardigan and dress with tights or tall boots to stay warm.
5. Cardigan With Over the Knee Boots
Over the knee boots are a fun and sexy way to spice up any cardigan. If you're wearing a patterned cardigan, your over the knee boots can tie in one of the accent colors. They could also add a pop of contrasting color to a solid cardigan outfit.
The following are some general tips to consider when styling cardigans and over the knee boots:
- Cardigan length: Opt for a cardigan that falls anywhere at or above your knees. Avoiding an overlap between your cardigan and boots helps both pieces shine in their own way.
- Heel height: For an extra sexy look, pick a boot with stiletto heels. For a more everyday look, opt for a chunky, mid-sized heel. To maximize comfort, choose a low-heeled boot.
- Event type: For an event where you'll be on your feet quite a bit, try a wedged or flat heel boot option. To elongate your legs with everyday comfort, select a chunky heel.
6. Cardigan With Faux Leather Leggings
Formal outfits can get tricky in the winter. You need to stay warm, but many fancy staples expose your arms and legs. With striking pieces like faux leather leggings, a cardigan can help you balance your event's dress code with ultimate comfort.
To style this look, start with a neutral layering top and hip- or upper thigh-length cardigan. Add a pair of black faux leather leggings to the mix, and accent with a pair of heels or booties. Don't forget to add some accessories to top off this edgy and unique look!
7. Light Cardigan With a Button-Down
If you're looking for something business casual to wear to work or you want to sport the preppy look in your everyday attire, a cardigan and button-down make a great pairing. A button-down stands on its own, but it also transitions to a layering shirt seamlessly. That makes this combo great for situations when you need to be able to shed or add layers when temperatures fluctuate around you.
Here are some tips to style this look based on how you want to wear it:
- For work: Select a thin, solid cardigan of your desired length and pair with a button-down shirt. White button-downs are versatile and classic, but don't be afraid to try out other colors. Add a cropped black or patterned pant and round off the look with a comfortable pair of flats or booties.
- For every day: Start with a thin, patterned or solid cardigan and select a button-down to match. You can layer this look over a pair of jeans or leggings based on your preferences. Add a short statement necklaces for a fun pop of color and slip on a pair of flats or booties.
Regardless of the occasion, be sure to tuck the neck of your cardigan under the button-down collar for that signature polished touch.
Find Your Fun Plus Size Cardigan Outfits at Perfectly Priscilla Boutique
Whether you're looking to build your solid cardigan collection or want to step into the wild side with patterned pieces, Perfectly Priscilla Boutique has the items to match. We intentionally curate our collection of plus size cardigans and vests to flatter your body without sacrificing an ounce of style.
Our exclusive styles and sizes are sure to make it difficult to pick just a few pieces! When you've found cardigans you love, round out your look with some stunning accessories and shoe options. Don't let winter steal your fashion fun. Check out our cardigans today to give your wardrobe a winter boost!