The Long Cardigan 3-Ways
by Paul Julch
You’re seeing long cardigans everywhere this fall – and you’re loving them, right? But are they right for you? As I always say – a trend is only worth participating in if it’s right for you, and if you’re still going to love it next year. So how do you know if a long cardigan should fall into your fall wardrobe? Check out my tips for wearing longer length cardigans, and peruse three ways to wear them this season. And when you’re ready, find that cardigan that fits AND flatters AND that you love AND that you’ll still love next year!
LONG CARDIGAN + SLIM PANTS
The classic way to wear a longer cardigan is with slim pants. The slimmer bottom balances out the volume of the cardigan and helps to create a longer, leaner silhouette underneath.
Watch the length of the cardigan based on your height (and your hips):
- If you’re petite – a cardigan that ends just above your hips or at high-thigh is as long as you should go. If you want to go longer – wear it with heels, but still check your proportions so that it doesn’t swallow you up.
- If you’re curvy – don’t let the bottom of the cardigan cut you at the widest point of your hips. Instead, go for something that ends right above or right below.
- If you’re tall – you can go all the way down to a knee-length cardigan, but watch the volume so it doesn’t look like you’re wearing a blanket.
- Make sure the top you’re wearing underneath your cardigan isn’t overly long as well. A top that ends near your waist (or even tucked-in) gives the illusion of longer legs – much better than a top that covers your crotch can.
LONG CARDIGAN + DRESS
I love a classic sheath dress and a long cardigan – so chic! Use the cardigan as a lightweight coat-substitute – it’s perfect for the in-between weather.
Pay attention to the volume of your cardigan (and your dress):
- A lightweight cardigan that skims your body is the most flattering choice.
- Avoid any cardigans that expand into a triangle shape toward your hips. You may think you’re covering your problem areas, but you’re really just adding volume to an area where no one wants more bulk.
- Straight up and down cardigans are the easiest to wear, the most flattering and also less burdensome when you’re getting up-and-down or in-and-out of a car all day.
- Long cardigans work best over straight-skirted dresses, or ones with an a-line or slight flare. Very full skirts and long cardigans are a bit tricky.
An ideal way to maintain a flattering silhouette with a long cardigan is to belt it. This may not be your first instinct – but it draws attention to your waist and helps to keep everything in proportion.
Watch your proportions (and your belt):
- If you’re curvy or otherwise benefit from a pronounced shoulder line – make sure your cardigan doesn’t narrow your shoulders. Avoid raglan-cut sleeves, and go for cardigans with shoulder seams and/or a large collar. And a men’s-style button-front collared shirt underneath can also do the trick.
- Choose a belt that’s in line with your figure. Short-waisted? Opt for a narrow belt. Long-waisted? Go for a chunky, wider belt to take up some of the area between your bust and hips.
- When belting, avoid cardigans with pockets. Droopy pockets may be more pronounced with a belt, and the horizontal lines of the pockets can visually widen your hips.
- Toss the belt that may come with the cardigan, and opt for a leather belt instead. The contrast in color draws more attention toward your waist, and it’s another opportunity for a fun accessory!
Paul Julch helps busy people to streamline, organize, and update their wardrobes so they can get dressed with ease and always look stylish and feel confident. Any budget, any lifestyle, any body. His business is Urbanite|Suburbanite, and he works with clients to develop a modern, current, versatile wardrobe that expresses personal style rather than trends. Paul is based in the SF Bay Area, and remote wardrobe & style coaching is available for out-of-towners. Visit Paul’s website for more style advice, and follow him on Facebook , and Instagram to stay up to date on the best styling tips and tricks.