These 7 Cardigan Outfits Are Super Easy to Style

Long gone are the days when cardigans were solely associated with mature styles of dressing. Now they’re a hero piece of their own accord and one of the foundations of a capsule wardrobe. With the likes of Khaite honouring this understated item, the humble knit has now well and truly conquered the high street and designer brands. Now the value of a chunky or lighter knit cardigan is apparent.

They can be worn several ways, whether that’s thrown over the top of a look, or cleverly integrated as the star feature. They’re easy to build outfits around and make for cosy, transitional add-ons. Springtime cardigans are investments. They can build an outfit entirely or accessorise a look. The same goes for diluting formal dressing. They act as a barometer for taking an outfit in any direction–day, night, spring, summer, you name it.

I’m partial to a crew neck with buttons that can be worn back-to-front, and a cardigan thrown effortlessly over the top of an outfit (particularly as I tend to overdress). I also appreciate how they can take luxe fibres (such as silk) and pair them back for everyday wearing. Whether they’re worn with a fitted tank underneath, unbuttoned, or concealed from top to bottom, they’re a wonderful piece. Neutral cardigans from taupe and camel to black and navy have a place in every wardrobe. They complement bolder outfit choices and pull looks together in an unassuming manner. It’s always my go-to if I’m craving the comfort of a sumptuous material to soften a formal look. You can always amp up the dial with a pop of colour, if that’s in keeping with your style.

This season can be somewhat temperamental and that’s why cardigans are a hero buy for spring and summer.

1. A Chunky Neutral Knit and Ecru Denim


(Image credit: Basicstouch)

Style Notes: This H&M fit is reminiscent of the Khaite cardigan of 2019. The neutral tone works nicely with pale denim, to lighten the look. It can quite easily be dressed up with footwear and accessories. Plus, the wool and cashmere composition will keep you toasty.

2. The Elevated Cardigan Ensemble


(Image credit: Monikh)

Style Notes: We have Carrie Bradshaw to thank for the whimsical tutu juxtaposed with something understated. More often than not cotton. The same principle applies to the mixing of knitwear and tulle. This is a wow piece if ever you need one, for the times when you need a boost or simply want to wear something a little romantic. You can swap the tulle for straight leg jeans during the day.

3. Everyday Uniform


Style Notes: This look is slightly reminiscent of school uniform dressing, albeit much chicer. A fine knit is a wardrobe staple. It can be worn back to front, as a jumper or undone. The length of the skirt means there’s opportunity to wear it with knee highs for the evening or bare legs and heels.

4. A Two-Piece Knit 


(Image credit: Sabinasocool)

Style Notes:The hard part is already done with this two-piece. Worn with denim, it emulates effortless Parisian style. I’d be tempted to pair it with a basket bag. It is straw bag season, after all.

5. Loungewear Cardi Set 


(Image credit: Style Idealist)

Style Notes: These sets are perfect for just about anything and the colour blocking rule applies to white. Wear them when lounging and also take down a few buttons and elevate the look with heels after dark. The ribbed detail on this is a subtle twist. 

6. Silk and Knits

Style Notes: When it comes to uplevelling knits, it’s all in the textures. Mixing silk with knitwear is a great way to do this. This outfit is a typical uniform that can transcend day to night dressing. Wear with a vest underneath and leave it unbuttoned, or wear with a silk midi. The drop shoulder on the cardi is a bonus feature, meaning it’ll drape over your outfit.

7. Cropped Knit with Tailored Trousers


(Image credit: chloehelenmiles/)

Style Notes: A cardi and tailored trousers work so well together and the look can be pulled together without so much as a second thought. Simply wear with a tank top and high-waisted trousers. Trainers or heels can change the look entirely, therefore chop and change them accordingly.

Freelance Fashion Editor

Avalon Afriyie is a freelance writer and storyteller based in London. She specialises in sustainable fashion, health and the narratives of marginalised communities. She has a background in fashion show production and styling, having previously worked on The Clothes Show and with the Lyst Group. Since graduating in 2013 with a BA (Hons) in English and contemporary media, she’s worked as a feature writer for an independent publication and a contributor for Quill’s creator network. She now marries her passion for words and style, writing for some of the most esteemed fashion and lifestyle publications, Who What Wear UK and Stylist. Avalon also provides copywriting services, creative consultancy, and visual media for independent businesses, including travel guides, interviews, press releases and blog posts. Her work has been featured on Lush, Contiki, Youswim and Ohne. She spends her days writing to her heart’s content for business and pleasure, shooting on film and dreaming of residing a stone’s throw away from the ocean with her love and a pup (clad in a sweeping frock, of course). She’s currently penning ideas for a book of personal essays and free verse poetry on love, life and the stages in between.