Cardigans to Wear With Dresses

A fitted, cropped cardigan adds spice to a simple floral dress.

Photo: Jack Hollingsworth/Photodisc/Getty Images

Dresses in varying styles are a definite fashion must for any lady who wants to show her unique style. However, it's what you pair with your dress that gives it a personal touch. Accessories and shoes always work, but one of the hottest trends is wearing a cardigan with your favorite dress for a fashion forward look.


When you want a relaxed, casual look that is girly with just a hint of masculine design, try a boyfriend cardigan. The boyfriend cardigan is often slightly oversized for a look that gives your dress an effortless appearance. However, there is a fine line between oversized and sloppy, so be mindful not to go overboard with sizing. Also, make an effort to keep your dress and boyfriend cardigan in complementing lengths. Keep dresses at or above the knee and boyfriend cardigans at or slightly below the waist to avoid a matronly look.


Cute and playful with a subtle sexiness, a cropped cardigan looks oh-so-chic with your favorite dress. Arguably the best thing about a cropped cardigan is that it does amazing things to your figure. A cropped style draws attention to your waist, giving it a smaller appearance for an overall streamlined look. Due to the cropped nature of the cardigan and the silhouette it provides, keep your dress fitted and close to the body to avoid a disproportionate look. Try to avoid cropped cardigans that are too tight because it makes your dress look forced and fussy.


Wrap yourself in the fashionable covering of a cocoon cardigan on top of your dress. A cocoon cardigan is a style in which the arms and back are one flowing piece, which creates a cocoon or shell appearance. This cardigan style often has full sleeves and a longer back, so it's important get the proper size to avoid an overly large silhouette. Since the arms and back of this cardigan are the focal points, this is a great area to incorporate texture, details and embellishments.


Add a little drama to your cardigan by wearing an asymmetrical style with your dress that is one of fashion's hottest looks. There are two basic asymmetrical designs, the cardigan can either be shorter in back and longer in front or vice versa. Whatever style you choose to pair with your dress, keep things fun by trying cardigans with added details like ruffles, stripes and eyelets. The irregular symmetry combined with these details is a funky way to personalized your outfit.

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