Cropped Cardigan

"The Art of Wearing Cropped Cardigans Stylishly"


Most women associate a cropped cardigan with matronly, frumpy or teeny-bopper fashion - or something the First Lady or your aunt would wear. I think it's mostly because of the way people style it. Plenty of women pair it with a basic tee and jeans - and sometimes, that's it. Let me give you some ideas and fashion advice on how to wear it the chic way!

Black rhinestone cropped cardigan form Yes Style
Courtesy of Yes Style

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If you have a Pear body shape, then you've probably noticed that most cropped cardigans (with a short hem) help draw attention away from your prominent curves. The short top basically help balance out your bottom-heavy body figure (Beyoncé is a celeb example who is often spotted wearing short jackets and sweaters).

Also, cardigans with cropped sleeves are a Petite's best friend because the arms look longer in comparison, making your limbs look longer.

Now let's take a look at the a couple of fashion tips on how to buy a cropped cardigan and style it in multiple ways without looking frumpy:

How to Wear a Cropped Cardigan

If you have a short torso/petite figure/full figure

Avoid wearing the cardigan with a contrasting colored top underneath it (white with black) because it will make you look shorter and wider. This is especially important if you're Petite and don't want to look shorter than you already are :)

How to wear a cropped cardigan if you have a short waist
Courtesy of Charlotte Russe and Overstock

Instead - wear the cardigan with a similar color. So if you're wearing a black cardigan opt for a top in dark colors or neutrals such as charcoal gray, chocolate brown and dark blues. If you want to make your waist look miles long - wear it untucked.

fashion tip Note: An exception is if you decide to wear a short cardigan in a light color with a dark-colored top. The light color instantly brings the eye up to your face and shoulders which makes you appear taller. Shoulder and over-the-bust details such as ruffles and beads really help with distracting the eye away from your short waist.

If you're full/wide on top

Then stick to dark colored and simple cropped cardigans to avoid creating a "cone"-shaped frame. It'll help slim down your wide shoulders/big bust/big arms. Remember that light colors/details highlight and expand.

Another tip is to balance it out with an A-line skirt or dress, or flared jeans - anything that creates curves around your hips and thighs.

Style it in an unexpected way

The key to looking and chic and modern in a cropped cardigan is to wear it with something unexpected. So drop the typical tee and jeans - and create a juxtaposition with your favorite styles! Take the Fashion Style Quiz and figure out what clothing styles to mix together.

Here are a couple of styling ideas to get your creative juices flowing:

How to wear a cropped cardigan if you have a short waist
Courtesy of Free People and Betsey Johnson

    1. Glam and vintagey: You can take a casual, knit cardigan and wear over a pretty dress and finish it off with a skinny belt and a hat.

    2. Cute and modern: Take a frilly cardigan and pair it with a over-the-knee floral fitted dress. The short hemline is unexpected and creates a chic juxtaposition with sassy and romantic.

    3. Tuck it in: You can simply take a cotton cardigan and wear it as a full sweater - and tuck it in a pencil skirt.

fashion tip Note: Try adding trendy accessories into the mix to throw off the aunt'ish look of the short cardigan - such as a nice belt, earrings, oversized cocktail ring or a pair of high heels.


More fashion advice on Sweaters:

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Now that we've covered the basics of what how to style cropped cardigans - let me show you some outfit ideas:

Outfit Ideas with a Cropped Cardigan

A waist and sleeve-short cardigan can be worn with an array of other clothes and styled in different ways to create multiple chic outfits for various occasions:

Everyday Casual

A nice camisole or a slim fitted plain tee are pretty much basic garments to pair it with. But to turn up the notch of the outfit you need to pair it with something that adds some interest and texture. Try a print top or wear a statement necklace with a tunic tee.

Here are some outfit suggestions:

Stylish casual cropped cardigan outfits


You can also experiment with different types of cardigan styles. So besides from the basic cotton cardigan - opt for knits, various sleeve styles, pearl and rhinestone details and so on. If you dare (and your height allows it), try wearing it with an oversized tee or an asymmetrical top for a little bit of spiff in your outfit.

Sleek Office Work

Wear it with your shift dress, blouse or dress shirt. Or pair it alone with your pencil skirt or high waist dress pants. For colder months you could also layer it with a fitted turtleneck sweater.

Check out these outfit ideas:

Chic office work professional cropped cardigan outfits


Now after putting together the basic pieces (top and bottom garments) - you need to boost the chicness of the outfit with accessories. A piece of jewelry can set the mood of the ensemble - like for example take a statement pearl necklace and a skinny belt with a a pair of dress pants and a cute cropped cardigan worn as a full sweater.

Special Occasions

If you're planning on wearing a cardigan for special occasions then there's no need to skimp on the glam and glitter! Depending on the occasion, dress it up or add the unexpected flair with accessories and clothes that you don't normally wear on a daily basis.

Look at these ideas:

Stylish cropped cardigan party outfits


A sequined short cardigan can be layered over a short black dress - adding texture to an all-black outfit. You can also pair a flowy cropped cardigan with a mini dress - or how about wearing it with faux leather leggings and a party top?

If you need a dress-to-impress-your-mother-in-law outfit or just want to look cute & appropriate on a special occasion, take some of the outfit ideas from "Sleek Office Work". For example, tuck the cardigan with a full circle knee-length skirt.


More styling tips:

Shortcut banner to how to style a cardigan sweater Shortcut banner to how to style fashion vests
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Now, finally, let's check out some of my top picks from around the Net:

Shop Cropped Cardigans Online

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