As winter turns into spring, the mix of brisk mornings and sunny afternoons means that you can include a wide variety of cute sweaters in your wardrobe, from chunky cable knits to cashmere turtlenecks and beyond.
But when it comes to styling your favorite garments, you might find yourself far from the look you were going for. Ideally, tucking your top can define your waist and elevate your look—but sometimes, a tucked sweater leaves you looking bulky.
So, how exactly do you find that chic sweater style? Keep reading for five tips on how to tuck in a sweater and how to style an oversized sweater. We’ll cover various tucking methods and share some winter and spring outfit ideas to inspire your inner fashionista.
#1 Perfect the French Tuck
If you’re running late to your brunch or jetting across town for a morning work meeting, the French tuck is an easy way to complete your outfit while still maintaining a simple, casual look. Done in less than a minute, this look will keep you comfortable and effortlessly stylish.
In a nutshell, the French tuck, also known as the half tuck, entails tucking your sweater in the front and leaving it loose in the back. It’s a very versatile look that can be incorporated into various outfits such as:
- A patterned sweater and a pair of wide-legged pants for a weekend look
- A black knit turtleneck top and a pencil skirt for a casual but work-appropriate twist
- A top and bottom combination in various shades of the same hue for an artsy, color-blocked look
To create the perfect French tuck, keep the following tips and tricks in mind:
- Pay attention to fabric weight – To get that loose, drapey look characteristic of the French tuck, make sure to choose a sweater that is roomy and not too thick. Think, a slightly oversized sweater that is billowy. The bottom part of your outfit needs to be able to accommodate the sweater as well. A chunky wool sweater won’t fit into a silk slip skirt.
- Go with mid-rise or higher – Low rise pants may have a special place in our hearts, but they’re not ideal for holding a French tuck. There is less room for tucking excess fabric, and you might find yourself fixing your sweater every time you bend to pick up your bag or reach for a coffee mug on the shelf. Opt for mid-rise or high-waisted pants instead.
- It’s all in the pouf – The pouf is the centerpiece of the French tuck, and how it should look depends on you. Keep it in the middle for a clean, symmetrical look, or move the tuck to the side to create contrast. After tucking in your sweater, you can add more volume to the pouf by pulling the fabric out slightly. Small adjustments go a long way!
#2 Create an Illusion
If you’re wondering how to tuck a sweater into jeans or another fitted bottom such as a pencil skirt, the great news is that you don’t actually have to tuck anything in at all. Instead, you can create the illusion of a neat, orderly tuck by folding the sweater in on itself in the following ways:
- The belt tuck – Tie a skinny belt around your waist, over the sweater. Shimmy the sweater up so that the end is just under the line of the thin belt, making sure it is evenly placed all the way around. Then, let the folded fabric fall over the belt to cover it up. This tuck is perfect for pairing with skirts made of delicate fabrics such as silk or tulle, and it’s perfect for highlighting your natural waist.
- The bra tuck – If you find a belt around your waist constricting, try the bra tuck instead, flipping the hemline of your sweater inward and securing it under the band of your bra. This hack is especially effective for chunky, oversized sweaters that hide the shape of your bra. Just make sure to use a bra with an underwire that can firmly secure the sweater.
#3 Add a Belt on the Outside
While a relaxed, baggy style can give your look a feeling of effortlessness, there are plenty of other ways to rock your sweaters. For example, a sharp, clean tuck can accentuate your waistline and give you that pulled-together, no-nonsense look.
If you’re looking for crisper lines and a more drastic silhouette, but you have a bulky sweater, a belt might be just what you need. The benefits of adding a belt to your sweater outfit include:
- Holding the tuck in place by keeping the bottom of your outfit tightly gathered
- Cinching your waist to create contrast and dynamism in your figure
- Serving as a decorative focal piece of the outfit itself
Styling a belt in addition to your sweater and bottom can be a real juggling act. Try the following ideas to put it all together:
- Go with a thicker belt – To make a bold statement and keep all the fabric where it belongs, opt for a thicker belt that provides more support. This is especially important if you have a thick sweater and are pairing it with a skirt that doesn’t have belt loops.
- Pair your belt with an A-line skirt – Show some leg in the springtime, and pair your sweater and belt combo with a flared A-line skirt. The added volume in the skirt contrasts with the tightness of the belt, accentuating the figure even more dramatically. Throw on a pair of high-heel sandals or a straw hat to complete the fashion look.
- Add a splash of color – A colorful belt can add personality to your outfit and take it to the next level. For example, think about pairing a solid all-black sweater and trousers combo with a red belt for a striking, professional outfit. On those cold, wintry days, throw on a coat and leave the front open to draw attention to your belt.
#4 Pair with Thicker Trousers
As winter turns into spring, you’re sure to still have the occasional windy, gray day. Why not play into the mood with a decidedly sleek, urban outfit? Rather than pairing your knit tops with feminine springtime skirts, opt for a long and lean look by tucking your sweater into your favorite wool trousers.
To create this powerful silhouette, it’s important to choose a pair of trousers on the looser side. There should be enough room to tuck in your sweater without creating a bulge. In addition, make sure that you can sit down and bend at the waist without too much discomfort. Finish off the look with a pair of heeled boots to elongate your legs.
Try the following to add personality and your unique style to your sweater and trousers combo:
- Pair a cream colored sweater with light wool trousers and nude pumps to add some brightness to a cloudy day.
- Wear a tight, thin sweater underneath a jumpsuit for a chic twist on your average professional attire.
#5 Cardigans are Your Friend
Embrace the variability of the seasons by opting for a cardigan. Not only do these closet staples come in varying levels of thickness, but they can also be worn however you like—buttoned up for added warmth or open down the front for a more relaxed aesthetic.
If you’re tired of wearing your cardigan the same old way, give your cardigan a chic, fresh makeover by tucking it in. Consider the following ways to add some pizzazz to this trusty sweater:
- Tie it up – This works particularly well for drapey cardigans and shawls without buttons. To create a cropped look, gather the ends of your cardigan and tie them into a knot that sits at the waistband of your pants or skirt. Tuck the ends of the knot into the hemline of the cardigan to finish the look.
- Go high-waisted – For a Parisian aesthetic, tuck your cardigan into a pair of high-waisted straight leg jeans. This look is perfect for a walk around town or lunch at a chic cafe. To get into the springtime mood, opt for a patterned cardigan on the thinner side and light denim to match.
Karen Kane: Pure Sophistication for All Occasions
While finding the right sweater outfit combination to flatter you is important, in the end, learning how to wash sweaters properly and identifying the difference between a sweater vs sweatshirt is also incredibly important. These tips and tricks can help you maintain your clothing items so you can continue wearing them to create the perfect outfits with your beloved sweaters.
Looking for that classy staple sweater you can wear on all occasions? Try our Hi-Lo Sweater in a timeless cream or an eye catching aqua, perfectly versatile and ready to be styled in diverse ways. Wear it tucked in with the Crepe Wide Leg Pant for work, or try a corner French tuck with the Travel Pencil Skirt.
Want something more free and flowy for that springtime getaway? Check out our Spring 2022 collection with its travel-friendly twist on the classic little black dress. With Karen Kane, you won’t have to settle for anything less than ultimate sophistication.
From the workplace to Friday wine nights with the ladies to island adventures, your lifestyle demands stylish, versatile pieces to remember. That’s what we provide at Karen Kane: sustainably made, intricately designed clothing that’s perfect for you.
Who What Wear. This Is How to "French Tuck" Your Shirt Like a Fashion Expert. https://www.whowhatwear.co.uk/how-to-tuck-your-shirt-like-a-street-style-pro
Gabrielle Arruda. How to Master the French Tuck (and what it is!). https://gabriellearruda.com/how-to-do-a-french-tuck/
Extra Petite. Sweater Tucking Guide. https://www.extrapetite.com/2021/10/how-to-tuck-a-chunky-knit-sweater-video-tutorial.html
The Teacher Diva. My Best Tips for Tucking in Sweaters. https://www.theteacherdiva.com/2020/02/my-best-tips-for-tucking-in-sweaters.html
Pure Wow. Have You Tried Wearing Your Cardigans Upside-Down? (Plus 3 Other Sweater Hacks We Learned on TikTok). https://www.purewow.com/fashion/cardigan-style-hacks
Who What Wear. Hailey Bieber Just Tried What I Call the 'Parisian Tuck'. https://www.whowhatwear.com/cardigan-tucked-into-jeans