How To Wear A Long Cardigan


A must-have layer for fall is always a great cardigan. I personally prefer a long cardigan as I find them more flattering. They give you a long line and can easily be cinched at the waist with a great belt. There are so many different ways to wear them making them something every closet should have. Plus, they’re just so warm and cozy and perfect for that cooler weather. You can elevate just leggings and a white tee with a long cardigan for running errands in. Or style with skinny jeans and booties for a true fall ensemble.

How To Wear A Long Cardigan

In today’s blog post I want to share some practical and creative tips for wearing a cardigan for the season without looking frumpy. Long cardigans, or dusters, can easily overwhelm your outfit if you aren’t styling them the right way. So here are a few tips so you can feel confident and look great in a long cardigan.

Pair A Long Cardigan With Jeans

This is my go-to way to style a long cardigan for fall. Pairing it with skinny jeans and a bootie or loafer is a great combination for fall. I personally try to avoid straight-leg jeans with a long cardigan as I have short legs and I feel like I can look a bit frumpy with this combo. But I’ve seen it done well on others and it’s typically because they have long legs! Lucky! But also, do what you love. I’d just stay away from really baggy jeans as that combined with all the fabric of a long cardigan can feel messy.

Which Shoes To Wear With Long Cardigans

I really think you can wear ANY shoe with a long cardigan. Dress up your outfit with stilettos, create a casual outfit in sneakers or a combat boot. The outfit ideas are really limitless! My only rule would stay to stay within the season. Cardigans worn in the fall and winter should always be paired with season appropriate shoes.


How To Wear A Long Cardigan
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Long Cardigans With Sneakers

Here’s a great way to wear a long cardigan (or coatigan) with sneakers. Effortless and cool but feels put together with a long cardigan and a tucked-in t-shirt. Love how Natalie Yerger has styled this one.


Long Cardigan styling tips
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Long Cardigans With Heels

I think a stiletto or sleek bootie is great with a long cardigan for fall. I like to pair mine with faux leather leggings for a super sleek look and keeps everything more fitted and allows the flowy cardigan to lay nicely.


How To Dress Down A Cardigan

I tend to throw my long cardigans on before heading out to the store or running errands. They’re a more elevated option than a sweatshirt and add that third piece. But for dressing them down, just pair them with your favorite cozy leggings or faux leather leggings and some sneakers and you’re good to go!

How To Wear A Long Cardigan for Fall
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Cardigan With Black Jeans And Booties

When dressing down a cardigan, you can also just pair it with casual booties and jeans. A cardigan makes it feel more put-together and elevated, but still approachable and great for every day. This long cardigan from ABLE that Jess of Jess Ann Kirby styled is actually a dress that can be worn as a cardigan. It’s beautiful and perfect for fall! Use code INDIGODAY20 for 20% off your full price items at ABLE.


How To Dress Up A Cardigan

Pair your cardigan with a dress like a silky slip, or black jeans and a pretty silk blouse with heels to dress it all up perfect for date night. When dressing up an outfit with a cardigan, I’d reach for cardigans that feel a bit dressier. Leave the grandma-style cardigans with thick knits in the closet. Go for more streamlined and sleeker cardigan that have long clean lines.

Long Cardigans With Dresses

Layer a thin long cardigan over a slip dress, a boho dress or even a body hugging dress. So many options. If your dress is not shapely, I’d stick to a thinner fabric for your cardigan, but if you do have some shape, you can definitely go chunkier. I just think it’s important to keep shape and balance in mind. You an also always cinch any long cardigan at the waist to create some shape.

Long Cardigan With A Silky Slip Dress
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Thin Long Cardigan With A Silky Slip Dress

Ashley always has impeccable style and this simple neutral outfit is just perfection. A nice thin neutral long cardigan paired with a silky flowy dress. This is when I truly think fabric is super important as I think the thin fabric of the cardigan is what makes this outfit work so well.

Belt Your Cardigan To Create Shape

My final tip is to add some shape with a belt if you’re feeling overwhelmed in a long cardigan. All that fabric can look big and wide and creating an hourglass waist with a belt is a super easy trick to rein it all in.


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