Ways to Wear an Oversized Cardigan

Riding on the coat-tails of skinny jeans and footless leggings (don't even get me started) are oversized sweaters--it's the only 80's related trend I like. Sometimes they're long, sometimes they're wide, but they're definitely oversized no matter which way you stretch it. I like to have clothes that are fitted, but I think oversized sweaters can add a nice dimension to Fall outfits. When they're worked properly, you won't look like you fell out of a time machine.

If you can get your hands on cast-offs from family members who are bigger than you, or maybe you've lost weight and found an old sweater lying around, there's no need to go out and get a new oversized sweater. The problem with inheriting something 10 sizes too large is that 1) the proportions might not be right for you, and 2) you risk looking like you don't know how to buy clothes that fit. However, these problems can be solved creatively. You'll end up with a sweater that can be worn for years on end without succumbing to boringness. As an example, I've put together a series of pictures from various experiments I performed over the course of the year. The test subject is my mom's old sweater.

Option 1: wearing the sweater as it is, in its big grand glorious form. Believe me, the sweater is really big and loose, which is why I used to hate it even though it's a perfectly good sweater. I find that I look less sloppy when I pair the huge sweater with fitted tops and bottoms; it's a nice intentional contrast. Yes, the 10-year-old sweater is gray; now are you convinced that gray is always in?

Option 2.0: Instead of using buttons that came with the sweater, use brooches to create pleats and make the sweater slightly more fitted while retaining the right amount of slouch. Here are two different ways to do this.

Option 2.1: Claw clips for your hair can also be used to perform the same function. Much less sophisticated, but it's easier to do.

Option 3.0: My favorite one by far is wearing a sweater upside-down. It looks like I'm wearing one of those cardi-wrap sweaters with the collar draping down, and since all that fabric is draping down, the bodice becomes smaller. Sorry for the terrible pictorial quality--these are the best representations.

The key is to pull just enough of the real collar around your ribs so that the back won't be curved, then button a little bit on the front. I decided to rip out the clothing care label after the picture was taken. That way, it won't look too obviously upside-down and inside-out.

Option 3.1: If you don't want that "collar" draping down, you can wear the sweater like this. Align the buttons and button holes along the bottom, then button them up.

Wearing the sweater upside down also worked with a sweater that's just one size bigger than what I usually wear (the gray sweater is a large), though now it's more like a shrug.

I know that my style is quirky and these ideas might not work for everyone, but I just thought I'd throw them out there for whoever feels like trying them out.


Marcy said...

OMG you're brilliant. The whole sweater-upside-down thing looks so cool! haha I'm not sure if I could pull that off... but I might have to try. Option 3.1 looks fabulous... it might take me a while to figure out how to do that though!

I have a big gray sweater I bought from Old Navy a year or 2 ago that basically looks like your sweater in the first picture. I call it my "grampa sweater." It's the right size, but it's long and thick and bulky and I love it.

Sales Rack Raider said...

Thanks! I call this my "grandma sweater." My inspiration was a Rick Owens sweater that I can't afford.

Hope you'll have fun with your grampa sweater!

bee said...

Nicely done -- I love all the looks you've presented!

High Fashion Girl said...

Supercute ideas. Thanks!!

Stella said...

Love style 2.0!