Chic sweaters are a true year-round wardrobe staple. In the fall, they’re the perfect garment for picking apples. In the winter, they keep you warm while you sip hot chocolate. And in the spring when it’s not quite warm enough for a t-shirt, what do you reach for? A sweater.
Oversized sweaters are especially cozy and comfortable, but if you find that you’re only wearing yours around the house, you might be wondering how to style oversized sweaters before you go out on the town.
In this guide, we’ll share our seven favorite ways to elevate your sweater game no matter the season or occasion, along with tips on how to create the perfect oversized sweater outfit. And while styling your favorite oversized sweater is fun, it is just as important to know how to wash sweaters and the difference between sweaters vs sweatshirts so that you can keep them in good condition in the long run.
#1 Wear Your Sweater as a Dress
Is your roomiest oversized sweater languishing at the back of your drawer? While an extra-large sweater can be cozy for lounging on the couch, it might feel too roomy for everyday wear.
But you don’t need to be intimidated by the fact that your sweater hangs down to your knees. In fact, you can make it work for you by wearing that sweater as a dress on its own.
- If you’d prefer a little more length to cover your upper thighs, wear a slip, legging, or skinny jeans underneath your sweater. Thin material can provide a fun and surprising contrast to sweater dresses.
- A belt can help give your sweater shape and show off your waistline. Choose a chunkier belt that can stand up to the thick material of the oversized piece and stay in place throughout the day.
When transforming your sweater into a dress, your shoes and accessories will help to tie an oversized sweater outfit together. Make a statement with options like the following:
- Tall boots
- Bold sunglasses
- Classy earrings
- Eye-grabbing necklaces
You can’t go wrong with any of these choices when wearing a sweater dress. And the right accessory—like this pair of mother of pearl earrings—can take your look to the next level. That means it's time to grab your lint roller and dust off that oversized, baggy sweater.
#2 Show it Off with an Open-Front Coat
When it’s chilly outside, an oversized, chunky sweater and open-front coat is a match made in heaven. The two form a chic outfit that's perfect for a date, a nice dinner, a trip to the office, and anything in between while keeping you warm.
And there are many different coat styles to experiment with, from pea coats to trench coats to dusters and beyond. Besides coat style, play with color, texture, and print to make the look your own. Some of our favorite options include:
- All-black everything – Black garments are a wardrobe staple for a reason. They’re flattering on everyone, easy to pair together, and resistant to stains and discoloration. You can’t go wrong with a black coat and a black sweater. For added visual interest, consider a fuzzy coat or a cable-knit sweater (or both!).
- Animal prints – Animal prints are still technically neutral, but with an edge. A leopard blazer adds contrast to a versatile neutral sweater. Likewise, a leopard print sweater pairs perfectly with a coat of any color.
If you’re looking for a low-effort, high-impact way to style an oversized sweater, pairing it with an open-front coat is the way to go.
#3 Opt for a Chic Look With Heels
Do you have a sweater that feels a little too casual for everyday wear? A pair of high heels can elevate any outfit.
For occasions where looking chic is just as important as staying toasty, break out your favorite stacked shoes—be they stilettos, kitten heels, wedges, or pumps.
- For the office – Pair your oversized sweater with heels that are comfortable enough to get you through the day. Consider trying out the french tuck by tucking the front of your sweater into a pair of work-appropriate trousers for an added dash of class.
- For brunch – Going from Pilates straight to brunch? Bring a cozy oversized sweater and heels to instantly transform your athleisure into a mimosa-ready look.
#4 Throw it Over A Midi Skirt or Dress
If you asked a friend how to wear oversized sweaters, putting one over a dress might not be on their list of answers. But this out-of-the-box style creates visual interest by breaking up your silhouette. It also provides the opportunity to play with color, texture, and proportion.
Better yet, the look is easy to achieve. A fashionably-large cozy sweater can be thrown over just about any dress or skirt in your wardrobe. Need a little inspiration?
- For winter – Choose a wool midi-skirt to keep your lower half toasty. The long, tapered line of your skirt will provide a visual contrast to the larger top half of your outfit.
- For spring – Place your sweater over a mini-dress or mini-skirt. If it’s still cool, wear leggings, skinny pants, or tall boots. Otherwise, show off your legs for a fun, flirty look.
Choose a printed dress to contrast with a monotone sweater, or pair two different hues of the same color for a stunning monochromatic look.
Oversized sweaters with turtlenecks can be especially fashionable choices for this style since the large neck can help balance the look. That said, a turtleneck is a benefit, not a necessity. You can still pull off this styling option with just about any favorite oversized sweater in your wardrobe.
#5 Pair it With Jeans and Boots
When the crisp fall weather first rolls in and you’re eager to enjoy it, the first garments you reach for in your wardrobe are probably an oversized sweater and jeans.
This look is a classic, but it's one for a reason. Different styles of jeans and boots make it possible to create countless unique winter to spring outfits with the same sweater. For example, distressed jeans or mom jeans give your ensemble a more casual vibe without looking sloppy, while black jeans can come off as more professional.
And you can play around with the footwear by wearing:
- Over the knee boots
- Ankle boots
- Combat boots
- Heeled boots
This fall look is already trendy on its own, but there’s one accessory that can help complete it: a scarf. Scarves are the perfect way to add a bit of flare in the fall while giving you some much-needed additional warmth. Learning how to tuck in a sweater and how to wear scarves can also greatly improve your look and help you achieve the classic fall season look.
#6 Wear Your Sweater With Leggings
Leggings aren’t just for the gym. In fact, many women count them as a do-it-all staple that can be elevated by heels, cute accessories, and other upscale additions.
Needless to say, they also look great with an oversize sweater that provides a little extra coverage above their form-fitting contours.
Try out the following variations on this look:
- Faux leather leggings – Leggings can be upscale too—just look at the faux leather options! Pair yours with a striking white or red oversized sweater on your next trip to your favorite restaurant. Just remember to leave your sneakers at home!
- Black rayon leggings – Not every look needs to be upscale. If you’re running errands around town, going for a stroll in the neighborhood, or relaxing at home, you can style your sweater with a pair of casual rayon leggings for maximum comfort.
Whether you’re planning a night out on the town with the girls or a fun night in to treat yourself, you can find a leggings and a petite women’s sweater ensemble to match the occasion.
#7 Throw a Button-Down Underneath
If you notice you’re getting chilly on your walks to the office or you’re in a building where the air conditioning is always blasting, you might feel as though it’s too cold to wear your button-downs by themselves. Why not throw an oversized sweater on top of them to extend button-down season—or even make it year-round?
To achieve a look that’s fashionable, trendy, and toasty, take the following steps:
- Find a collared button-down – This button-down needs to match your sweater since you’ll be wearing it underneath with the collar peeking out. You can use one that has a fun print or go for a classic white button-down.
- Pull the collar through the top of the sweater – Tuck the collar over the top of your sweater to make it visible. You can also pull the bottom of the button-down to peek out from under your sweater for a little more pop.
- Finish the look with professional jewelry – Accessories can make or break any outfit, but no office look is complete without a necklace or earrings.
This fun look will let you get some more mileage out of your button-downs before it’s too cold and sweater season comes into full effect.
Another fun twist? Try wearing a button-down over your sweater. For this to work, you’ll need a thin, smooth sweater and a slightly larger button-down. This works especially well with a chic cashmere turtleneck. Leave the button-down open to show off the sweater to its full effect.
Keep Your Looks Sophisticated with Karen Kane
Oversized sweaters are trendy, and it’s clear why. They’re not only ultra-comfortable, but also chic, flattering, and professional when styled in the seven ways above.
But an outfit is only as fabulous as the quality of its pieces. That’s where we at Karen Kane step in.
Our selection of high-quality, versatile sweaters is perfect for any fall, winter, or spring look. They’re also ethically produced, so you can feel confident that being conscious looks good on you. Shop our oversized sweaters today and never worry again about having clothes that sit unworn in your closet.
Glamour. How to Wear Oversized Sweater. https://www.glamour.com/story/how-to-wear-an-oversized-sweater
Vogue. Seven Sweater Styling Tips. https://www.vogue.com/article/sweater-styling-tips-spring-2021