How to Wear an Oversized Cardigan without Looking Frumpy

November 3, 2017

I asked for topics people would like covered on the blog, and one of them was how to wear an oversized cardigan without looking frumpy. Such a good idea! Oversized cardigans are all the rage lately. I can see why. They are cozy and easy layers. Here’s the thing, they can be unflattering. Below are some general guidelines I stick to when wearing them.

how to wear an oversized cardigan without looking frumpy

How to Wear an Oversized Cardigan without Looking Frumpy (keep reading for more examples below as well)

  1. Consider the weight of the cardigan when you buy it. Look for a nice, heavy material but also one that isn’t overly “puffy” if you know what I mean. Puffy weight sweaters = puffy appearance
  2. Layer a top underneath that fits nicely. Think a fitted t-shirt as I have done in this post, a cami, a thin blouse. I.e. do not add a thick weight, bulky top underneath. Bulky top below = bulk
  3. Consider wearing a higher waist pant/jean and tucking your top in to visually create/save your waist line. Having a waist below all that material is a good thing!
  4. Personally, I like oversized cardigans that hit mid-thigh or below. I find ones that hit closer to the hip area just draw attention to and add bulk to, well, my hip area. Nobody wants that!

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Shop Great Cardigans

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Previous Examples of How to Wear an Oversized Cardigan without Looking Frumpy

Star Cardigan Post Here

Cream Cardigan & Cami Post Here

Black Long Cardigan Post Here

Cream on Cream Post Here

Fringe Cardigan Post Here

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  • Reply Michelle February 1, 2023 at 8:07 am

    Hi, Amy. I was scrolling through Pinterest, looking for ways to wear a long cable knit cardigan I recently bought. I thought your post was great, I think you’re adorable, and I personally love ripped jeans {I’m 48} and didn’t feel like they took anything away from any of the looks.

  • Reply Ardys December 18, 2022 at 12:30 am

    Please ignore the mean comments here. I’m 69 yrs old and find your posts quite helpful and informative. I’ve recently lost quite a bit of weight due to health reasons so I’m having to learn to dress differently. Thank you 🙏🏼

    • Reply Cortney January 8, 2023 at 6:55 pm

      I just recently found your blog and find it to be really helpful! I just wish I could take you shopping with me!

  • Reply Lynn December 14, 2022 at 4:04 pm

    I am quite late to this party and likely comments are turned off but I have to leave one anyway. I have never seen comments so mean as many are here. For crying out loud ladies this blogger is adorable and ripped jeans are so current. I’m 66 and I wear them and I don’t care if anyone else doesn’t like it. The only difference is that no one would say that to my face although some might think it. Anyway this girl is putting herself out there and doesn’t deserve nasty comments that undoubtedly you wouldn’t say to her face. I think she looks great.

  • Reply Hedy December 2, 2022 at 2:09 pm

    I don’t think I want advice from anyone who wears a pair of horrid jeans with holes in both knees. You look beautiful otherwise, but those jeans………

    • Reply Michelle February 1, 2023 at 8:04 am

      I don’t see where anyone forced you to take her advice. All these rude comments… Your mothers should’ve taught you that if you don’t have anything nice today, keep quiet. “You look beautiful otherwise…” Backhanded compliments aren’t really compliments. Keep them to yourself.

  • Reply Tonica Frost November 17, 2022 at 6:09 am

    I feel like a lot of these comments are mean and self reflecting. If you don’t agree with the opinions of the writer or dislike the look for yourself then move on, but to leave a negative review that is body shaming the model or the writer’s effort is just unnecessary. I hope you people learn to love yourselves.

    • Reply Amy Ann Arnold November 17, 2022 at 10:08 am

      Just wanted to say thank you so much for leaving me a kind comment! It can be tough sometimes. 🙂 You were a bright spot in my day today!

      • Reply Nadia White March 13, 2023 at 5:15 pm

        I was scrolling, and came across your blog.
        you look beautiful, and your boots!!!! omg, love love…..

        as for the mean comments, just remember, it has nothing to do with you.
        some people are just sad, and ugly inside,
        just keep doing you. not everyone will like you, and that’s ok.
        and oh, kill them with kindness in return.
        much love, Nade.

    • Reply THERESE COOK-BRIGHT December 7, 2022 at 1:13 pm

      It’s “the emperor has no clothes! problem. people surrounded by yes men cannot improve.

  • Reply Maria November 11, 2022 at 7:39 pm

    Women should dress any way they want and feel good….baggy ripped jeans are great, I wear them and I’m 75..and I look great in them..I wear long sweaters because I want to cover my butt and I never show deep cleavage..I leave that to the young ones..but I don’t want to dress like an old lady and in this day and age I don’t have to….ladies don’t let other women tell you you dress to young, their probably jealous because they can’t wear them….

    • Reply Laura J Anderson January 17, 2023 at 1:28 pm

      Go Maria! You are amazing !
      I’m 63 and dress like l’m 35 !

  • Reply Alison October 25, 2022 at 3:54 pm

    Sorry but I was completely distracted by the ripped jeans. If the post was the showcase how to wear over sized cardis I think it lost its way a bit by featuring them over jeans that were such a statement.

  • Reply Jen January 29, 2022 at 8:10 pm

    Idk, the knee hole jeans just make every outfit trashy. I think the only helpful point in this blog was – don’t be caught wearing trashy jeans!

    • Reply AngO December 4, 2022 at 7:03 pm

      You know what is trashy? Women who judge other women whose style doesn’t match their own! You SERIOUSLY are referring to the jeans that are sold in every single clothing store for women as “trashy?” You are trashy.

  • Reply CJ December 10, 2021 at 11:09 pm

    Am I missing something? I don’t see any “oversize” sweaters here. They are all long, but the fit is not oversized, looks like the sweaters fit perfectly. Just saying

  • Reply Estee January 26, 2021 at 10:56 pm

    I’m 63 although a young and hip 63. I wear ripped jeans now and again. I always keep the food more fitted with simple jewelry. I always hit the fashion mark.

    • Reply Estee January 26, 2021 at 10:59 pm

      Sorry, I meant top not food. Darn auto correct

      • Reply Amy Ann January 27, 2021 at 6:41 am

        I bet you look amazing in them!! Everyone is allowed to wear whatever style of jeans they like best. 🙂 

  • Reply rosemary wayre November 28, 2020 at 10:03 am

    be 6 ft tall and weigh 9 stone to really carry off a cardigan.

  • Reply Sherry August 7, 2020 at 1:45 pm

    I couldn’t get past the knobby knees sticking out of the 2 holes to even notice the cardigans. Dark jeans and holes don’t look right anyway. The jeans should be lighter and looked lived in in order to pull off such a look. Even then, having sharp knee caps sticking out puts the emphasis of the outfit on the knees. Dark jeans that look pristine otherwise just don’t look right with 2 matching holes. Not flattering for the model.

    • Reply Carol August 20, 2020 at 7:22 am

      I think the jeans show how thIs latest trend can look hip . Ripped jeans may not be in everyone’s wardrobe, but this is a great look and she pulled it all together. You can substitute a lighter pair of unripped jeans and that would look cool too!

      • Reply Amy Ann Arnold August 20, 2020 at 8:50 pm

        Thank you so much, Carol! I appreciate your kind comment. You can definitely wear substitute your preferred jean style.

    • Reply J Johnson November 6, 2020 at 10:31 am

      I TOTALLY agree with YOU !
      I thought razor cuts were bad yrs ago, prefer that over THIS.😯

      • Reply Raquel November 6, 2022 at 2:00 pm

        I agree don’t like jeans with that big of holes and no baggy sweaters seen.

  • Reply Jane Lipton Work March 7, 2020 at 12:05 pm

    Pretty sure you don’t need to worry about covering your bum at any time. You look drop-dead gorgeous in everything you put on! I think the comments about the ripped jeans sound a bit mean. I don’t wear them, because I feel I’m too old (60+) to look ragged. But on younger women, they’re fine. My daughters, who are mid-30s, wear them and look trendy, not sloppy. Thanks for the information and photos. Even we old(er!) women want to look fresh.

  • Reply D February 21, 2020 at 4:24 pm

    Torn jeans should be banned. They do not look elegant. They look like the person wearing them came from the poor house. Only in America would people pay for holes!

    • Reply Maria February 27, 2021 at 10:19 pm

      Totally agree. The outfits would be quite elegant without those holes on the pants.
      P. S: My comment here is for the outfit only. The model, in the other hand, is exceptional!

  • Reply Lizzy November 6, 2019 at 10:06 pm

    These jeans look cheap and stupid with a sweater
    Ripped jeans should be tasteful not like bombs went off at the knee cap

    • Reply Joanne November 17, 2019 at 7:33 pm

      I agree with you Lizzy. The out fit looked well up together until you got to the jeans. Sorry, holy jeans are not fashionable.

    • Reply Sherry Kicenski August 7, 2020 at 1:39 pm

      I couldn’t get past the knobby knees sticking out of the 2 holes to even notice the cardigans. Dark jeans and holes don’t look right anyway. The jeans should be lighter and looked lived in in order to pull off such a look. Even then, having sharp knee caps sticking out puts the emphasis of the outfit on the knees. Dark jeans that look pristine otherwise just don’t look right with 2 matching holes. Not flattering for the model.

    • Reply J. King November 22, 2022 at 6:13 pm

      wow you people are so mean behind a keyboard! I would die to see your daily outfit photos! if you knew how to dress you wouldn’t be on here searching for advice! I digress!

  • Reply Angie September 6, 2019 at 11:33 am

    I didn’t see any oversized cardigans, but I saw long , and I believe that is a big difference.

  • Reply Nico June 17, 2019 at 9:18 pm

    So basically, just be really skinny with your oversized cardigan.????

    • Reply Zubeida June 19, 2019 at 2:08 am

      lol. i was thinking the same thing Nico
      but thank you Amy these are great, i guess alittle tweek here and there to accomodate the few sizes bigger

      • Reply Amy Ann June 19, 2019 at 8:11 am

        Hi! I sent a reply over email, but I wanted to post it here too. I don’t think the huge, chunky cardigans do anyone any favors. I think you can buy thicker ones that are longer (i.e. don’t hit at your hip) and wear thinner, tucked in items below them with high waisted pants as I mention. A thicker weight, longer cardigan is still and oversized one in my opinion. 🙂 Those are the style I am featuring here and what I have found to be the most flattering. I hope that helps!!

  • Reply Melanie January 27, 2019 at 6:27 pm

    Hi! I just found your blog on Pinterest and I love it!! I have one question. How do you wear those cute blanket scarves without looking bulky? What’s your secret?!?

    Thanks for some great inspiration!

  • Reply Megan Smith January 13, 2018 at 3:07 pm

    Hi! I’m new to your blog, just clicked over from Pinterest because the title of this post caught my eye! Couldn’t agree more with all your tips! I love these practical posts on how to make trends work, I’ll definitely be back!

    • Reply Amy Ann Arnold January 13, 2018 at 8:28 pm

      Oh my gosh, thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment. You totally made my day! So glad you found this helpful!

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