Upgrade Your Cardigan Style With These Tips

They're cute and convenient, and we see them everywhere — they're cardigans. Cardigans are excellent items for everyone, whether you're a fashion enthusiast or prefer to roll out of bed and throw something on at the last minute every morning. Ideal for layering, these warm garments can help you keep warm, and they look good on every body type, via HuffPost. Plus, you can wear them with various outfits, including dresses, jeans, leggings, cropped sleeveless tops, turtlenecks, and many other pieces in your closet, as long as you can figure out how to style them.

Whether you love following trends or prefer to stick to only the classics, there's a cardigan for everyone who wants to implement one into their wardrobe. The garments fit into a variety of styles, too. However, improper styling can lead to a fashion disaster and make your cardigan look dull and unflattering. Luckily for everyone who wants to level up their cardigan game, we have some tips for rocking this clothing item.

Elevate a minimalistic outfit with a daring cardigan

Are you looking for a way to add stylish flair to a basic top and plain jeans? If so, a colorful cardigan can be your new best friend. According to MasterClass, a cardigan with a fun color or pattern will elevate your outfit, making the ensemble more eye-catching. Of course, there's nothing wrong with a minimalistic, all-neutral look, but that layer of color or contrast from the cardigan will add more dimension to the outfit. For instance, a cozy red cardigan featuring tiny playful pops of other hues will add significantly more character to a plain black top with dark blue jeans. Moreover, a statement-making cardigan featuring a patchwork design with pink, yellow, and orange houndstooth will instantly transform a fitted white crop top from a classic staple to a unique outfit. Furthermore, a green cardigan with elegant embellishments and unique buttons can dress up any pair of jeans in your closet.

Anyone on the hunt for a colorful cardigan should check out the Red Multi UO Thea Fuzzy Cardigan, available at Urban Outfitters for around $50 at the time of writing. This cozy, intentionally oversized cardigan is made of nylon and features a contrasty mix of dark red and lightish blue. The item instantly elevates any basic ensemble and has 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Go for a boho-chic look

Since cardigans are so light, carefree, and can hang on the body in various ways, they're ideal for bohemian-inspired outfits, so you'll likely see many boho-style cardigans. For example, an ultra-long, colorful crochet cardigan with some fun patchwork exudes a boho vibe, even if you wear it over a black crop top and jeans. Meanwhile, a bold cardigan with unique designs and fringe details can always give off free-spirited energy.

If you're ready to start experimenting with boho-chic fashion, you should check out Free People, as this brand is famous for its free-spirited, stylish, and carefree garments. The South Bend Cardi is the epitome of boho-inspired cardigans, and you can purchase it at Free People for just below $300. The cardigan is super long and has a hood, pockets, buttons, and blue, green, white, and yellow hues. If you don't want to pay Free People prices, you should consider the Sexy Dance Women's Knitted Long Sleeve Cardigan, available at Walmart for less than $45. Made of mostly polyester with a bit of spandex, this mid-length, affordable cardigan features carefree, colorful stripes and has 4.6 stars out of 5 stars.

Wear it as a shirt

Of course, you can never go wrong with wearing your cardigan over a cami, crop top, or fitted long-sleeve top for warmth or to add dimension to your look. However, wearing a buttoned-up cardigan as a top is a fashionable and underrated style that deserves more attention. Buttoning up your cardigan and tucking it into your jeans is super easy and cute, via TikTok, and you won't have to worry so much about what you'll be wearing under the garment. Plus, this style works for minimalist or maximalist outfits; you'll look excellent whether you wear a neutral cardigan buttoned and tucked into blue jeans or a closed neon cardigan and embellished jeans.

Additionally, a TikTok user showed viewers how to crop a cardigan using its buttons in a video. The cardigan she wore had four buttons and buttonholes, and she folded the garment upward so the fourth buttonhole was in line with the top buttonhole on that side. She only needed to button those two visible holes — using two buttons — since both sides of the piece were folded. This strategy is convenient for petite cardigan lovers who don't want their cardigans to appear too long or for anyone who enjoys the cropped look and wants to button up their cardigan.

Embrace the academia-inspired aesthetics

The popular light academia and dark academia aesthetics are ultra-trendy, quirky, intriguing, and all about making academic-related activities like reading or studying seem stylish and fun. While light and dark academia styles are slightly different in that light academia is, well, lighter, and dark academia is typically more sophisticated and intense, both styles often feature on-theme facts. Some aspects include glasses, neutral or warm colors, quirky patterns like plaid, unique hairstyles, preppy or professional-looking skirts, and cardigans.

For instance, a TikTok user named Erika Dwyer shared various outfits inspired by the dark academia aesthetic, such as a black turtleneck with brown trousers, a brown belt, and a short white cardigan, per TikTok. One cardigan that truly fits these studious aesthetics is the Knit Cardigan in dark brown, available for around $25 at H&M. The short, cozy garment features a flirty V-neckline and three adorable buttons. The design, hue, and style make this the perfect item for flaunting dark or light academia-inspired ensembles. Try wearing it over a white or beige turtleneck with a skirt for light academia or on top of a form-fitting black top with dark jeans for dark academia. The product has 4.4 stars out of 5 stars.

Go back to the early 2000s with a cute pink cardigan

Y2K fashion is back in 2022, and nostalgia is having a moment with the Barbiecore fashion trend, so why not embrace both looks with a girly pink cardigan? If you need inspiration, think of Regina George's iconic pink cardigan with her a-little-bit-dramatic T-shirt and black skirt from the famous mall scene in "Mean Girls," via YouTube. A pink cardigan can help bring out your inner Regina George — or at least help you put together an adorable, trendy outfit.

We could easily imagine the famously fashionable fictional mean girl — or a Barbie doll — rocking the River Island Boxy Ribbed Cardigan in bright pink, available at ASOS for $55 at the time of writing. This super girly cardigan features three buttons, a playful V-neckline, and pockets and is made of acrylic, polyester, and nylon. The pink color and relatively short length make this an excellent option for any fan of the early 2000s. Meanwhile, the Button Front Fluffy Knit Cardigan sells for $23 at Shein and exudes similar Y2K-inspired energy, thanks to the light pink hue, fuzzy texture, low V-neckline, and glamorous buttons. The garment is made of polyester and has a perfect 5-star rating. So, are you ready to follow these tips to nail the cardigan look?