Our Favorite Styles For Nailing The Preppy Sweater-Over-Shoulder Look

If you're searching for a thoughtful way to elevate your style, look no further. There's probably a staple piece hanging in your closet right now that you can throw on to spice up any outfit: a sweater. Sure, you could pull your arms through and wear it traditionally. Or, you can drape it over your shoulders for a sophisticated, chic, and preppy look. Not convinced? Hear us out.

While wearing a sweater over the shoulders has often been stereotypically tied to the snobby, high-class country club type, modern trendsetters have a way of turning questionable fashion statements into works of art. Take denim maxi skirts and sweater vests, for example. Who would have thought those would be back in style and better than ever?

Don't just take it from us. According to US Weekly, tying a sweater over the shoulders is "the look of the moment" and a top trend for 2023. Whether you've got an oversized knit sweater, or a light cotton cardigan, draping it over the shoulders is an easy, yet elegant way of upgrading your ensemble. Here are a few styles to nail the look.

Monochromatic matchy-matchy

A simple monochromatic look is always in style, especially when neutral-toned hues of white, black, and brown are involved. Take this photo by Isabel Bellomo, known as @isabelloms on Instagram, for example. The white-on-white contrast is elegantly gorgeous, especially when paired with a dainty and classy pearl necklace. Her sweater of choice was a knit sweater, adding dimension to her solid cotton top.

All black with a pop of color

For those who don't want to 100% commit to the monochromatic look, using the sweater as a pop of color is a great choice. Not only will it make your ensemble stand out, but you can play off the colors in the sweater with your jewelry as well, like Georgia Phasey, aka @georgiaphasey on Instagram, did in this photo. The gold jewelry paired with her brown-toned sweater ties everything together beautifully.

Layer your sweater over a trendy blazer

There are so many trendy aspects involved when you layer a sweater over a blazer. Not only are blazers totally in fashion, but layering is too — as are over-the-shoulder sweaters. Add dimension and texture as @mypointmystyle did in their Instagram post by throwing a thick sweater over a relaxed blazer for a cohesive, eye-catching look. You may want to reach for a heavier sweater for this look to compliment your blazer, especially if the blazer is oversized. 

Opt for a light sweater over a T-shirt for those breezy days

For those light days, when you want to add some spice to a basic white tee and jeans combo, tie a lightweight cardigan over your shoulders like Louise Montgomery (@louisemontgomeryblog) in her Instagram post. This is perfect for those days when a slight breeze hits the air and you need to throw a sweater on! Bonus points if you choose a pale, pastel-colored sweater and pretty jeweled headband for that super preppy look.

The perfect addition to a classic white button-up

Is there anything trendier and classier than a simple white button-up? You could stop there, but it's so simple to elevate the look by taking it one step further. Some like to fasten a chunky belt around the waist or throw a sweater vest on top. But one of the trendiest options is to drape a sweater over the shoulders, as seen in @sabsstyle_'s Instagram photo. Reach for an oversized one like the photo for shape and added dimension.

Play with bright colors and fun patterns

Neutral-toned outfits are undoubtedly sophisticated, but with the sweater over-the-shoulder look, you can play with bright colors and fun patterns and still look chic. Take fashion blogger Roslyn Griner, for example, with the neon ensemble she shared on Instagram. Matching a bright sweater with printed pants and a plain white top was a genius choice.

Don't have a sweater? A hoodie will do!

If your options are limited, but you really want to participate in the preppy sweater over-the-shoulder look, grab a hoodie and make it work. Lifestyle blogger Hadeel Elmadhoon, known as @hadeelelmadhood on Instagram, showcases the look perfectly with her photo by wearing brown leather pants, a cream-colored sweater, and a grey hoodie tied over her shoulders. The final look has a relaxed yet chic vibe that is perfect for everyday wear.

It doesn't have to be a chilly day to rock a sweater over the shoulders

When the sun is out to play, and the first thing on your mind is a summer dress, rest assured you can still reach for a light cardigan to liven up your outfit. Follow in the footsteps of fashion entrepreneur and New York Times Best Selling Author Danielle Bernstein, or @weworewhat on Instagram, with her stunning photo wearing a lavender dress and light cardigan over the shoulders. Don't be afraid to step out of the box and use that sweater to spice up any outfit, rain or shine.